Published 10:03 am Friday, July 29, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas—The Childress Commercial and Civic Historic District in Childress, Texas was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) assisted in the nomination of this district in recognition of its importance to the history of Childress and the state of Texas. Noted for its historical significance, the district joins other properties around the state with National Register status. The district is the first National Register listing in Childress County.

Established in 1887 along the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad, the city of Childress grew into a regionally-important commercial center in an area based largely on a ranching and agricultural economy. The Childress district is noteworthy for its high concentration of historic commercial, civic, educational, and recreational properties that reflect the thoughtfully-planned physical development of the community.

The 110-acre district includes several significant architect-designed buildings, and encompasses the downtown commercial center, the county courthouse square, the former high school campus, and over 60 acres of the city-owned Fair Park with many New Deal structures, including a massive high school football stadium. The district also includes the former J.J. Rhoads School gymnasium and playground, making it the first National Register district in the first in the state to include a physically separate former African American school campus.

“Listing in the National Register of Historic Places is both an honor, and a substantial contribution to the local economy through the state’s heritage tourism efforts,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “The work done by property owners, local preservation organizations, THC staff, and the THC’s professional review board results in an achievement that the community can be proud of as they join our agency in saving the real places that tell the real stories of Texas history.”

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the country’s historic and archeological resources. The National Register includes more than 3,000 listings in Texas. Listing affords properties a measure of protection from the possible impact of federally funded projects, as well as access to technical expertise and grant funds to facilitate their restoration and preservation. Income-producing properties are also eligible for federal tax benefits for sympathetic rehabilitation work.

To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853 or visit