Original Round Top Antiques Fair and its Big Red Barn is Sold to the Family Behind the Blue Hills Transformation
A big change in Texas' antiques mecca fits in with a major expansion plan.
The Original Round Top Antiques Fair, the show that started it all, making tiny Round Top, Texas a must-visit antiques destination more than 50 years ago, is getting new owners.
Although the deal has been in the works for many months, the ink is finally dry and the antique show which was started by the late Emma Lee Turney back in 1968, and run for many years by its most recent owner Susan Franks, has now been entrusted to another local Round Top family. Along with its iconic Big Red Barn.
Long touted as “The Show That Started It All. . .”, the Original Antiques Fair has been acquired by real estate developer Paul Layne, who is the father of Blue Hills owners Corey Layne and Stephanie Layne Disney. The brother and sister duo who purchased Blue Hills in 2018, will be in charge of running this notable venue as well.
“We’ve had a lot of success since taking over Blue Hills and are excited to implement similar strategies for the Original Round Top Antiques Fair,” says Corey Layne, who is the head of operations.
Paul Layne is the former CEO of Howard Hughes Corporation, and when we spoke briefly at the 2022 Spring Show while he taxied my husband and I from the parking lot of Blue Hills in an extended golf cart, he noted, “I’m the money guy behind the operation.”
And, so it will be once again, with his purchase of The Original Round Top Antiques Fair and its Big Red Barn. Expect its new owner to make sure the numbers continue to add up, while allowing Corey and Stephanie to do what they do best, day-to-day operations and marketing, with an eye toward constant improvements of facilities for both vendors and antiques shoppers. So far, since this family rebranded Blue Hills, they’ve added more than 40,000 square feet of additional shopping space to the property. Attendance has also increased by an impressive 39 percent since they took the reins.
“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in the market. The Big Red Barn fits perfectly with our family’s expansion plans in Round Top,” Paul Layne tells RoundTop.com.
The website of the Original Round Top Antiques Fair has already gotten the full Layne and Disney treatment. It’s easier to maneuver and pretty to look at.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to build upon what Emma Lee Turney created over 50 years ago with the original fair,” show manager Stephanie Layne Disney says. “The Big Red Barn is the iconic venue that serves as the gateway to Round Top.”
Now the family has something Red and Blue in their portfolio. We wonder what primary color they’ll acquire next?
Venue Open May Vary
2024 Winter Antiques Show | January 18 – January 21
2024 Spring Antiques Show | March 14 – March 31
2024 Fall Antiques Show | October 10 – October 27