Palestine, Texas – Since 1994, the City of Palestine Historic Landmarks Commission has been awarding recognition to owners who beautify and rehabilitate their properties, contributions that benefit the entire community.
For the month of March, the Historic Landmarks Commission singled out the property at 105 E. Main St., a freshly beautified and rehabilitated building. The Commission also commends the owner, Kaycee Hamilton, on a job well done.
“[Hamilton has] done a fabulous job on the building,” Julie Abston, chairperson of the Historic Landmarks Commission, said. “She has brought it back to its character, and she’s done it in a great way.”
Since the turn of the 20th century, a modest one-story commercial building has occupied 105 E. Main St. It had the typical features found in a commercial building of the time. The building featured solidly-built brick walls laid by skilled masons, a cast iron and wooden storefront featuring big windows to showcase products, and with transom windows positioned above to allow natural illumination to reach the entire interior.
Inside, high ceilings finished with tin tile added a sense of detail and openness. Over the years, the building served many purposes, from grocery store, to meat market, to a law office.
When Hamilton acquired the building, years of vacancy combined with previous renovations hid the history and architecture of the building beneath layers of water-damaged dropped ceiling tiles, wood panels, peeling paint, and a small colony of roosting bats. It was a building on its last legs. With a lot of sweat equity, judicious use of skilled local contractors, and a large investment of time and resources, the historic character of the building at 105 E. Main St. has been restored.
“It was impressive how much of the historic features she was able to bring back on a budget,” Jacob Morris, Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Palestine, said. “She was able to showcase the historic fabric of the building.”
Morris also said Hamilton used historically proper materials when restoring the building. For example, she used tin on the ceilings. Hamilton also restored the exterior façade of the building.
“On the exterior, [Hamilton] worked on the clinker brick and preserved it so the brick will be in the right state for a very long time,” Abston said.
The building is now open to the public as Rustic Ladder, a consignment store offering eclectic furniture, home accessories, décor, and gifts to visitors eager to personalize their home or find that distinctive gift for a friend. The City of Palestine Historic Preservation Commission urges everyone to go downtown and visit the Rustic Ladder at 105 E. Main St. and see the rehabilitated building for themselves.
For more information about the Historic Landmark Commission or historic preservation, contact Historic Preservation Officer Jacob Morris at 903-731-8419 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos provided by Kaycee Hamilton