Newsletter Issue 4
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.
Thank you for staying informed.
We are using this newsletter to keep citizens informed about the City’s progress in developing a Historic Preservation Ordinance. Please share it with anyone you think might be interested, and take this opportunity to share your thoughts with us about the importance of preserving our community’s historic character and local landmarks.

It is a goal of this committee to address property owner concerns voiced in the past, making the ordinance more user-friendly.

As the committee reviews individual sections of the ordinance, the newsletter presents them to the public for comment. The committee considers public input and then approves a final recommended draft. The final draft sections recommended to-date include:
Click on either of the above to review these recommended sections.

Also, the Committee has recommended a map for the Downtown Historic Overlay District. Click below to view the map.
Building Preserved
This three-story Italianate building was built to house a bank, law offices and a cotton exchange. The original bank building was a wooden structure built in 1866, and it was rebuilt using local brick. In 1907, renovations were made for the owner’s cotton brokering business, and the building’s classic details were carefully re-crafted. A third floor with a skylight was added to provide the natural light needed to grade cotton - the longer the fiber, the more valuable the cotton.
"It has been said that, at it's best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present
over a mutual concern for the future."
-William Murtagh
Latest Meeting Notes
A postcard was mailed to property owners within the proposed Downtown Historic Overlay District to ensure each is aware of the process to develop the ordinance and encourage them to stay involved and share their comments and concerns.

The committee reviewed preliminary drafts of the following ordinance sections:
  • Designation of Historic Districts or Historic Landmarks (including criteria for designation)
  • Certificate of Appropriateness - this section introduces the opportunity for property owners to receive an Administrative Certificate of Appropriateness for projects that do not need building permits. It is a way to have approval for ordinary maintenance and repairs more quickly.
  • Criteria for Approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness - These criteria explain what is important to consider when planning a rehabilitation or restoration project, and yet use words like “every reasonable effort” or “shall be discouraged,” showing a willingness to work with property owners to develop solutions.
  • Certificate of Appropriateness Application Procedures – highlights the importance of consulting with the Historic Preservation Officer before applying and includes timelines for approvals under consideration.

Click on the red button under Homework below for a full draft of these sections to review. Then, share your thoughts and concerns on the Feedback form.

Other discussions of note:
  • Criteria for designation are the same for districts and Local Landmarks.
  • Local Landmarks are considered for designation at the request of the owner.
  • Buildings are considered historic if older than 50 years.
  • The committee continues to consider sample ordinances from other communities.
  • This section includes a declaration that the Certificate of Appropriateness does not apply to building interiors.
  • New construction in a historic district stresses the importance of compatibility with surrounding buildings in relation to design, height, gross volume, massing, scale, proportion, and setback.

Homework & Public Input
Please review and provide comment on these section drafts, revised with committee comments. Click link below for a pdf of these section drafts.
  • Designation of Historic Districts or Historic Landmarks
  • Certificate of Appropriateness
  • Criteria for Approval of a Certificate of Appropriateness
  • Certificate of Appropriateness Application Procedures
Keeping the public informed through the ordinance development process is vital.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s as growth began to occur and new modern buildings
began to be built all across the country and in Downtown Brenham, owners wanted to “modernize” their old buildings and began to get rid of architectural features to fit
the more sleek, modern design.
Historic Preservation Ordinance Committee Members include:
City Council Representatives:
Susan Cantey
Clint Kolby

Main Street Board Representatives:
John Hermann
Doug Peck
Planning & Zoning Commission Representatives:
Deanna Alfred
Cayte Neil
Public Representatives:
Katie Burch
Tina Henderson
Ed Owens
Tami Redshaw
Mary Thornhill

This building, now demolished, was located at what intersection?

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 taken of Union soldiers at the intersection of Main Street and St. Charles.
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