A Texas Hill Country ranch once owned by
Lyndon B. Johnson
is coming on the market for $2.8 million, complete with the late president’s original bathtub.
Located on 142 acres near Johnson City, the 2,841-square-foot main house was built on a mountaintop on the foundations of Mr. Johnson’s former property, while preserving his original bathroom and bedroom, which are still in use.
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Mr. Johnson bought the property one week into his presidency in 1963 and owned it until 1971, according to Blanco County property records. He used the ranch as a private retreat, where he could “get away from the Washington cross currents,” according to presidential historian
Robert A. Dallek.
The property once comprised about 800 acres, but it has been broken up into smaller parcels. It is less than 7 miles from the center of Johnson City. The city was founded in 1879 by
James Polk Johnson,
one of the president’s ancestors, according to Johnson City’s official website.
At the nearby Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, visitors can tour the president’s childhood home. Texas Hill Country is known for its rugged topography and limestone or granite mountains.
The property is owned by Italian painter Benini, 76, and his wife, Lorraine Benini, 70, who turned it into an artist’s haven. They purchased the main house in 1999 and added three additional lots, one of which included an airplane hangar, and built roads to help traverse the property.
Mrs. Benini said they are selling because her husband is the restless sort. They already have relocated to a ranch about 25 miles north, just south of Marble Falls, Texas.
The Beninis converted the hangar into a series of art galleries and an education center. They once displayed 135 sculptures by local and international artists on the land, which they opened to the public.
They also raised Barbados Blackbelly Sheep on the land.
Mr. Benini, who is from Imola, Italy, currently specializes in abstract paintings in vivid colors, his wife said.
“I’m married to a man who seems to have to disassemble his life and move every 10 years,” she said. “I guess it’s the outcome of being an artist.”
The ranch-style main house, with pine wood floors and limestone chimneys, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. A second cottage in the woods has another bedroom.
As for the bathtub, Mrs. Benini said she can hardly imagine it was big enough for Mr. Johnson, who was famously 6 feet 4 inches tall. “I wonder what decisions he made while he was meditating in the bathtub,” she said.
of DMTX Realty, a sales team affiliated with Coldwell Banker United, has the listing.