Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987 Page: 8
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by Sharon D. Steen
and Tom Murrah
,f ccording to historian Ray Carter,
"From the creation of
time, men have left their marks on the
face of the earth, some only leaving
footprints in the sand while others built
magnificent and breathtaking monuments.
Victoria has flourished and grown
into a rich and rapidly expanding metropolitan
area. Over the years many structures
have remained to remind and reflect
on the past architectural inspirations.
But, with the coming of rapid growth and
expansion, many of these have been removed
making way for the new." It has
been said that "America may not be remembered
by the buildings that we build
but by the ones that we tore down." As in
many cities Victoria's older downtown
area fell prey to the hands of progress in
the form of expanding office buildings
that gobbled up smaller establishments,
block after block of demolition in order
to create parking lots, and general disinterest
in the area as sprawling suburban
shopping strips and tract housing set in.
Through the years a few solitary voices
called out to preserve and restore, but the
cries landed mostly on unhearing ears until
the fall of 1980, when a handful of
dedicated preservationists met and
formed Victoria Preservtion, Inc. (VPI).
At the initial public meeting, held in the
historic Farmer's Co-op Building, more
than 300 interested citizens attended.
The enthusiastic crowd responded favorably
to the organization's objectives and
the guidelines and potential goals that it
One of the first VPI projects was the
establishment of an annual home tour,
first held in the spring of 1981. For a
model, the format of the Galveston Tour
of Homes was used. The Galveston group
told the Victorians that they should not
expect more than 700 people, probably
less, since Victoria was so out of the way.
They were also warned that volunteers to
help staff the tour would be difficult to
find. More than 750 visitors attended the
first year and 300 people generously volThe
Clegg Home, circa 1900, is one of several
Victorian masterpieces designed by prominent
architect Jules Leffland.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987, periodical, Spring 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45438/m1/8/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.