Sam Lucas Building - c.1880-1901, Palestine, Texas


The Sam Lucas building was originally built about 1880 after the International and Great Northern Railroad came to Palestine in 1872. It is a solid masonry building that was built with more simple facades on both the Spring Street and Main Street elevations and was the home of several businesses. The facades had large double hung, segmented arch windows on the second floor and stylish brickwork on the parapet, typical of commercial buildings of the period.


Sam Lucas purchased it around 1895 or 1896. Mr. Lucas opened a general mercantile store in the building utilizing all of the building's space.



Erath County Courthouse-1892, Stephenville, Texas



In conjunction with the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, W. Neely Plumb, with Norman Alston Architects, prepared the Masterplan that established the history of Erath County, its courthouses, and developed a plan for the historic 1892 Courthouse to accommodate growth, life safety, accessibility, and preservation issues while preserving the courthouse in its original appearance and meeting current code requirements. The Masterplan also included addressing the rehabilitation and preservation of the courthouse back to its original 1892 exterior appearance and the restoration of the District Courtroom. This Masterplan was accepted by THC and the County was awarded an 80% grant from THC for assistance with the construction costs. (2000; with Norman Alston, Norman Alston Architects)


Erath County Courthouse-1892, Stephenville, Texas



The Erath County Courthouse was designed by J. Riely Gordon, built in 1892, remodeled in 1949, and again in 1988. The 2002 restoration included the restoration of the exterior to its original condition including  replacement of much of the damaged Limestone and Red Pecos Sandstone, replication of the original exterior windows and exterior doors, replication of the tower windows and shutters, and the replication of the decorative steel shingles on the tower and red clay decorative roofing tiles on the main roof. The interior restoration included the restoration and replication of the original District Courtroom and reconstruction of the Courtroom balcony, as the balcony had been partially removed in 1980. The restoration project had a $2.3 million budget, was begun in October 2001, and was completed in 2003. (2001-2002; with Norman Alston, Norman Alston Architects)


Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photographs.


                             Ca. 1896 Exterior          2002 District Courtroom Restoration




Historic Sears Distribution Center Complex, South Side on Lamar , 1913 and 1925

Adaptive Use Restoration

Historic Preservation Tax Credit   


                            The Historic Sears Distribution Center Complex in Dallas, Texas was Sears Roebuck & Company’s first distribution center outside of its’ Chicago headquarters. The 1903 facility was replaced with a large warehouse and retail facility in 1913 that was designed by the famous Architecture firm of Lang and Witchell. In 1925, the warehouse was enlarged and a new retail store was built. Sears closed the complex in 1993 and sold it to Matthews Southwest in 1997 for conversion into retail, office, and residential lofts and it is a National Register Historic District and a Historic Preservation Tax Credit Project. Mr. Plumb performed various duties on the $42.8 million project including being the on-site representative for Norman Alston Architects. Plumb researched the details of the original interior of the stunning 1913 Arts and Crafts style retail store with Prairie influence. Much of the historic fabric of the building’s interior was lost due to multiple changes of use and the resulting remodels that occurred during the 80 years that Sears owned and occupied the building. He redesigned the missing interior elements, the missing exterior doors, researched the original colors of the building, and prepared the necessary construction documents. He was the architect’s site representative to insure the project was properly completed. (2000-2002; with Norman Alston, Norman Alston Architects)


           Exterior. ca.1925         2001 Exterior               Reproduction Doors    Main Floor Interior, ca.1913    Main Floor Interior, 2001   




                   Basement Interior, ca.1915     Basement Interior,  2001


Tasteful American Architecture


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