Fighting to restore a piece of Lufkin history

Claudie Owens has lived next door to the old Lincoln Center for more than 60 years, and she has seen the area change a lot.

"All of this was housing and all of those were housing. But all of them have been torn down because they needed to be torn down because it had gotten bad," Owens told us.

Some Lufkin City officials feel the same way about the old Lincoln Center building and say it's time it's torn down. Owens disagrees.

"I don't think they should tear it down. I think they should restore it into something like a washeteria, barbershop, beauty shop, or a newsstand. The same as was there before," Owens said.

One private group is trying to restore it, and turn it into an African American historical and multi cultural arts center.

Dixon thinks that's a good idea.

"I believe that it's really worthy of preservation because it was a focal point, a cultured spot for the community," said Angelina County Historical Commissioner Dickie Dixon.

The Lincoln Center even used to have a huge theatre which many say was an icon in Lufkin's Black community.

It's most recent business was the Congo Club. The building has been condemned since the Congo Club closed two years ago.

"It would fold into their overall plan of for the development of North Lufkin. North Lufkin had a vibrant business community at one time," Dixon told us.

Supporters believe restoring the Lincoln Center may be the key to revitalizing North Lufkin's economy and culture.