Preserving The Past Helps The Future - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/20/05 - Nacogdoches

Preserving The Past Helps The Future

by Donna McCollum

Downtown business owner Linda Greer takes pride in her building. A stately entrance and an inviting balcony were constructed through the help of the city's Historic Restoration Grant Program.

Greer pointed out some of the details. "We had a man locally build these posts because we wanted a mixture of New Orleans and the south and colonial, so we thought we would do that with the wrought iron."

Greer traveled from the plantation south to New England for her exteriors. She doesn't expect every downtown business to do the same, but she does encourages them to do their part in preserving the city's historic nature. "When we drove across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana trying to get ideas, and the town that had pretty little downtowns appealed to you. You stop in the the towns that are fixed up. So, therefore, our capital went into those towns to their advantage. So, therefore, I feel like it will help this town if everybody did the same here."

The city typically budgets $25,000 toward the grants. Since 1989, nearly $2 million in renovations have been completed to store and home exteriors.

City Planner Aron Kulhavy said, "We are scoring all the applications now, and the maximum a project can get is a 50% match and the lowest its ever been is a 10% match." Applications are due in the Nacogdoches planning office by November 21st.

The Historic Restoration Grant Program is funded through the hotel/motel occupancy tax funds. That's appropriate, since historic preservation is what attracts visitors to the "Oldest Town In Texas".

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