Gregg County Historical Museum undergoes 'historic' renovations

Gregg County Historical Museum undergoes 'historic' renovations
Two windows on the north wall were replaced this week with historically-accurate glass (Source: KLTV staff)
Two windows on the north wall were replaced this week with historically-accurate glass (Source: KLTV staff)
(Source: KLTV staff)
(Source: KLTV staff)

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The Gregg County Historical Museum (GCHM) in downtown Longview is a little more historical thanks to a grant-funded renovation project.

Two new windows were installed on the north wall of the Everett Building as part of the museum's renovation project. The museum received a grant back in 2015 from the Texas Historical Commission: $30,000 from the Texas Preservation Trust Fund grant. Out of the 82 applicants, the museum ranked 23rd on the list of most needed to preserve.

"That really helped us get our grant money," said Lindsay Loy, executive director of GCHM. "And our goal was to evaluate the north wall."

Before they turned their attention to the windows, work started in June 2018 to remove bricks in the north wall that were falling apart, cracking, or had come out of the wall. The next step was to replace all of the mortar with historically-accurate mortar made with a special type of lime, Loy said, and replace all the bricks with replicas of special handmade bricks that were used in the original construction.

"We've been planning for years, writing grants, 2 grant cycles we had to go through to get it," said Loy. "Just getting the supplies was months of work, shipping stuff in from all over Texas."

This week, the museum replaced two window sills and added windows made of glass the replicate the historic windows on the front of the building.

"The reason why we decided to do just 2, instead of all 10 of them, is because you can actually see these two from the street," said Loy. "So it makes for a better overall look for the building."

Thanks to extra funds added to the grant, the GCHM received $40,000 which would go towards the $120,000 project. 

"The way we look at it is, the Everett Building has to be protected and preserved. If the north wall falls down, we don't have a newly-renovated exhibit center," Loy explained. "It doesn't matter if we have a hands-on kids area, it doesn't matter if all of our exhibits are up to date. If our building is falling apart, we can't have a county museum." 

Loy said the renovations are far from over. The next step, she said, is to write more grants to the Texas Historical Commission to continue projects on the second floor of the museum.

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