Two Sundays this month: Tour the Swenson House

Swenson House at ChristmasThis December we are making available the opportunity to tour the Swenson House decorated for Christmas. Sunday, December 7th and Sunday, December 14th, the public is invited to come by the Swenson House and tour at your own pace. We are asking for a donation of $10.00 per person, with children 12 and under free. We’ll be there to answer questions and point things out, but mainly we want the public to be able to see this beautiful mansion graciously decorated for Christmas. The hours are 1:00 to 4:00 pm. For further information, call us at 325-676-3775 or email.

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We need a Properties Maintenance Manager

The Preservation League is looking for a part-time Properties Maintenance Manager. This employee will work with the Executive Director to provide janitorial, set-up assistance and facilities monitoring services at the two properties owned and maintained by the Preservation League.

This hourly position will require availability on a combination of weekdays, weekends and nights, and the expected average hours per week will range from 10 to 25.

Minimum qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred.
  • Knowledge of standard practices and tools used in grounds maintenance, janitorial services and the repair of buildings, with an interest in best historic preservation practices.
  • Valid Texas drivers’ license; pass a background check, provide three references.
  • Effectively use a variety of hand and power tools; be able to lift 50 pounds.
  • Communicate effectively in both oral and written form; maintain and review work assignments through a computerized system; send and receive text messages.

Compensation will be commensurate with experience and capabilities.

The ideal candidate will have excellent customer service skills, good mechanical ability, and be organized with the ability to prioritize and manage time.  The candidate will be courteous, professional, and motivated to provide excellent service and quality workmanship.

For a copy of our Employment Application, AbilenePreservationLeague+Employment+Form.
You may email the completed form to

For more information, please email, or call 325-676-3775 extension 1.

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Queen Anne cottage and award-winning compound in Albany


It’s not everyday that you see a great restoration of a historic home paired with a beautifully planned compound of contemporary architecture, but it exists right up the road from us in Albany. This is right across the street from the Old Jail Foundation Museum and the Shackelford County Courthouse. Here are some other shots of this property, which is now available for purchase. For more information, click on any of the photos.

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The value of the Historic Tax Credit proves itself

Cumulative economic Impact of the HTC

The cumulative economic impact of historic tax credit activity nationwide in the more than 30 years since the credit was enacted is significant.

A comprehensive new study released in June 2014 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation shows:

  • historic rehabilitation tax credits have spurred private sector investment of $109 billion in the rehabilitation of nearly 39,600 historic buildings.
  • This rehabilitation activity has generated 2.4 million jobs and $91.5 billion in income.
  • 450,000 housing units have been renovated or created.
  • Over the lifetime of the program, the cost of the historic tax credit to the U.S. Treasury has been  $21 billion, but it has generated $26.6 billion in federal tax receipts.
  • This rehabilitation activity has generated 2.4 million jobs and $91.5 billion in income.
  • 450,000 housing units have been renovated or created.
  • The Historic Tax Credit more than pays for itself: for every $1 of tax credits ultimately generates $1.26 in tax revenues for the federal government.

bijou-before-study bijou-studyecoimpact-studyThe Historic Tax Credit is threatened in Congress. The economic benefits of this policy need to be made clearer to the Members.

To learn more about this study, and to download a complete copy, click here.

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The June 12 2014 hail storm

Everyone in Abilene will be familiar soon with the destructive power of the hailstorm that moved through the city tonight. Here are some photos from both the Swenson House and the Elks Arts Cetner right after the storm. The Swenson House had major roof damage to the terracotta tiles, but no broken windows. Other damage was to foliage and some exterior lighting. The Elks lost most of the windows on the north side, and probably had some roof damage.

First, the Swenson House:

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Here’s some from downtown and the Elks. It was right after the parade that is the beginning of the Children’s Art and Literary Festival, so many folks were downtown. Looks like the worst swath went from east of Mockingbird through downtown to the southeast part of town. We carry insurance on both of these properties. Looks like the adjusters are going to have a busy week! And us too. Tomorrow we need to sweep away some of the foliage downtown off the sidewalk that came down with the hail, and at Swenson we need to sweep up some of the terracotta shards that blew off the roof that are all over the sidewalks and patio. If you have any time on Friday and would like to help, please call Bill, the Executive Director, at 325-829-0617.

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A preservation story from Houzz

Kitchen ideas, bathroom ideas, and more ∨

Before you throw your next party, browse a wide selection of home bar supplies, drinking glasses and kitchen serveware.
Find new home builders who can help you create a dream kitchen, complete with kitchen island, a large dining table set and a creative kitchen cabinetry design.

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Introducing Business Preservation Partners of the League

We are proud to recognize these businesses who are the first to join the Abilene Preservation League’s Business Preservation Partner program. These are companies we know and trust, and they have demonstrated an interest in both preserving Abilene’s heritage and providing quality goods and expertise in dealing with older buildings. While we cannot endorse one company over another, when our members ask us for help, we will proudly refer them to our Partners.

Antiques and Estate Sale Services

Antiques and Almost
141A Clyde St Abilene TX 79605

Fabulous Finds, Terry Stubbs
715 Grape St Abilene TX 79601

General Contractors

Covenant Contractors, Inc., Phillip Phelps
3560 Hunters Glen Rd Abilene, TX 79605

Luther Jeff Construction Co.
542 Plum St Abilene TX 79601-5204

Home Improvement Contractors

Battles Home Improvement Co., Inc., Celia and Lester Matthews
1401 South 14th St Abilene TX 79602

Lumber Yards

City Lumber Co.
P.O. Box 879 Abilene TX 79604-0879
1310 Walnut St  Abilene, TX 79601

Mechanical Contractors

Batjer & Associates, Inc., Mike Denny
2825 Pine Street Abilene TX 79601

HRS A/C Refrigeration, Henry R. Sanchez
1033 Buccaneer Abilene TX 79605

Oil and Gas Supply Companies

Smith Pipe of Abilene
P.O. Box 6291 Abilene TX 79608


3rd Generation Plumbing
Brandon Flournoy
1934 Marshall St Abilene TX 79605

Real Estate Properties and Management

 Mesquite Square, Molly and John Hill
750 Judge Ely Blvd Abilene TX 79601

Repair Services

Central Repair, Robert B. Lilly
859 Butternut St. Abilene, TX 79602
(325) 673-3171

Replacement Window Manufacturing and Installation

Airtite Windows, Robert and Holly Hoemke
4008 S Treadaway Abilene, TX 79602

Title Companies

First Texas Title Company LLC, Andrew McCall
3417 Curry Ln, Abilene, TX 79606
(325) 794-2700

Security Title Co., Gerald L. Johnson
4400 Buffalo Gap Rd Suite 1100 Abilene TX 79606

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Historic for Sale: 1174 Matador St.

If you are looking for a smaller house with style, this house on Matador, built circa 1926, may be right. Its a simplified Spanish Colonial Revival bungalow, somewhat modified with the reconstruction of a gable over the front porch. It’s on a corner lot on a quiet street, and is convenient to everything in InTown Abilene. Stucco construction with a pier and beam foundation and composition roofing. The house has a utility room and a second living area that could easily convert to a third bedroom if needed.

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For more information about this house, please contact:

Lauren Clark, ABR,CRS
RE/MAX Realtors
325-669-7225 cell
or Lindsay Minter, Licensed Assistant

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Historic for sale: 774 Elmwood Drive

Classic two story in Old Elmwood. Designed for entertaining! Four bedrooms, 2.5 bath. Hardwood floors and tile through out. Updated kitchen with quartz counter tops. Crown molding. Master bedroom downstairs with adjoining office. 2 living areas. Gorgeous tree canopy in back yard, inviting pool. Wonderful guest apartment over garage with full kitchen and bath. Nicely landscaped yard. The curb appeal of this classic four square will draw you in!

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cornerview diningroom diningroom2 exterior-frt poolarea poolarea2

For more information about this property:
Paula Beall
Beall & Company Realtors
Paula Beall Construction
(325)698-7600 OFFICE
(325)338-9265 CELL
(325)698-1822 FAX
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The Swenson House Replicas are Here!

The new Swenson House ReplicaJust this morning we received the air shipment of our newest in the Abilene Historic Village Lighted miniature replicas, the Swenson House! We have them at the Elks Arts Center, 1174 North First Street, and we are here from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm weekdays through December 21st. During Christmas week it’s best to call before coming to make sure someone will be here.

The pricing is $60 for the Swenson House, plus tax. We can ship them for $15 additional. They are not yet available through our Web site, but we plan to add them soon. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express in addition to checks and cash.

One of the best things about the series is that by purchasing one of these buildings that are replicas of actual buildings in Abilene, you are helping advance the program of historic preservation in Abilene. The Swenson House joins the others in the series: the Grace Museum, the historic Paramount Theatre, the Texas & Pacific Depot, and the Old Weather Bureau Building in the series.

It was a while since the last in the series the Old Weather Bureau, was introduced in 2008. Why was that? The factory that had produced the other four replicas unfortunately went out of business. Then we had a false start, because we had to reject the work of a different factory which shipped us a prototype that just was not up to the standards of the others in the series. We knew the supporters of the Preservation League who have been collecting these would not be happy with that! We finally located a new group, and are very happy with the work they have done. If you would like to see one, just stop by the Elks Arts Center and we’ll be glad to show you!

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