Preservation Month Wrap-Up

I know we have been serving up a huge helping of preservation topics for you to chew on during the month of May, and hopefully we haven’t bored you all with all this talk about preservation.  But in the process hopefully we’ve laid out a descent case for saving some of our older buildings when possible. Throughout this month we have talked about some of our iconic older buildings which have been torn down (the very structures which have defined this town). We did another “buildings gone forever” segment where we highlighted the old Luling High School building which played a major role in this community for many years. A couple weeks ago we talked about some of our older buildings that are barely clinging to life, and for the need to transform the “Preservation Ethic” around here so we can always consider ways to save these properties, as a first option.   And last week we discussed the “tangible” and intangible” things our group has done in our district to improve community pride, which encourages people to want to invest in our town and maybe consider fixing up some of our older buildings in the process.

Even though we are wrapping up discussion on this topic, here is another preservation tidbit for you…   On the outskirts of town the City has commissioned fabrication of some new oil derricks for the rock walls which have been greeting people as they come into our town for decades.   The new oil derricks look awesome and are welcome new addition to our city borders on Hwy 90 (from Seguin) and Hwy 183 (from Gonzales). I know that a picture and short article appeared in this very esteemed publication a couple of weeks ago discussing their restoration. But does anyone know when these “welcome to Luling” structures were built in the first place? I hear they were built in the late 30’s or early 40’s. But by who?   I would certainly be interested in any insight that anyone has on these things.   We need to document and talk about this stuff because when we get another 2-3 generations down the road, everyone will be absolutely clueless about such things. I know that I can trot on down to genealogy at our Public Library anytime I want (and I have on multiple occasions…) but throwing it out there for all you fine people generates all kinds of interesting stories and viewpoints.   So if anyone has any information about these things you can call the office, or start up a conversation about it on our Luling Main Street Facebook page.

Now, at the complete opposite end of the preservation spectrum we have our illustrious “River Bathhouse”.   This building will be preserved whether we like it or not. Edgar B. Davis and his designers made sure of it. There was an article done a few years back called “The Bathhouse That Wouldn’t Die”, where the writer discussed how the “powers that were” decided to demolish it, a plan which failed miserably.   Modern machinery was no match for this thing and in the “Man vs. Building” tussle… building won. Afterwards, they were still convinced that this thing was ruining the “Luling Experience” for us all, so they decided the next best thing was to just cover it up.   Now I’ve been around long enough to remember those days and I have to say, when you were playing hole #7 at the famous Luling Golf Club, the wonderful view of Mount Anthill was always a treat. This ant mecca looked out of place and was a wart on the riverbanks that was much uglier than the graffiti laden building itself.   And when Mother Nature had finally seen enough of this masterpiece, she washed away every single spec of dirt that was covering it. There are many things Luling could do with this thing to give it a new lease on life, (nuclear bomb shelter maybe) but with so many other things to worry about, my guess is that this fortress is way on down most people’s priority lists. Nonetheless, it is a cool story…

Now for those of you who are growing weary of all this preservation talk, this will be our last foray into the subject, at least for a little while.  You aren’t off the hook altogether because preservation is such a large aspect of our Luling Main Street mission. But we really do appreciate the opportunity we get to raise these topics in this public forum and hopefully you have found these topics to be entertaining and enlightening, but also thought provoking.   I haven’t seen any letters to the editor yet so I guess we haven’t stepped on too many property owner’s toes this month. But hopefully you all agree with the major premise that communities need to preserve its original creations and the very landmarks that define them.   Our group can toss these subjects around till forever, and we can try to spur thought and educate the masses, – but it will take a concerted effort from ALL of us if we are going to tackle Luling’s preservation issues head on. Things are looking up around here and timing is ripe… We’ve been talking about this stuff for a month now, so no more talking…   With your help, it’s time to start doing…

“We have a strategic plan… it’s called doing things!”   – Herb Kelleher

-Derek Hall, Luling Main Street Manager

“It’s a Main Street Thing…” The Luling Newsboy & Signal [Luling, TX] 29 May 2014: Volume 136, No. 10
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One Response to Preservation Month Wrap-Up

  1. smartsheena says:

    thank you for the updates. I have posted and will use some of the items on my website in coming months. Sincerely, Julie​

    Jul*iane Sullivan, Marketing and Social Media* * * * *

    On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM, Luling Main Street wrote:

    > lulingmainstreet posted: “I know we have been serving up a huge > helping of preservation topics for you to chew on during the month of May, > and hopefully we haven’t bored you all with all this talk about > preservation. But in the process hopefully we’ve laid out a descent case > for “

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