NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Just last year, the clay house in Nacogdoches was named one of the most endangered places in Texas by Preservation Texas. Thanks to some passionate people with the African American Heritage Project, the home that was built in the early 1900's is finally getting a makeover.
With drills and hammers in hand, volunteers started revitalizing history. The clay house sits in the heart of the Zion Hill historic district, which gets its name from the historic African American Church that resides just a few inches away.
"We're trying to make sure we step up to the plate and get it done," Jo West, President of African American Heritage Project said. "Because so much of Nacogdoches' history, and other places' history has been torn down and is in rubble and burned away. We didn't want to see that happen here."
Working on historic properties is something architect Charles Phillips has built his professional career on. Phillips said he's invested in keeping history alive at home.
"I'm very interested in Nacogdoches, and Nacogdoches has lost a lot of its history," Phillips said. "So we need to bring as much of it, as we've got parts and pieces, back into focus."
After learning of the house heritage and history, social work students from Stephen F. Austin State University got involved.
"What we're trying to do is basically help out with this community," Jhirkayla Clark, SFA social work student said. "Help them realize the background and within the history of this neighborhood."
Organizers said this is one of the first steps in reviving a historic neighborhood, right here in Nacogdoches.
"We want this whole complex to be an arena for Nacogdoches to come out, appreciate the history, and enjoy the neighborhood," West said. "It's a beautiful community here, so we want to see all that come together."
Organizers said they're deeply rooted in the community and are committed to bringing it back to life.
"We're dedicated and we know what we're here for, we have a job to do, so we're dedicated to get it done," Clark said.
To get involved, you can visit the organization's Facebook page, or call 214-240-0714.