Nacogdoches looking at historical boundaries

By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A new set of boundaries for historic districts is being proposed to property owners in Nacogdoches County.

It's the tool city planners use in preserving the city's many historic landmarks.

Historic buildings are on every street corner in downtown Nacogdoches. They attract visitors from all over the world.

"Heritage tourism is one of the largest growing segments of the tourism industry. I believe last year Nacogdoches brought in something like $85.1 million in tourism dollars," said Main Street Director Sarah O'Brien.

The National Park Service took notes about the city's well preserved Victorian architecture. It led to another national register status.

"Downtown is actually our fifth national register district," said City Planner Larissa Philpot.

Add to it historic districts established by other administrators.

"There's a local district. One is a state district and one is a federal district," said O'Brien.

All the boundaries are different. So are the rules for loans and grants. It's enough to confuse the brightest.

"It just doesn't add a cohesiveness of a downtown. It looks like we're scattered about. We can't decide what is what," said Teresa Darby, a property owner.

City planners are suggesting basically one boundary for the one established by the national register.

"The Main Street District is shrinking somewhat because it originally included a large residential area on either side on the east end and west end," said Larissa.

The proposed changes reflects on areas where preservation is already well underway.

"Downtown is what I like to refer to as the heart of the community and so it's very important that everyone in the community, not just downtown, pay attention to what happens," said O'Brian.

Historic districts do come with a strict set of guidelines. Including what color paint can be used on the building front.

There are no restrictions on changes made to the inside.

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