Contractors to take historic survey of San Marcos properties, make preservation recommendations

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Historians contracted by the city of San Marcos will scour parts of town in November to conduct research and take photos of historic-age properties to produce a historic resources survey report.

The city is hosting a community open house 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Price Center to give residents a chance to learn about what the survey will entail and how they can contribute.

The survey will be funded by a grant from the Texas Historical Commission, said Alison Brake, a planner for the city.

Hicks & Company Environmental, Archeological and Planning Consultants as well as city staff and volunteers will contribute to the research, noting the architectural styles, exterior materials and alterations of properties in the survey area that were built in or before 1975. All survey photos will be taken from public right-of-way, Brake said.

The primary survey area includes all seven of the city’s local historic districts, downtown and an area immediately south of the Texas State University campus. Additionally, researchers will conduct a “windshield survey” where they will drive through the residential area north of Texas State’s campus and take photos of historic-age properties to capture the overall character of the community.

The final report, which will detail the survey’s results and methodologies, will make recommendations for local, state and federal historic designations. According to the city’s website, the recommendations will be based on each property’s historic integrity and significance and be given a priority rating of high, medium or low. All high and medium priority properties will be recommended for inclusion in existing or potential historic districts.

The city and its consultants are seeking input from residents to help identify historically significant buildings. Surveyors are also interested in any historic photographs or stories the community may have about qualifying properties to help create a more vivid picture of the social and cultural significance of properties that may go otherwise undetected by researchers.

Only three historic resources surveys have been conducted in the city’s history—the first in 1992, the second in 1996 and the third in 1997. Brake said she is excited for the city to identify historically significant properties.

To send information regarding the survey to city staffers, San Marcos residents can email planninginfo@sanmarcostx.gov or fill out and submit a historic resources identification form.

Editors note: this article has been updated to reflect that San Marcos has conducted three historic resources surveys, not two.

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