Group Seeks To Restore Kilgore Mansion - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/18/05-Longview

Group Seeks To Restore Kilgore Mansion

There is a desperate race against the clock to prevent a longtime East Texas landmark from being torn down or sold,.  The "Nine Acre Estate" located at highway 259 North in Kilgore.  Its one of the most recognized landmarks in Kilgore. The "Nine Acre Estate" is an elegant reminder of the past, and the reason two Kilgore men want to save it.

"What's important about this is the history that developed here and found here, through research of history.   Mr. Potter was a major player in the oil boom of the 1930's here in east Texas" said research volunteer Warren Willard.

Oil and media giant "Tom Potter" built the 20 room mansion in 1934 and lavished it with priceless antiques. He was one of the largest employers in East Texas. His home was a sprawling place with pools and horse stables, but it wasn't just a showpiece, it had its share of famous visitors, including president Franklin Roosevelt.

"I said show me something that's historical in Texas and what they did was they brought me by the mansion" said fellow volunteer Dan Darmer.

But time is running out, the property owner may sell the place in pieces, and developers have hinted that the place might be torn down, and a hotel built in its place.

"I've tied the house down under contract and we're trying to save the house and the grounds" said Willard.

They want to restore the place to its former elegance, for future generations to enjoy.

"It would be a tragedy to lose this house" Willard said.

The non profit group "radio-television-theatre-arts-corp" , or "Ratta corp" is trying to get the estate put on the national register, and get grant money to restore it. To find out how you can help save the estate from being torn down, log onto our web site, kltv7.com, click on the "know more" on 7 icon, and search under "Help Save Nine Acres".

Bob Hallmark reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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