Heritage, Volume 5, Number 3, Autumn 1987 Page: 14
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TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION
The Provident Land Company Office in Provident City, Colorado
County, in 1909. By 1914, the town was abandoned by disgruntled settlers,
some of whom later sued the company for dishonest advertising.
This historical photo is taken from the marker file on Providence City,
the foundry. The number of available marker designs was
reduced from eleven to four, increasing efficiency and promoting
standardization of styles.
In lifting the moratorium on July 17, Clifton Caldwell
noted, "Our enthusiasm for the marker program is as great
as ever . . . we are also eager to upgrade the general
quality of historical data which is submitted to authenticate
each marker application." As a result of the measures
taken in 1973, it generally holds true that marker files
dating from that time contain written histories which are of
a higher quality, and therefore are more valuable to
researchers, than are those from the earlier years of the
Earlier in 1973, the Texas legislature, in revising the
agency's statute, renamed the TSHSC the Texas Historical
Commission (THC), and gave unique protective measures
to structures receiving historical building medallions. Designated
as Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks (RTHL),
such buildings were not to be altered in any way that
would harm their historic architectural integrity without
first giving notice to the THC. This did not give the
Commission authority to absolutely restrict alterations or
prohibit demolition, but it did provide an opportunity for
the Commission to work with property owners in developing
plans which would incorporate accepted preservation
standards. A fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000
per day would be levied against those who failed to give
the proper 60-day notification, and in later years the
THC's State Marker Committee would devise a policy to
remove the marker and the RTHL designation if the historic
appearance of the structure had been too greatly
altered by inappropriate exterior modifications.
The new authority given the THC was put to the test in
October 1974 when the owners of Capital National Bank
in Austin began demolishing the Shot Tower, a Reconstruction-era
structure that had been awarded a building
medallion in 1962. The Texas Historical Commission
sought an injunction to stop the demolition; however, the
District Court denied the injunction on the grounds that the
1973 law was not retroactive to 1962. At the suggestion of
Texas Attorney General John Hill, the THC took action to
close this loophole by officially designating all 1,591
previously recognized medallion structures as Recorded
Texas Historic Landmarks.
It is not often that negotiations break down to the point
that extreme measures are warranted, but the State
Marker Committee has on occasion found it necessary to
enforce its policies. The failure of a Bastrop banking firm
to notify the THC of pending alterations to the exterior of
Imaginative placements of historical markers lend a measure of diversity
to the dissemination of Texas history. This marker is in Cuero,
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 3, Autumn 1987, periodical, Autumn 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45439/m1/14/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.