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Office: 325-676-3775
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Week of 10-29-2012

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Membership Kick-Off 2015:
Watch Season 5 Final Episode of Downton Abbey at the Paramount!

Join us for a fun evening Sunday, March 1 at 6:30 pm at the historic Paramount Theatre as we kick off our membership drive for 2015. All are invited; there's no admission charge. We'll view the season finale of this popular PBS series, have some light refreshments and see the incredible settings on the Paramount's big screen! At your option you may dress like one of the characters in the series.
Please RSVP by adding your name to the list. See you there!

Downton Abbey

Thanks for supporting Haunted Abilene!
Haunted Abilene was another great success. We had fun scaring the wits out of Abilene, using fun facts in Abilene history to do it. From the trolley ride to the Haunted Fairy Tale Mansion to the Cemetery of lost characters to the Enchanted Garden, thank you to all who came, and especially to our sponsors, who made it possible to give away over 800 tickets to children in the Abilene area. This year's sponsors:

Trolley: Tommy Simons Realtors®
Dyess Appreciation: Orbit Construction Inc.
Media: KTXS-TV 12, KRBC-TV, KTAB-TV, Abilene Reporter-News
Children's Area: First Financial Bank N.A.
Grounds: Quality Heating & Air Conditioning, Weldon Hunt Pest Control

Ticket Sponsors:

American Classifieds
APTCO—Abilene Business Forms-Neil Tatom
A-Town Cleaners
Auto-Chlor Systems of West Texas
Tammy Bayouth
Gwenda Berry
Leigh and Charles Black
John and Kelley Bliznak
Bourland-Soben Family Dentistry
Melanie and Kent Brown
Cade and Katie Browning
Vicki and Richard Burdine
Molly Cline
Candis and Doug Dye
Wes and Terrie Bennett, Edward Jones
Edward Jones—Wes Bennett
Mandy Ellis
Dana and Ferral Endsley
W. Paige and Mandy Gollihar, Jr.
Lawrence Hall Abilene Dealerships
Bill and Carol Haynes
Hendrix Electric
Sherry and Vic Hirsch

J.V. and Gerald L. Johnson
Frank Johnson, JP Morgan
Marty and Patrick Lannon
Leedy Dental
Nanci and Ken Liles
Lucille's Flowers/The New Wrinkle
Kristy and Paul McDonough
Kim and Anton Melnyk
Patti Jo and Craig Mendenhall
Mims Contractors Inc., Charlotte Mims
Natural Food Center
Janet Payne
Philpott Florists & Greenhouses
Marty and Robert Puls
Billye and Glynn Ray
Barbara Schriever
Tom and Sharon Riley
Timothy Simpson DDS, PLLC
Sue Shackmuth
William and Jana Sojourner
Southwest Dental Care of Abilene PLLC
John R and Jana Thacker
Toner Tiger– Jamie Belz
Waterloo Advocacy—Shane Woodard


Heritage Stewarship Awards

Thank you to the sponsors for this year's Heritage Stewardship Awards!

Dian Graves Owen Foundation
LCM Partnership
In memory of Jerri Alexander
and in honor of Jim Alexander
Dodge Jones Foundation
First Financial Bank Abilene N.A.
First Financial Trust & Asset Mgmt Co.
Lease Management Services
Greathouse Foundation
Glen D. Hall, D.D.S.
Shelton Family Foundation
The Barber Foundation
Janet Payne
Tittle Luther Partnership / PSC
Lou and Robert Briley / Laurie and Bob Eagle
Abilene Christian University
Peggy and Bob Beckham
Jeff Luther Construction Co.
Raymond and Gloria McDaniel
Julie and Buddy Napier
Priceless Literacy—Kaye Price-Hawkins
Maryanna and Ken Rascoe
Becky and Jack Rentz
Billye Proctor Shaw
Timothy Simpson D.D.S. P.L.L.C.
Mark Spurlock

Elks Center turns 100

It was quite a New Year's Eve celebration on December 31, 1913 when the doors to the brand-new Elks Lodge were thrown open to Abilene's finest. "The electric sign gracing the facade beamed the initials B.P.O.E.," according to the Abilene Daily Reporter's January 1st edition. "The many windows threw out sheens of brilliant light... when the opening hour of 8 arrived there were couple after couple who entered the new structure. Some walked. Some came in motors. Some in cabs.

The breathless newspaper account, which is available for download here, went on to list practically every guest who came. They included many of Abilene's founding residents, and what they wore. 32 paragraphs detailed everything from Mrs. Tom Sayles' "crystal beaded robe and apple-green brocaded charmeuse, entraine and the bouquet of pink roses" she carried to Mrs. Will Guitar's "costume of King's blue crepe meteor with spangled pasamenterie trimmings." The gentlemen and their outfits were detailed in one paragraph.

The building, now the Elks Arts Center, was renovated by the Abilene Preservation League in 1999 through 2001, and now serves as the headquarters for the League as well as offices for Chorus Abilene and Digital Impact Outdoors. A commemorative mailing is planned for the near future, and an observance is being planned by the APL's Board of Trustees.

Photos from Haunted Abilene 2013

Just in: photos of Haunted Abilene 2013 from the two fabulous nights that were the most fun ever! Photos are by our good friend Doug Hodel, professional photographer in Abilene. Check out our Flickr photostream.

Be sure and join us for next year's Haunted Abilene, the weekend before Halloween, and thank our over 80 sponsors who made this event a success.

Haunted Abilene 2013

We now offer business membership to our Preservation Partners

We have just introduced a new form of membership in the Abilene Preservation League... Preservation Partners are area businesses that have demonstrated interest and expertise in the area of historic preservation. We list these businesses by category on our Web site... check out these great members... and the next time you need services or goods in their area, remember their support of historic preservation.

Membeship in the Abilene Preservation League
It pays dividends!
Renew Now online...
As a non-profit organization, membership is very important to the Abilene Preservation League. We don't always stress it enough, but our members are the core of our support. In the case of saving a building or home, in the case of advocacy for an issue involving preservation policy affecting the city of Abilene, or in the case of providing advice to a homeowner about the best way to care for their historic home, it is our membership that sustains us from year to year.

The best deal for our members is to take advantage of the two-for-one offer: If you become a member online, you'll receive a free one year membership in the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You'll receive six issues of their great magazine, Preservation. Those who have these dual memberships report that they feel more connected to the national preservation movement. To learn more about membership in the Abilene Preservation League, click here.

Turning an 1892 building into a showplace Library
On June 22 Mr. Gene Nelson, Director of the Provo City Library at Academy Square, presented the story of how Provo, Utah took a beloved old school building and turned it into a new Central Library that has become a highly successful center of activity and learning in the city. Watch the video (about 60 minutes). And then go to our Facebook page and "like" us if you have not already done so. www.facebook.com/aplevents

Consider the Swenson for your wedding or event...

The elegance of a 1910 mansion with a newly-constructed Arbor awaits you for your wedding and/or reception. Click here for more information, and you may check available dates by clicking "Check Dates" at the top of that page.

Shots from the In-town bike ride touring Historic Abilene

Bike ride
The kids are getting ready! Bike Patrol Officer Mike and Officer Alphabet get ready to escort the bike tourists around the greater downtown area.

Bike Ride Rosetyme
Stopping at the J.D. Magee home (Rosetyme) for a top to bottom tour.
The tour was part of Big Day Downtown, April 9th.

Historic Abilene High-Lincoln takes center stage
With the recent vote by the Abilene ISD trustees to sell several properties including the historic AHS-Lincoln campus, 2011 is going to be the year to show the citizens' support for not only saving this wonderful building, but giving it a new purpose. With an investment, this building will last another 85 years.

New: visit our Lincoln - AHS timeline

On our Facebook page there are photos of our most recent visit to Lincoln. Also a gallery here, so you'll know what behind the doors if you didn't go to school there. There is now an informative Save Lincoln Facebook page and @saveLincoln ( Twitter). Sign up for both!

We've put together a list of the leading new uses for the campus as a conversation starter. It is available here. After reading it, we'd like to have your opinion, please email us.

New DVD on Camp Barkeley

Jay Moore

History in Plain Sight

The award-winning series of videos by historian Jay Moore has grown by one! Thursday, June 21 join us at the Grace Museum at either 6 pm or 7 pm for a showing of "Camp Barkeley."

The series:
The Bankhead Highway
Who Is That Street?
Abilene's Fair Park
Wooten: An Abilene Life
Abilene Beginnings
Camp Barkeley

All DVDs are available at the APL's offices in the Elks Arts Center, 1174 North First Street at Cedar. We are generally in the office between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. All DVDs are $15.00 plus tax. A set of 6 DVDs is $90.










Tomorrow's economics of Preservation
Noted economist Donovan D. Rypkema has written a thought provoking piece for the National Trust's Forum. He identifies twenty trends, from more of an emphasis on neighborhood schools to the misuse of historic overlay zoning, that will impact the future of communities, neighborhoods and real estate development. To view, click here.

Nominate your favorite Beautiful Houses for 2013
You can nominate a home to be one of the Beautiful House finalists. Just request a form by emailing us at this address, and take a digital photo. They'll be recognized next May
at our Heritage Stewardship Awards.

Storefront Histories Project kicked off

1920 view
The front of the Hall Music-Optical Clinic building at 258 Pine St. has a new look from APL, the Abilene Downtown Association and Browning Eyssen & Logan, P.C. A photo mural was placed in the front window showing the interior of Hall Music Company in 1920, deteriorated plywood was covered and painted and informational graphics were placed in the window panels. We've just posted photos of the interior tour... click here to see them in your browser. If you have a building and would like to participate in the next Storefront Histories project, we'd like to hear from you, please email us

Take a tour of this 86 year old recently renovated school in Dallas
Old Schools make Great New Schools. Booker T. Washington school in Dallas, the first Black high school, recently reopened as a Magnet School. The project includes significant new construction while preserving the historic building. Click on the photo at left to view a short video tour.
Historic WTU Power and Ice Plant
The industrial plant that "put Abilene on the map" as a town serious about growth and business is up for sale, and a public discussion of ideas for its reuse is beginning. Here's the article from the Abilene Reporter-News site. Have a comment for us or an idea for the plant? Click to let us know. Here's an in-depth photo tour of the power plant.

Story of an Austin Home's Journey Toward Renewal
A home in Austin that had fallen on hard times gets a redo. Like many historic projects, not everyone agrees about every aspect of the restoration, but the home is saved. From the Austin American Statesman.

Is Vinyl Siding really all that great?
With all the marketing, you need an objective view of the plusses and minuses of putting vinyl siding on your house. Here's a link to a good article that goes into detail about the issue and has a good list of further resources. (Click on the Related Links link at the bottom for the PDF file.)

Historic Districts: around Texas
In San Antonio, "nearly all real estate professionals agree historic neighborhoods look better over time in comparison to nearby subdivisions that don't have historic designation," says Virginia Nicholas, board president of the San Antonio Conservation Society.
Download PDF file of article

An old neighborhood's new momentum is building
A historic neighborhood district in McKinney has been drawing newcomers to the city, increasing the tax base and attracting young people. Check out the article in the Dallas Morning News about the success McKinney's historic district has generated.
Download PDF file of article 

And Finally...(!)
University of Utah researchers found that people who live in older, more walkable neighborhoods are at lower risk for overweight and obesity. Newer neighborhoods, which are mostly designed for automobiles, are more likely to have residents who have a little trouble meeting their exercise goals, according to the study.


Photographs in header courtesy Steve Butman Photography ©2007-2012