Newsletter Issue 2
Preservation News
Be Informed. Ask Questions. Stay Involved.
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Brenham was established in 1844 and many of the buildings you see today were built later that century. Our historic buildings tell their own story of the history of Brenham.

In response to requests from citizens, City Council has appointed a Historic Preservation Committee to develop an ordinance to preserve this history.
Why is Historic Preservation Important for Brenham?*
  • Brenham is one of the early, significant communities in the growth and development of Texas. As a result, there are a number of structures that reflect on the development that would be a loss to Texas and Brenham if destroyed
  • Residents want to keep the "small-town atmosphere" that makes Brenham special
  • It is our history - what can be more important?
  • Creates a 'sense of place' and encourages visitors, which equals economic vitality
  • To protect and preserve this Historic District
  • Brenham is one of the oldest communities in Texas. It has tremendous historic significance. Once it is lost, it is lost forever

*Answers from the Historic Preservation Ordinance Committee. Do you have more thoughts to share? Please send us your comments or questions.
Building Preserved
Built in 1925, the Simon Theater suffered from neglect until the non-profit, Brenham Main Street Historical Preservation, Inc. saved the historic site. A multi-year, multi-phased renovation project brought the now multi-purpose facility back to life. This downtown jewel contributes again to the quality of life enjoyed by our community.
"There may have been a time when preservation was about saving an old building here or there, but those days are gone. Preservation is in the business of saving communities and the values they embody."
- Richard Moe, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation Ordinance Committee
City Council has appointed a Historic Preservation Ordinance Committee to develop an ordinance. The committee members include:
City Council Representatives:
Susan Cantey
Clint Kolby

Main Street Board Representatives:
John Hermann
Jim Moser
Planning & Zoning Commission Representatives:
Deanna Alfred
Cayte Neil
Public Representatives:
Katie Burch
Tina Henderson
Ed Owens
Tami Redshaw
Mary Thornhill
The committee will continue to discuss different sections of a Historic Preservation Ordinance each month. Please share your thoughts or questions by clicking the red feedback button below. All input will be shared with the committee prior to their discussions each month.
Meeting 2 Highlights
  • Committee members in attendance took time to answer two questions. Some of the responses are shared above.
  1. What is Historic Preservation?
  2. Why is it important/appropriate for Brenham?
  • The committee discussed the first issue of Preservation News and agreed that the more people who can be added to the distribution list, the better. Members were asked to share the newsletter with friends, and encourage as many as possible to subscribe. Staff will work to get the newsletter in the hands of local groups/organizations  - realtors, Chamber, Rotary, Lions, etc.
  • There was only one comment from the Issue 1 newsletter feedback, but that number is expected to grow as specific topics are discussed and the email list grows. The Open Rate of the first newsletter was 56.2%. It was decided to resend to those addresses that did not open within a week for future issues.
  • The “Purpose” section of the ordinance was discussed, and several suggestions were made. Particular importance was placed on balancing the rights of the public and private property owners and on the importance of assistance to property owners. These additions came from the preservation ordinance from Hillsboro. During this discussion, members agreed that a packet of information, including any incentives available, should be produced for property owners planning exterior renovations. The 2nd draft of the Purpose is included in the link below.
  • The “Definitions” section of an ordinance is normally considered nearer the end of planning, but a sample section was shared with the committee (linked below as "View Homework") to discuss at the next meeting. Understanding most of the definitions will help as the terms appear during discussions of the various sections in the coming months.
  • City staff will also be sending current National Register District and Main Street program maps to members prior to the December meeting. The committee will consider the area to be designated as a Historic District Overlay in the ordinance.

Public Input
Keeping the public informed through the ordinance development process is vital. Please share your thoughts and ask questions through our feedback form.

What is currently at the location of where this house stood?

If you know the answer, be the 1st or 2nd to respond with the correct answer to win a gift card from a Downtown merchant! Be sure to include any memories you have of this building or building owner.
Answer to the photo
from the last issue:

The photo at left was located where Toubin Park currently stands between 1844 Fine Liquors and Alchemy Massage!

The correct answer was submitted by:
BEBE HAYWARD who received a gift card to Must Be Heaven!
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