by Tashun Chism
A Lufkin landmark is getting a facelift. The Angelina has gone through many ups and downs since it was originally built in 1922. The County Commission approved an abatement to restore the angelina house to its former glory.
The Angelina House has gotten a pretty bad rap over the last few years.
"It was pretty much a drug haven in the past and the previous owner cleaned out most of the drug people that were here. Actually he cleaned out all the drug people that were here," said Historic Lufkin Plaza President Gary Klos.
Klos is cleaning up the building's image. The current apartment block will be turned into a non-assisted living facility for people age 55 and older. The project will cost one and a half million dollars and take nearly two years to finish. Downtown business operators say it's well worth it.
Christopher Troutman, owner of Downtown Diner, said "Remodeling it and making it into a retirement home is going to be great for the community. It's going to great for downtown. I think it's really going to stimulate business and attract new people to the downtown area."
Brenda Harrell, sales manager of the new Downtown Lufkin store Jeanz and Thingz, told us "Just the look itself will be an improvement. It's going to look better and it's going to make all of downtown look better."
After workers finish cleaning it out, it will be repainted and new rooms will be added. It will even have a built in restaurant and a 4,000 square foot ball room. The goal is to make Angelina House the corner stone of a new, more commerically attractive Downtown Lufkin.
"It would be something like Old Fort Worth or Old Galveston where they have little eateries on the side there. I know there's another restaurant that's going up the street. I've been told a couple of blocks up the street from here," Klos said.
They also say it will enhance Lufkin's already strong reputation as a retirement community.
"Lufkin did score the highest in Texas for a retirement community. So, Lufkin is the number one retirement community in all of Texas right now," Klos added.