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Deep in the heart of Texas’ capital, the city’s patriarch high-rise “Stephen F” is once again hosting Austin’s elite after being closed for two years for a face-lift.

For nearly eight decades, the 189-room hotel at 701 S. Congress Ave. has feted the politics and business that come along with being situated within walking distance of the state capitol.The 189-room hotel holds the honor of being the first high-rise along Congress Ave. and the scene of such political gatherings as the election night party of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson’s first successful bid for Congress.

Inter Continental Hotels, a division of Atlanta-based Bass Hotels, took over the refurbishment last fall when it purchased an interest in the landmark structure. The Inter Continental Stephen F. Austin last month opened its doors for business, with little fanfare but still attracting a clientele indicative of its history since its opening in May 1924.

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