Weslaco Historic House Rehab Gets Financial Boost
AUSTIN, Texas—At its most recent meeting, the Texas Historical Foundation, a 59-year old preservation organization, awarded a grant to the Frontera Audubon Society (FAS) that will help with the restoration of a historic house in Weslaco.
This grant will help with costs associated with the cleaning and repair of the stucco exterior of the 1927 Skaggs House. THF’s funding will also serve to match a $10,000 donation made by the City of Weslaco, allocated from the hotel-motel tax fund, for the project. The Spanish Mediterranean-style house was donated to the organization in 1992 and was designated as a Texas Historical Landmark two years later. FAS currently uses the residence as a multi-purpose facility for cultural events and exhibitions.
David D. Martinez, businessman from Dallas and president of THF, praised the significance of the project. “Often, small communities suffer from fundraising obstacles. But, in this instance, the city, private donations, and fundraising campaigns have resulted in substantial support. THF is proud to offer additional assistance that may help move the project closer to completion,” he said.
This project follows the recent Skaggs House roof rehabilitation project. The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco awarded $44,000 to FAS for the rehabilitation of the ceramic tile roof, which was completed last September.
“We have been fortunate to receive support from the Weslaco community, and now we are honored to gain support from the Texas Historical Foundation,” said FAS’ Executive Director, Sarah Williams. “The stucco rehabilitation project will not only protect the building from any future moisture damage, but it will refresh the aesthetics of the exterior,” she added.
The Frontera Audubon Society has been in existence since 1978 and was instrumental in early land and environmental conservation efforts in the Rio Grande Valley. The FAS operates a 15-acre urban nature trail, with wetlands, butterfly gardens, feeding stations, and an orchard; a visitors’ center; and the historic Skaggs House. The FAS seeks to preserve the environments of the Rio Grande Valley and offer opportunities for all people to enjoy and discover nature and birding. For more information, visit www.fronteraaudubon.org.
Since 1954, the Texas Historical Foundation has been funding preservation and education projects around the state and helping to promote the cultural legacy of Texas. The group’s main efforts include publication of the award-winning Texas HERITAGE magazine and a preservation grants program. For information or to become a member, visit the THF website at www.texashistoricalfoundation.org.
The Skaggs House was built in 1927 for C. Lester and Florence Skaggs, early townspeople of Weslaco. The Spanish Mediterranean structure was designed by locally renowned architect R. Newell Waters. It was donated to the Frontera Audubon Society by the Skaggs’ daughter, Bebe James in 1992, and is currently used periodically for special events, exhibits, and tours.