Historical group pushes for plaques

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Commission wants markers on buildings around city’s Square

In honor of National Preservation Month in May, the Denton County Historical Commission is launching a push to get special plaques from the National Register of Historic Places installed on more than two dozen buildings on the downtown Square.

Eligible for the plaques are 26 buildings that contribute to the historical significance of the courthouse Square in Denton.

But only two of them have installed the plaques — the building at 119 W. Hickory St. that now houses The Loophole Pub and another in the 120 block of West Oak Street that houses The Ghost Note, according to Beth Stribling, commission chairwoman.

“It’s important because it’s educational,” Stribling said Wednesday. “It tells the people visiting on the Square that it is a historic building. They’re very small plaques, but they’re very impressive.”

The Denton County Courthouse Square Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in December 2000, with the 1896 Romanesque Revival Courthouse on the Square at the center of the district.

The surrounding buildings — which face Elm, Oak, Locust and Hickory streets — were selected because they have maintained their historic integrity. Two of those have since dropped off because of nonhistoric additions and two others were added because recent renovations restored the buildings, Stribling said.

The new additions include the building at 102 N. Locust St. that once was home to the old Williams Store and now houses North Texas Foot and Ankle, and the building at 110 and 112 N. Locust that houses the Downtown Mini Mall.

The buildings were included because recent renovations restored the historic integrity of the buildings, Stribling said.

Adding the plaques will not increase restrictions on the building owners or change construction requirements, she said.

“It changes nothing for them,” she said. “Since 2000, they had that listing. There’s no restrictions to what they’re doing at this point. They just didn’t realize that they could purchase the plaque.”

The plaques come in three sizes and range in cost from $200 for a 5-inch by 7-inch to $350 for a 9-inch by 12-inch custom plaque. Building owners interested in purchasing a plaque can contact Judy George-Garza, executive administrator of federal programs for the Texas Historical Commission, at 512-463-8452 or at judy.george-garza@thc.state.tx.us.

A special preservation workshop for owners of historic homes or commercial buildings is set for May 29. The Denton County Historic Preservation Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Denton County offices, 701 Kimberly Drive.

The commission is also expected to honor Denton County commissioners Tuesday for their commitment to the commission and historic preservation.

DIANNA HUNT can be reached at 940-566-6884 and on Twitter at @DiannaHunt.


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