Heritage, Volume 13, Number 3, Summer 1995 Page: 12
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Draped with a tarpaulin, the Old Grace waits to be unloaded at what will become Founders' Park. (Photograph
courtesy of the Georgetown Heritage Society Archives.)
be detrimental to future preservation
projects in Georgetown. For the city, failure
would certainly be viewed as an abrogation
of public trust. For the Society, such
a substantial investment in one project
would severely deplete financial reserves
that had taken years to accumulate. In the
end, however, both sides agreed that the
potential good for the community outweighed
the risks. On May 7, 1991, Mayor
Bill Connor formally announced the
church's generous gift to the people of
In subsequent months, talks between city
staff and the GHS began to clarify responsibilities
within a multi-phase scope of work.
As the plans became public, community
support for the adaptive use project increased.
Favorable responses came from such groups
as the Williamson County Historical Commission,
the Downtown Georgetown Association,
and the Daniel Coleman Chapter of
the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Additionally, the city's Historic Preservation
Committee and Parks Advisory Board
voted their approval.
When completed, the adaptive
use of the (Old6 race)
will hopefully serve as an
innovative modelfor other
communities interested in
aspects of their built environment.
there is certainly a renewed
respect for the local
preservation program and
for similar (restoration)
While workers prepared Old Grace for
relocation, the city staff and the GHS
Board of Directors worked to finalize site
plans. The new home selected was a parking
lot at the corner of Main and Ninth,
only a block from the chapel's original site.
Significantly, the property adjoined the
traditional location of the city's founding,
the spot where land agents and county
leaders met in 1848 to establish the new
county seat that would become
Georgetown. To commemorate that event
and to provide facilities for the city's growing
tourism industry, city leaders voted to
set aside both pieces of property for the
formation of Founders' Park, with Old
Grace as the centerpiece.
On March 26, 1992, the historic old
chapel began its short, but time-consuming,
trip back downtown. The move commenced
that morning to the cheers of parishioners,
preservationists, and planners.
The building drew considerable attention
from spectators and the media throughout
the day, as workers maneuvered it gradually
and methodically through city streets.
With its ornate bell tower removed for the
occasion (both the bell tower and roof were
removed during the 1955 relocation), Old
Grace finally came to rest at its new home
late that same day.
Unceremoniously draped with a tarpaulin
to protect the roof opening and the bell,
the old chapel looked abandoned in the
middle of the parking lot. It took a great
deal of faith to believe the crippled struc
12 HERITAGE * SUMMER 1995
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 13, Number 3, Summer 1995, periodical, Summer 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45409/m1/12/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.