Saturday, October 7th, 2017 | 9:00am - 12:00pm
Where We Will Meet
At McCall Plaza, on E 15th St. in downtown Plano
Where The Walk Will End
Meeting at Urban Crust (Pizza) for lunch
About This Walk
We will take a walking tour following a loop of about one and a quarter miles that visits some of the 100-year-old homes and other historic buildings in the neighborhoods around downtown Plano, then meet for lunch in a nearby restaurant. A tour guide will be provided with a route map and some descriptive information about the historic buildings.
Sam’s Cell NumberOctober 7th, 2017
If anyone needs it. 972-998-8418
Tour Guide for our PhotowalkOctober 4th, 2017
Historic Downtown Plano Walking Tour
Interurban Railway Museum 901 East 15th Street
Located in downtown Plano, the Interurban Railway Museum is housed in a building that served as a primary stop on the Texas Electric Railway that ran from Denison to Dallas beginning in 1908. Built in 1908 by the Texas Traction Company, this station served passengers and freight customers of the company’s North Texas routes. The wood frame passenger depot and the attached brick freight/electric transformer section remained in use until 1948, when the rail system declined in favor of automobile travel. It is one of the few reminders of Plano’s early 20th-century transportation history.
Looking at Haggard Park in downtown Plano today, one would never guess this area was one of the least favorable parts of town before it was officially made a park in 1925. Prior to that, it had been the site of a grist mill and was in desperate need of some rehabilitation. The park has become a part of the city’s history and is surrounded by other historically significant landmarks, such as the original Plano high school and the Interurban Railway Museum.
Old Plano High School
The Cox Building Playhouse is located in the bottom floor of the Plano Independent School District’s Cox Building. The Cox building was originally constructed as a high school in 1938 as part of the Works Progress Administration Project. Eventually, the school out grew the building and it was renovated in 2005. The Cox Building now serves to office Plano ISD employees and The Cox Building Playhouse.
S.B. Wyatt House 807 East 16th Street.
Built in 1910. Dr. SB Wyatt bought it in 1911 and moved into it in 1912 when he married. The family lived here until 1935. Dr. Wyatt was a graduate of the 1st class from Baylor Medical School in Dallas, in 1905. He practiced medicine in Plano for 48 years, and founded the first hospital in Plano. The front porch columns are designed in a unique fashion with a stacked wood pattern. The low-pitched roofs, broad overhanging eaves and numerous windows made this housing style particularly well adapted to hot Texas summers in the days prior to air conditioning.
W.J. Carpenter House 708 East 16th Street
W.J. Carpenter was a prominent rancher when he moved this home in 1901. Few modifications have been made to the exterior of this home.
Aldridge House 1615 H Avenue
One of the few remaining examples of early 20th century (1907) architecture left in Plano. This four-square style home belonged to Charles Aldridge, an important landowner, cotton buyer, school board member, and representative of the Guaranty State Bank. He perfected a special variety of cotton that was widely planted throughout the Southwest.
The Aldridge family purchased the house in 1910 and remodeled it in 1918. The house had a tennis court in the backyard and was the first house in Collin County with a refrigerator. People came from all around just to see the refrigerator. The workings were outside of the house in a wooden box.
Magnolia House 816 East 17th Street
This simple Victorian cottage was built in the late 1890’s or early 1900s. It was originally located on 14th Street east of L Avenue, but moved to this site and restored in 1993. At the former location it was the site of an antique shop for a time. A large magnolia tree was in the front yard, and the antique shop was called the “Magnolia House.” In 1993, the owner of the Aldridge house bought the Magnolia House for $1 and had it moved to this site.
Mathews House 901 East 17th Street.
This home was built by J.H. Gulledge in 1888-1890 and sold to the Mathews family in 1900. The Mathews ran a general store in Plano from 1895 to 1947. The decorative fish scale and diamond pattern shingles on the gables were covered by roofing shingles prior to the renovation of this house in 1992. Sidney J. Mathews built a small general store on Mechanic Street (now 15th Street). Mathew’s Department Store stayed in business for 52 years.
Will Schimelpfenig House 900 E. 17th Street
1901. Queen Anne style with clerestory windows in the half-story. The wrap-around porch was added in the 1970’s. The house was used as a boarding home for single female school teachers. Will Schimelpfenig’s childhood home was next door. His future wife was one of the teachers who came to live in the boarding house. He eventually bought this house and they moved into it in 1921. They lived in the house until the early 70’s.
Schimelpfenig-Dudley House 906 E. 17th Street
1893. One and a half story Folk Victorian house built by Fred Schimelpfenig. The Dudley family bought it in 1959. It was nearly demolished in 2001. The front door and colored glass in the east and west windows are original.
Lamm House 1709 H Avenue.
A more elaborate Victorian era cottage, the sunburst on the front gable and above the front door is typical features of homes from this era.
Olney Davis House 901 East 18th Street.
This two-story Victorian style home was built in 1890. Olney Davis was a prominent businessman, civic leader, and mayor of Plano. In 1899, he became the first president of the Board of Trustees for the Plano School System. The elaborate front porch columns were added in a later addition. The building was converted to office use in the mid-1980’s. Its gingerbread trim and cupola is in sharp contrast to the modern architecture of the newer part of town.
R.A Davis House 906 E. 18th Street
1913 R.A. Davis was the son of Olney Davis. This is a Colonial Revival house. The Davis family lived here until 1953. He was a bank president.
Hughston House 909 E. 18th Street
1890 / 1915 Fred Schimelpfenig built the rear portion of the house as a rental property. Arch Hughston bought it in 1915. Mr. Hughston added the front section and the porch, converting the house from Queen Anne to Prairie style.
Lydia Mary Schimelpfenig House 914 E. 18th Street
1890. Another Fred Schimelpfenig house built as a rental property. He later sold the house to his daughter. Fred Schimelpfenig was a businessman and served as mayor. This house is Folk Victorian style with some Queen Anne style decorative brackets under the overhang.
Wall-Robbins House 1813 K Avenue.
The Wall-Robbins House was constructed in 1898. It is a fine example of Queen Anne style Victorian architecture. The restored interior includes two sets of pocket doors, a stained glass window, 11-foot ceilings, and five fireplaces. It was considered the finest example of a residence in Plano at the time. James Edgar Walls built the house. Cattle dealer Jeff Robbins bought the house in 1908 and it stayed in his family until the 1960’s.
Forman House 1617 K Avenue.
This property is the location of one of the oldest homes in Plano, built circa 1867. The Forman family was one of the first to arrive in Plano in the 1850s. They operated a local saw and gristmill. Joseph Forman served as Plano’s first postmaster. He and Dr. Henry Dye named the city Plano. In the 1950’s the house and the one behind were turned into apartments, Plano’s only apartment complex at the time. Newlyweds would live in an apartment until they could buy their own house. The house stayed in the Forman family until 1971. It was renovated and turned into the Wooden Spoon Scandinavian Shop and Cultural Center by Gwen and
Little Carlisle House 1611 Avenue K
1925. A Tudor-style cottage built for Willie and Minalee Carlisle. Willie was Plano postmaster from 1935 to 1968. The backyard was filled with fruit, vegetable and flower gardens. Mrs. Carlisle lived here until 1991.
Carpenter-Edwards House 1211 East 16th Street.
This two and one-half story Queen Anne style home was built in 1898. It was restored in the 1970’s by former Mayor James Edwards and his family. The two-story, four-bedroom Queen Anne Victorian mansion is one of the few surviving and best-preserved examples of upscale turn-of-the-century homes in Plano. The house was originally commissioned by Col. Henry C. Overaker, a prominent Plano resident whose business interests included lumber, agriculture, banking, a general store and postal service. Many of the home’s original fixtures remain to this day, including the indoor well and the hand-carved panels that accent the corners of the home’s door frames.
Carlisle House 1407 East 15th Street.
This two-story Prairie-style home was constructed in 1912 by Robert Abernathy. The home was the former residence of H.B. Carlisle, a local grocer and friend of Sam Rayburn.
Roller House 1413 East 15th Street.
This Queen Anne style home was built in 1901 by local architect and lumber dealer, A.G. McAdams. It later became the home of E.L. Roller, one of Plano’s early civic leaders. Mr. Roller added the columns to the front porch.
Salmon House 1414 E. 15th Street
1898 – built by the Salmon family, who farmed land east of Plano. They were related to the Haggards. This was the family’s “town home.” Exemplary Queen Anne style with elaborate surface decoration on the gables, fish scale pattern and radiating sunburst.
Arch Weatherford House 1410 E. 15th Street
1915. Arch Weatherford owned a watch and clock repair business that grew into a jewelry store. The store offered linens, diamonds, watches, china and was dedicated to personal service. The business was an integral part of Plano’s history. Mr. Weatherford was a school board member, a large stock holder in Farmer’s and Merchant’s National Bank, and an officer for the Plano Cooperative Gin Co. The house was moved from
1301 14th Street in 1995 to avoid demolition.
First Baptist Church 1305 E. 15th Street
This congregation, established as the Spring Creek Baptist Church in 1852, built its first sanctuary on Spring Creek about two miles south of here of land owned by Jacob Routh. Plano’s emergence after the railroad reached town in 1872 prompted Spring Creek to change its name to Plano Baptist Church and build a new sanctuary here in 1875. A new sanctuary was built here in 1898. About 1936 the congregation changed its name to First Baptist Church to acknowledge its status as the first Baptist church established in Plano. Growth in church membership mirrored that of Plano in the 1960s, and in 1970 a new sanctuary was built at this site.
Schell House 1210 E. 16th Street
1937. Built from plans published in Holland’s Magazine, a Dallas publication. Mr. Schell was Plano mayor from 1932 to 1948.
Hood House 1211 E. 15th Street
1892. One and ½ story Folk Victorian style house. Built by Dr. Thomas Hood, Jr. on a foundation of bois d’arc stumps. There was a well on the east side of the house.
The original brick streets were restored by the City in 1986 as part of the Texas Sesquicentennial celebration. The Downtown area has retained its historic flavor while attracting a unique mix of shops. Prior to 1900, several major fires devastated the area; the last major fire occurred in 1895.
Plano National Bank 1001 East 15th Street.
This 1896 brick structure was given its Art Deco style facade in 1936. The building housed the first bank chartered in Plano. After a building they shared was destroyed by fire in 1895, the Plano National Bank (est. 1887) and the I.O.O.F. (odd fellows) Lodge (est. 1870) erected this commercial building here in 1896. In 1936 the structure was redesigned by architect/builder Abe Cain with art deco detailing. The building was remodeled in 1958 but a 1980s restoration project returned it to its 1936 art deco appearance. Prominent features include Czechoslovakian black Carrara glass.
Bagwill-Sherrill Building 1015 E. 15th – built in 1895
The Louise Bagwill Sherrill building is another fine example of early 20th-century commercial architecture fully restored. A former bank, it became home to the Plano Star-Courier. Louise Bagwill Sherrill was the daughter of the newspaper’s owner and exclaimed that she was “reared in the Plano Star Courier office.” A devastating fire on January 4, 1911 destroyed many early records of Plano’s newspapers. The building that honors the Sherrill legacy is now home to medical offices and remains an iconic image in historic downtown
Merritt Building – 1023 E. 15th Street
(1916) This building is typical of those built after the downtown fires and is characteristic of the development in Plano in the early 20th century. During Trade Days, the Merritt Barber Shop, with a bath tub in the back, stayed open until midnight due to the heavy trade and business.
Moore House / Plano Masonic Lodge 1414 J Avenue.
This two-story brick commercial structure was built in 1898 and altered with a stucco covering in 1925. It was originally built as the Moore House, a hotel catering to railroad travelers. Since then, as the Masonic Lodge it has served as the meeting place of civic organizations. But in August 1924, the lodge purchased the Moore House Hotel in Plano for $5000 from J. W. and Molly Shepard and converted it into its current meeting place. The facade of the building has the year 1925 on it, which may indicate the year it was permanently occupied by the lodge.
Tour Map for the Plano Historic District PhotowalkOctober 1st, 2017
I’ve put together a map showing the route we will follow and the locations of the historic buildings along the route. I will add an info sheet giving some details about the different buildings.
I’m looking forward to this Saturday!
– Sam Wilson
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