Fighting to Save a Historic Building

by Larry Little

The old building on the corner of Keltys and Abney in north Lufkin brings back a lot of childhood memories for Gloria Toran.  "As a young person I went to the movies there," says Gloria Toran.

Many people in Lufkin remember the building as the Congo Club, but it used to be Lincoln Center. "It was once a theater used primarily by the community, the black community. I have learned since there were some other activities there like a restaurant and a shoe shine parlor," says Toran.

The place is not the happening spot it used to be, the windows are boarded and the foundation is starting to crack. The city wanted to condemn the building for it's many code violations, but Toran sees the old structure as more than just an eyesore. She believes it's an important part of north Lufkin's history. "The community needs things that enhance it. That's why we don't tear it down. It's history and it once was a wholesome area so if we tear it down people will never know," says Toran.

To make this place wholesome again for the community, it will take volunteers and lots of funding. Toran says it will be difficult, but well worth it.