WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - One of the first buildings to stand in Wichita Falls is on track to get a much-needed facelift.
It is located on the 600 block of 7th Street and was constructed back in 1882. There are plans to make it look brand new by renovating the building.
"I was glad to walk into the place because I've done these projects before and I can see the possibilities," John Dickinson, the owner, said. Dickinson has worked on other restoration projects like the 7-Eleven on Indiana Avenue and a service station behind El Gordo's Mexican Restaurant on the 500 block of Scott Avenue.
He said that potential can be made into reality after funds are raised to pay for the more than $200,000 renovation project. He said he is looking to explore state grants which include historic preservation money.
So far, owner, Dickinson has received more than $20,000 from the Wichita Falls 4-B board. The 4-B board was created to use sales tax money to help fund quality of life projects such as this building restoration. He received it Wednesday, June 6. There is no deadline for the 4-B money as of now.
"Well, it has a lot of possibilities," Dickinson said. "A lot of the original stuff is here but it's been gutted out."
Dickinson said the building could be converted to a coffee shop, retail store, restaurant or anything a future tenant may want to convert it to.
Some of the original features that came with the building are the columns. The walls will be knocked down to show them off. Also, some historical light fixtures.
Dickinson said once he has the funding, it should take three months to finish the project. The roof, HVAC system, flooring and much more will be repaired while maintaining a lot of its historic structure.
"It's the right size," Dickinson said. "Not too big, not too small. It would be perfect for retail and it needs to be done."
He said the renovated building would look a lot like its neighboring building, Hook and Ladder, once renovated. They were built two years apart.
"It's everybody's heritage," Dickinson said. "These buildings are deteriorating and if we can catch them and rebuild them, somebody needs to do it."
Dickinson said he is looking to receive a historical marker that shows the importance of the building, like other buildings in the historic district.