Heritage, Summer 2005 Page: 11
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plumbing, fixtures, and cabinetry have
been replaced, and central air and heat
were added for the first time ever. When
the work was completed in January 2005,
Wanda Neville, a 1939 Sonora High
School graduate, rang the school bell once
again, calling more than 125 students in
pre-kindergarten through third grade back
to their desks.
According to Mary Ann Kay, manager of
the Friends of Historic Sonora Main Street
Program, many people have helped revitalize
the community's downtown.
"Certainly, Judge Carla Garner, the county
commissioners, the school board, and
Superintendent Brent Myers have been
instrumental in securing much of the public
funding that helped make this a reality."
But, Kay added, the entire communityfrom
the young to the old-has played a
role in Sonora's rebirth. "We have families
that have been here for more than 100
years, and those people have great pride
and concern for what happens to their
past. The Main Street program has motivated
us, but the people of this town are
the ones responsible for bringing about
these enormous changes."-Mary Ann
Kay, Gene Krane, and Chris Hutson
Canyon-A Model Main Street Community
anyon is a small town with big dreams. Located in the central
Panhandle, Canyon is one of a growing number of towns to be designated
as a Main Street community.
Canyon's involvement in the Main Street Program began in 2001 when the city
approved and adopted a resolution agreeing to provide a budget for the Main Street
Program for a minimum of three years. The area of focus for the Main Street
Program in Canyon is the downtown square and central business district.
"What has made Canyon's Main Street Program such a success," says Evelyn
Ecker, coordinator, "is a high level of participation from many different groups. We
have people from the county and the city who are involved, as well as people from
West Texas A&M University and various civic organizations."
Ecker recounts the first time she saw the community come together after being
designated as a Main Street Community. "The first lady of Texas, Anita Perry, came
to Canyon during her tour of newly designated Main Street communities. I remember
looking out over the crowd in the square and seeing young and old alike, all
there to celebrate. I think this was the beginning of the community joining together
to work for change."
While Canyon is still a relatively young Main Street Community, they have made
impressive progress. Their first priority, restoration of the 1909 Randall County
Courthouse, has managed to gain community support and is now in the planning
stages. Prior to Canyon becoming a Main Street Community, the fate of the courthouse
was uncertain. Now that the City of Canyon has decided to make a commitment
to the Main Street Program, the town's leaders have begun working to restore
the courthouse and surrounding square.
Randall County has secured the services of Kim Williams of TWC Architects in
Austin, a firm that specializes in historic preservation, for the project. Williams has
worked on 38 courthouse preservation projects in 35 different Texas counties. He
Circa 1909 photograph of Canyon, Texas, with historic courthouse at center. Courtesy of TWC Architects, Austin.
HERITAGE SUMMER 2005
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2005, periodical, Summer 2005; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45369/m1/11/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.