Downtown historic district nomination to National Register wins approval

Courtesy of Tarleton State University

Tarleton students worked to document downtown Glen Rose's historic buildings. Photo courtesy Tarleton State University

Tarleton students worked to document downtown Glen Rose’s historic buildings. Photo courtesy Tarleton State University

Thanks in part to research conducted by Tarleton State University students, Glen Rose has received approval for nomination of its downtown historic district to the National Register of Historic Places.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the nomination on Oct. 10, accepting Glen Rose Historic District into the national registry based on its association with events that made a significant contribution to American history and the architecture of its buildings that show distinctive characteristics of type, period and methods of construction, said Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, associate professor of history at Tarleton.

Students from Tarleton’s History 509 “Historic Preservation” course, under Baker’s supervision, conducted the research and prepared the initial draft applications for the nomination.

“Students spent the spring of 2012 conducting research in Glen Rose at the Somervell County Heritage Center—their base of operations, as well as in the Somervell County Courthouse, the Somervell County Museum, and in interviewing property owners and long-time residents,” he said. “They also prepared documentary photographs and precisely measured all of the historic buildings.”

Tarleton’s students assisted Glen Rose Historic Preservation Board chair Karen Richardson during the application and research process—an effort that took two-and-a-half years to complete.

“It is a very satisfying reward for all the efforts the Preservation Board has done over the years,” Richardson told the Glen Rose Reporter. “One of our goals is to expand the inventory of historic properties in the community… [T]he state is proud to have more historic registered places.

“(The research) was very detailed. Dr. Baker is a Tarleton professor that teaches a class every other spring in historic preservation. An earlier class worked on the Oakdale nomination. This spring class worked on the nomination of our square for the National Register,” she continued. “We dug through the files at the county clerk’s office, I went to the tax office and dug through all the tax files of these properties through the years. We researched everything the county had. We tried to get to the bottom of the story for each building and all those involved with it. This is a very significant step.”

The Glen Rose Historic District consists of the eligible historic buildings on the courthouse square as well as those eligible structures fronting the 100 and 200 blocks of Southwest Barnard Street. Iconic properties included in the designated area are the Somervell County Courthouse, Glen Rose Hotel and Inn on the River.

According to information released by the Texas Historical Commission, “the buildings within the district include 19th- and 20th-century limestone commercial buildings with commercial storefronts composed of cast iron, brick, wood and glass, as well as notable examples of civic architecture.” In its entirety, the Glen Rose Historic District is comprised of 47 buildings and other historic resources covering 8.5 acres, according to the THC.

“Listing in the National Register of Historic Places is both an honor and a substantial contribution to the local economy through the state’s heritage tourism efforts,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “The work done by property owners, local preservation organizations, THC staff and the THC’s professional review board results in an achievement that the community can be proud of as it joins our agency in saving the real places that tell the real stories of Texas history.”

The creation of this National Register of Historic Places district enables the owners of contributing properties to secure significant tax credits for repairs and maintenance undertaken within the guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior and approved by the Texas Historical Commission, the state agency that oversees historic preservation in Texas, Baker explained.

To view the draft application prepared by Tarleton students on behalf of the Glen Rose Downtown Historic District, visit

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