(Seguin) -- As new interest grows in the development of downtown Seguin, local officials are doing their part to ensure that the historical character of its buildings are preserved. That's according to Kyle Kramm, the director of the Seguin Main Street Program.
In observance of May being National Preservation Month, Kramm is setting out to better explain the design review process for the rehabilitation of historic buildings and landmarks.
"The Main Street Program is a preservation based economic development organization so basically what that means is that while we are working to revitalize our downtown and our historical commercial districts, we are also going to take into account those historical character and historical elements that are in our buildings and so we want to keep those and make sure that we are not destroying what makes our community special and unique. Preserving our downtowns is what makes each community unique and special and there is no other downtown or historical landmark exactly like another one," said Kramm.
Prior to pulling a building permit, a property owner of a historic landmark or downtown property must submit an application called a Certificate of Appropriateness to the Historic Preservation Officer (HPO) for review and prepare a report on the project with a recommendation to the Historic Design Review Committee.
Kramm says to ensure that historical elements remain on Seguin's local landmarks, the Seguin Historic Design Review Committee approves any rehabilitations, additions, relocations and demolitions of buildings within the local downtown historic district and any designated local landmarks.
"Being a Main Street community and through the Texas Historical Commission and then also being a certified local government through the Texas Historical Commission really allows us to set up the policies and guidelines for preserving our historical landmarks and our historic buildings in downtown Seguin," said Kramm.
Residents will soon be eyewitness to the city's process for historical rehabilitation and preservation as it converts the old Cutcher Motors building into its new development center. Kramm says the building which has sat vacant for years at the corner of Mountain and River Streets will be home to some of the most important and fastest growing departments for the city.
Kramm says while they want to preserve the historical integrity of the building, it is still important that it be used for the purposes of today.
"You know you can see what the building looks like now and you can kind of guess some of those historic elements that were lost over the years like at one time, there was an awning on the building. At one time, there were Transom windows and so we are going to be working with the architect and the city to make sure those elements are put back," said Kramm.
The Historic Design Review Committee meets the fourth Friday of the month at City Hall. The meetings are open to the public. For more information on Seguin's preservation efforts visit the Main Street Department's page at seguin-texas-dot-gov.