This year's Heritage Stewardship Awards to Feature Dr. Gary McCaleb
When one is looking for ways we can continue the progress made in our Abilene downtown and Central Abilene, it is hard to find a person with a better perspective than Abilene Christian University Vice President and former Mayor of Abilene Dr. Gary McCaleb. His three terms as Mayor saw great accomplishments in the redevelopment of downtown Abilene, exemplified by the Grace Museum, Cypress Building and Cypress Street Station, T&P Warehouse and Depot, and more...
Elks Center turns 100
It was quite a New Year's Eve celebration on December 31, 1913 when the doors to the brand-new Elks Lodge were thrown open to Abilene's finest. "The electric sign gracing the facade beamed the initials B.P.O.E.," according to the Abilene Daily Reporter's January 1st edition. "The many windows threw out sheens of brilliant light... when the opening hour of 8 arrived there were couple after couple who entered the new structure. Some walked. Some came in motors. Some in cabs.
The breathless newspaper account, which is available for download here, went on to list practically every guest who came. They included many of Abilene's founding residents, and what they wore. 32 paragraphs detailed everything from Mrs. Tom Sayles' "crystal beaded robe and apple-green brocaded charmeuse, entraine and the bouquet of pink roses" she carried to Mrs. Will Guitar's "costume of King's blue crepe meteor with spangled pasamenterie trimmings." The gentlemen and their outfits were detailed in one paragraph.
The building, now the Elks Arts Center, was renovated by the Abilene Preservation League in 1999 through 2001, and now serves as the headquarters for the League as well as offices for Chorus Abilene and Digital Impact Outdoors. A commemorative mailing is planned for the near future, and an observance is being planned by the APL's Board of Trustees.
Photos from Haunted Abilene 2013
Just in: photos of Haunted Abilene 2013 from the two fabulous nights that were the most fun ever! Photos are by our good friend Doug Hodel, professional photographer in Abilene. Check out our Flickr photostream.
Be sure and join us for next year's Haunted Abilene, the weekend before Halloween, and thank our over 80 sponsors who made this event a success.
We now offer business membership to our Preservation Partners
We have just introduced a new form of membership in the Abilene Preservation League... Preservation Partners are area businesses that have demonstrated interest and expertise in the area of historic preservation. We list these businesses by category on our Web site... check out these great members... and the next time you need services or goods in their area, remember their support of historic preservation.
Membeship in the Abilene Preservation League
It pays dividends!
Renew Now online...
As a non-profit organization, membership is very important to the Abilene Preservation League. We don't always stress it enough, but our members are the core of our support. In the case of saving a building or home, in the case of advocacy for an issue involving preservation policy affecting the city of Abilene, or in the case of providing advice to a homeowner about the best way to care for their historic home, it is our membership that sustains us from year to year.
The best deal for our members is to take advantage of the two-for-one offer: If you become a member online, you'll receive a free one year membership in the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You'll receive six issues of their great magazine, Preservation. Those who have these dual memberships report that they feel more connected to the national preservation movement. To learn more about membership in the Abilene Preservation League, click here.
Turning an 1892 building into a showplace Library
On June 22 Mr. Gene Nelson, Director of the Provo City Library at Academy Square, presented the story of how Provo, Utah took a beloved old school building and turned it into a new Central Library that has become a highly successful center of activity and learning in the city. Watch the video (about 60 minutes). And then go to our Facebook page and "like" us if you have not already done so. www.facebook.com/aplevents
Consider the Swenson for your wedding or event...
The elegance of a 1910 mansion with a newly-constructed Arbor awaits you for your wedding and/or reception. Click here for more information, and you may check available dates by clicking "Check Dates" at the top of that page.
Shots from the In-town bike ride touring Historic Abilene
The kids are getting ready! Bike Patrol Officer Mike and Officer Alphabet get ready to escort the bike tourists around the greater downtown area.
Stopping at the J.D. Magee home (Rosetyme) for a top to bottom tour.
The tour was part of Big Day Downtown, April 9th.
Historic Abilene High-Lincoln takes center stage
With the recent vote by the Abilene ISD trustees to sell several properties including the historic AHS-Lincoln campus, 2011 is going to be the year to show the citizens' support for not only saving this wonderful building, but giving it a new purpose. With an investment, this building will last another 85 years.
New: visit our Lincoln - AHS timeline
On our Facebook page there are photos of our most recent visit to Lincoln. Also a gallery here, so you'll know what behind the doors if you didn't go to school there. There is now an informative Save Lincoln Facebook page and @saveLincoln ( Twitter). Sign up for both!
We've put together a list of the leading new uses for the campus as a conversation starter. It is available here. After reading it, we'd like to have your opinion, please email us.
New DVD on Camp Barkeley
History in Plain Sight
The award-winning series of videos by historian Jay Moore has grown by one! Thursday, June 21 join us at the Grace Museum at either 6 pm or 7 pm for a showing of "Camp Barkeley."
The Bankhead Highway
Who Is That Street?
Abilene's Fair Park
Wooten: An Abilene Life
All DVDs are available at the APL's offices in the Elks Arts Center, 1174 North First Street at Cedar. We are generally in the office between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. All DVDs are $15.00 plus tax. A set of 6 DVDs is $90.
Tomorrow's economics of Preservation
Noted economist Donovan D. Rypkema has written a thought provoking piece for the National Trust's Forum. He identifies twenty trends, from more of an emphasis on neighborhood schools to the misuse of historic overlay zoning, that will impact the future of communities, neighborhoods and real estate development. To view, click here.
Nominate your favorite Beautiful Houses for 2013
You can nominate a home to be one of the Beautiful House finalists. Just request a form by emailing us at this address, and take a digital photo. They'll be recognized next May at our Heritage Stewardship Awards.
Histories Project kicked off
front of the Hall Music-Optical Clinic building at 258 Pine St.
has a new look from APL, the Abilene Downtown Association and
Browning Eyssen & Logan, P.C. A photo mural was placed in
the front window showing the interior of Hall Music Company in
1920, deteriorated plywood was covered and painted and informational
graphics were placed in the window panels. We've just posted photos
of the interior tour... click
here to see them in your browser. If you have a building and
would like to participate in the next Storefront Histories project,
we'd like to hear from you, please email
a tour of this 86 year old recently renovated school in Dallas
Old Schools make Great New
Schools. Booker T. Washington school in Dallas, the first
Black high school, recently reopened as a Magnet School. The
project includes significant new construction while preserving
the historic building. Click on the photo at left to view
a short video tour.
WTU Power and Ice Plant
The industrial plant that "put Abilene on the
map" as a town serious about growth and business is up for
sale, and a public discussion of ideas for its reuse is beginning.
Here's the article
from the Abilene Reporter-News site. Have a comment for us or an
idea for the plant? Click
to let us know. Here's an in-depth
photo tour of the power plant.
of an Austin Home's Journey Toward Renewal
home in Austin that had fallen on hard times gets a redo. Like many
historic projects, not everyone agrees about every aspect of the restoration,
but the home is saved. From the Austin
Vinyl Siding really all that great?
all the marketing, you need an objective view of the plusses and minuses
of putting vinyl siding on your house. Here's a link
to a good article that goes into detail about the issue and has
a good list of further resources. (Click on the Related Links link at
the bottom for the PDF file.)
Districts: around Texas
San Antonio, "nearly all real estate professionals agree historic
neighborhoods look better over time in comparison to nearby subdivisions
that don't have historic designation," says Virginia Nicholas,
board president of the San Antonio Conservation Society.
PDF file of article
old neighborhood's new momentum is building
historic neighborhood district in McKinney has been drawing newcomers
to the city, increasing the tax base and attracting young people. Check
out the article in the Dallas Morning News about the success McKinney's
historic district has generated.
PDF file of article
of Utah researchers found that people who live in older, more walkable
neighborhoods are at lower risk for overweight and obesity. Newer neighborhoods,
which are mostly designed for automobiles, are more likely to have residents
who have a little trouble meeting their exercise goals, according to