RBJ Clinic and Senior Residential Center

15-41 Waller St.

Part of President Lyndon Johnson’s vision of A Great Society was to build a model senior citizens’ program offering affordable and independent living units with supportive medical services available at an on-site nursing home. With a lot of politicking by high profile movers and shakers in government and academic circles, Roy Butler, Frank Erwin, and John Burns formed the Austin Geriatrics Corporation in 1968 and took possession of the land, which was an old federal fisheries operation. The 16-story Residential Tower, named after LBJ’s mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson, was one of the first high rise apartment buildings in the city. The 5-story building next to it operated as a nursing home. Funding for the Tower came from use of a 236 Federal HUD Program designed to provide investors and non-profits long-term, low or no interest loans to provide housing for the elderly. The Residential Tower opened in early 1972 and the AGC Board is still providing very low income seniors affordable housing and a sense of community. The 5-story nursing home built adjacent to the Tower was operated under contracts from 1972 until 1981 but several private groups could not make the nursing home profitable. In 1981 with HUD oversight, the city bought the nursing home land and building for use by the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services for administrative offices and small clinics. The seniors have a beautiful community garden and common areas on the first floor. If you enter the lobby area or want to look at the gardens, you must sign in at the security desk. The City’s offices are open during regular business hours. The Austin Geriatrics Corporation Board continues LBJ’s vision to provide independent living for low income seniors and is working with our neighborhood planning team to improve and expand the number of low-income residents served at this site and build some new business and retail spaces to meet the needs of their senior residents and nearby neighbors.