Brady home to 16 historical residential properties

Many times when people think of historical markers, they think of courthouses, museums and buildings that have reached the century mark. Rarely do they think of residential homes that carry just as much historical value. In Brady alone, 16 houses have been marked with a historical plaque paying tribute to their architectural detail and their ability to withstand more than 50 years of existence. The program adopted by the Heart of Texas Historical Museum, is notably simpler than the historical program used by the state. Local buildings cited by the state as historical structures include the Sante Fe Depot, McCulloch County Courthouse and the Heart of Texas Historical Museum which was once the site of the McCulloch County Jail earning the building its historical significance. “We felt like there was a place for a more simple program that would enable us to label residential properties in Brady so that they won’t have to meet the more stringent state requirements,” said Bert Striegler with the Heart of Texas Historical Museum. “The state is very restrictive on the architectural changes of a property and so forth. Our program requires that the home still have the character that the home had when it was originally built. Under our program, the homes can be altered or modified somewhat,” he added. The museum board chooses the houses based on two separate criteria’age and merit. According to Striegler, the house has to be 50 years of age or older and it must bear some historical/community interest such as belonging to someone well-known in the community. “We would like to someday marker Earl Rudder’s house and the Harry Curtis house,” said Striegler. “Those houses may or may not meet the 50 year requirement, but even if they don’t they still have such historical significance that they would justify a marker. Administered by the museum, the historical marker program is in its eighth year of existence. To have a home classified as a historical structure, the current homeowner has to first meet the established criteria and apply for the marker. If approved by the museum, the homeowner is required to pay $90 to have their house marked which covers the cost of the plaque. Most of the markers are secured to the houses near the front door of the main entrance of the home, with the exception of a few. “The markers are extremely attractive,” said Striegler. “The markers are constructed of a marble plate with brass and aluminum plates attached to that.” Striegler stressed that anyone can apply for the marker, especially if the home has unique architecture or reminiscent of the era in which it was built. “Our program is quite flexible,” he added. “Homes don’t have to meet such a rigid set of rules as those administered by the state. It does, however, have to have some historical or architectural value. Historical homes are given markers in the name of the person who built it or the person whose historical significance is attached to the house’not the current owners. “Our historical marker program goes through spurts and jumps,” explained Striegler. “The program is continuous, but we almost have to rely on homeowners to come to us. “We look for classic style homes. In some occasions, we approach the homeowner. There is no tax benefits but the marker might have some sort of influence on the property’s resale value.” In the future, the museum hopes to begin placing markers on the downtown buildings around the square and on several homes that might have historical significance out in the county. “The restrictions on us are simply manpower,” said Striegler. “We’re all volunteers and we rely on home-owners to contact us about their property.” Current homes in Brady listed as historical buildings are located at 1108 Crothers Avenue (W.D. Crothers home), 800 Crothers Avenue (Gansel/Hays home), 1004 South College Street (Lewis and Charlotte Shaw Brook home), 1102 South College Street (Charlie and Nettie May Gray home), 1314 Wall Street (John Seymour and May White Wall home), 1400 Wall Street (Frederick R. and Laura Lee White Wulff home), 1208 South Pine Street (M.L. and Rude Atherton Stallings home), 400 Crothers Avenue (E.E. Polk home), 201 Crothers Avenue (McCollum home), 704 South Bridge Street (Willie White home), 402 East 2nd Street (Jordan home), 900 South Bridge Street (Dr. McCall home), 900 South Pecan Street (John H. Hill home), 1006 South Elm Street (G. Rollie White home), 901 South Church Street (J.H. White home) and 1207 North Bridge Street (Broad home). To find out more about designating a residential property in the Brady area as a historical site, contact a museum board member or Striegler at 243-5418.

Leave a Comment