NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In a rare move, the Nacogdoches City Council chose Tuesday night to ignore a recommendation from the Historic landmark Preservation Committee and gave its approval for the county to tear down the building at 321 West Main Street.
The building, which was built in the 1920s, is located within the city's historic preservation zone. The council agreed with another review committee's contention that the structure had no economically viable use.
Decades ago, a stately Nacogdoches County courthouse was torn down for a new courthouse all in the name of progress. Regrets have been voiced ever since. That decision was pondered recently by the Historic Landmark Preservation Committee when it denied Nacogdoches County's request to tear down the building at 321 West Main Street.
"There are three individual structures," Brian Bray, Nacogdoches' director of community services, said. "They were built between 1925 and 1929. It's not architecturally significant. There's nothing that happened in that structure event wise that would qualify it for historic significance."
Within the buildings' walls have been a Dr Pepper bottling plant, a food market, a farm supply store, a lighting store, and Super Gym. The building's historic significance isn't at debate, but rather its lack of economic return.
"The county applied under the criteria no economic value use of the property exists," Bray said.
An economic review panel agreed. It recommended that the preservation committee grant the county's request. It didn't.
Committee chair Scott Runnels explained why the decision was made. He said the original price was not made available.
"The original purchase price was not made available to us, so we didn't know what it would take to actually make a reasonable return on their investment," Runnels said.
In addition, Runnels said that committee members believed there are more viable options than just a parking lot.
The county did look into making the 2006 purchase of opportunity a spot for rental offices. Estimates reached up to $750,000 and a decades-long wait for a return on its investment. To the county, a parking space is a better return for the money.