Dear Friends and Media,
Today the County Commissioners Court voted 3-2, again with Judge Samaniego and Commissioner Stout dissenting, to affirm last week’s decision dividing Segundo Barrio between two national historic districts such that Sacred Heart Church and numerous other historic buildings would be located within the proposed Downtown National Historic District rather than the Segundo Barrio National Historic District.
Commissioner Stout presented a revised version of last week’s “Option 3” (attached) in which numerous non-contributing buildings would be excluded from the edges of the proposed district in a bid to make the application even stronger, while respecting the district’s historical and cultural boundaries.
The Court was presented with the public petition, which now has more than 1,500 signatures opposing the “divide” plan, as well as numerous public speakers. The speakers included CHC Chair Bobbie Welch, State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, Father Rafael Garcia of Sacred Heart Church, the Chair of the South Side Neighborhood Association, Estela Reyes of the Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, current and former residents of Segundo Barrio, and several historians with doctoral degrees.
Every speaker without exception opposed dividing Segundo Barrio into two districts, but that did not sway Commissioners Leon, Perez and Robinson.
But after the vote, the Commissioners Court opted to set a special meeting for Thursday or Friday to discuss the boundaries of the Segundo Barrio National Historic District even further, thus the issue has yet to be resolved.
Max Grossman, PhD
Executive Board, Preservation Texas
Vice-Chair, The Trost Society