Group seeks local historical designation for future home of Longview Museum of Fine Arts
The planned new home of the Longview Museum of Fine Arts is on its way to becoming a Local Historic Landmark.
The city’s Historical Landmark Commission on Monday gave its approval for naming what was originally the Longview National Bank Building at 213 N. Fredonia Street in downtown Longview a local historic landmark. The designation also must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission during a meeting set for Sept. 20 and then the City Council on Oct. 13. That would complete the designation process, making the building the 11th local historic landmark.
There were two structures,” City Planner Angela Choy told the commission. The original part of the building was built in 1940. An expansion was built between about 1958 and 1960 that “kind of encapsulated” the building, Choy said. The building was designed by B.W. Crain, a noted architect who was based in Longview, but whose work is known throughout the state. The building has an exterior of white Alabama Marble and gray granite panels. It also has a parking garage addition.
Local landmarks must meet at least one of the requirements set for a local landmark in the city’s Unified Development Code.
“This building actually meets a lot of the requirements,” Choy said, including its architecture type, the period in which in which it was constructed and that a master builder or designer was involved in the project — a requirement met by B.W. Crain’s work as the architecture.
Information from the city of Longview says the building was constructed “with an Art Moderne façade ... The current building is a two-story structure with a basement and a two-story garage with a drive-through banking corridor.
“The Longview National Bank has characteristics of the Modern Movement, which was a period from World War I through 1970. One of the featured traits of this movement is the use of minimal ornamental application,” the information from the city says. “The building has an exterior facade that has white Alabama marble and grey granite panels with a concealed parking garage on the north side facing Methvin Street.”
Tiffany Jehorek, executive director of the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, noted one design element in the parking garage.
“There are not many parking garages with a terrazo ramp,” she said. “They wanted you to go up in style.”
The beginning date for construction on building renovations, to turn the structure into the art museum’s new home, depends on fundraising, Jehorek said. At this time, she said it could start next summer and then be completed in 2024, about 18 to 24 months after work starts. The museum would at some point move from its current building on Tyler Street.
The museum also is in the application process to receive a National Historic Landmark Designation, which could make the museum eligible for a funding mechanism to help pay for the structure’s renovations. The National Historic Landmark designation would make the museum eligible to apply for tax credits, which then could be put out for purchase by private companies seeking tax credits for their businesses.