San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 29th, 2011
City seeks lease proposals for Cephas House

The city of San Marcos has called for lease proposals for the former home of Ulysses Cephas, a prominent local African American leader whose home the city bought in 2003 with the intention of restoring it. COURTESY PHOTO


The little boarded up house located at 217 W. MLK Drive looks sad now, but plans are underway to turn it into a center of activity in the Dunbar Historic District.

The city is accepting proposals from organizations who are interested in entering into a lease agreement for the use of the Cephas House. Sealed proposals will be accepted through 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 in the office of the city’s Purchasing Manager.

The city of San Marcos bought the former home of Ulysses Cephas, a prominent leader of the African-American community in turn-of-the century San Marcos, in 2003 as a historic preservation project.

Community Development Block Grant program funds were used to acquire the property and additional block grant funds have been allocated for its rehabilitation.

When all rehabilitation activities are complete, the Cephas House must be used as a public facility that benefits the low-to-moderate income residents of San Marcos. Any income (profit after expenses) gained from the use of the facility must be used for a block grant-eligible activity.

The request for proposals and all subsequent addendums can be found at Information about the Cephas House or the city’s CDBG program may be obtained by contacting Community Initiatives Administrator Janis Hendrix 512-393-8147 or by e-mail at

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One thought on “City seeks lease proposals for Cephas House

  1. I’ll be interested in seeing what becomes of this property and the old church next door. San Marcos needs something like the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center in Austin. Does San Marcos really need another restored old house and church? Yes, both are part of our history and should be honored and remembered, but there are times when we need to look forward, building on the past and not trying to relive it. I don’t know much about Ulysses Cephas or his house, but I do remember fondly singing with the choir in that old church building next door and listening to Rev. Washington speak words of wisdom and truth for all to hear. I cherish tose memories.

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