City designates new landmark

City designates new landmark

A Wichita Falls building received historical recognition Tuesday at the Wichita Falls City Council meeting. The city designated 711 Indiana Avenue in downtown Wichita Falls as a city landmark.

 The area originally opened up as the Gorsline’s Fashion Livery Stable back in 1892. Horses and rigs were rented and boarded. Gorsline sold the stable in 1907.
In 1910 Gene Liepold opened Loeb-Liepold Clothing in what is now known as 711 Indiana Avenue. The building currently retains more than 80-percent of the original façade. For more than 90 years, the Liepold Clothing building stayed in downtown Wichita Falls, while surrounding buildings were altered or demolished.

 “It's important to save these buildings and get them back to the original shape that they were in if you can, because it's everyone's heritage,” said John Dickinson, current building owner.

The newly designated landmark makes the 33rd individual landmark in the city. It also serves as a protection to the building in the future. Any further exterior modification would have to be reviewed by the Landmark Commission.

 “I think it's great,” said Stacie Flood, with the Landmark Commission. “People hear the history, all of the time, but to be able to walk down the street and see the history, it's a completely different thing, it gives people a sense of how history really was.”

On top of the landmark recognition, adding to the city’s culture, it also has the potential to bring more people to the downtown area.

“I've seen it go from thriving and you know a lot of stores down here, and a lot (of buildings) have been torn down, and they are now parking lots,” said Wichita Falls resident Susan Smith. “I like the fact that they are bringing life back to the downtown.”

It's a sight many who live in Wichita Falls said is very welcomed.

 “The more development we can get downtown, the more revitalization we can get, the better we're all going to be as a city,” said Wichita Falls Resident Lisakaye Philpot.

Along with the renovation of 711 Indiana Avenue, John Dickinson is also working on the Zales building. He said in a couple of weeks the façade of that building will be complete.

“Downtown's all across America are coming back and we’re here in Wichita Falls, and we want to do what we can to be a part of that,” said Dickinson.

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