Crossroad Communities

400.04_CrossroadsNRHP Eligibility of Commercial Historic Districts in Crossroad Communities in Northwest Central Texas

HHM undertook the project under a two-year open contract with TxDOT, and the work authorization included multiple scopes of work. The first task required HHM to provide HABS Level III documentation of a grouping of NRHP-eligible resources in downtown Rising Star. The second part of the project entailed the preparation of a detailed analysis of late nineteenth and early twentieth century commercial architecture in the region surrounding Rising Star. It also included the development of guidelines to assess the significance, integrity, and NRHP eligibility of historic commercial buildings in comparable settings. HHM conducted windshield surveys in nine communities scattered throughout the northwest region of Central Texas. Survey teams took digital images of buildings, noted salient physical features of extant resources, and provided preliminary NRHP-eligibility assessments for historic district designations. Field data and images were encoded into a customized database HHM developed for the project.

With the resulting report, HHM developed a typology to serve as a field guide to help other cultural resource professionals understand the types of commercial properties in such locations, classify these resources in a consistent fashion to facilitate comparative analyses, and evaluate historic districts for NRHP eligibility. The field guide identifies and defines the major property types and subtypes and provides graphic documentation that illustrates popular architectural styles during the period such as buildings with Classical Revival, Prairie, Art Deco, and Spanish Colonial features. The report also posits a series of questions to consider when assessing integrity of historic resources, thereby outlining a systematic method for evaluating the ability for the resources, both individually and collectively, to convey a sense of the past.