Preservation Texas has announced 19 historic restoration and rehabilitation projects as its 2017 Honor Awards winners and among them is the First National Bank building on the courthouse square, that is owned and was restored by local attorney, Michele Dunkerley.
The 2017 Honor Awards recognize successful efforts to save irreplaceable and endangered historic places in Texas and in the case of FNB, the category is historic small town banks in Texas cities with populations under 50,000.
Founded in 1985, Preservation Texas is the statewide advocate for the historic resources of Texas. Headquartered in Austin and governed by a diverse board of directors, Preservation Texas is a private, member-supported nonprofit organization.
According to the FNB page on the Preservation Texas website, the First National Bank was built in 1889 and in addition to being a Registered Texas Historic Landmark, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As Dunkerley explains, “I bought the building from Boyd Waggoner around 2007 or 2008. The architects on the project were Marcel Quimby and Nancy McCoy, who are principals of Quimby McCoy Preservation Architecture. Lee Evans of KBL Restoration was the contractor and project manager,” Dunkerley said. “The city of Stephenville deserves some of the credit too, as they put in the sidewalk.”
It should be noted that Dunkerley also owns the historic former Dawson’s Saloon, which is now home to Greer’s Ranch Cafe that sits diagonally across from FNB on College Street. That building holds a Registered Texas Historic Landmark designation as well.
“The First National Bank restoration was just a great team effort — working together on ideas, plans, and of course, overcoming the inevitable hurdles you encounter along the way. The restoration was essentially completed in late summer of 2015 with a few things left that were done in early fall,” Dunkerley said.
The building has been rehabilitated as retail space that’s currently occupied by Julieanne’s, with space on the second floor that houses the Stephenville Economic Development Authority offices among others.
“We’re proud to recognize projects as diverse as small houses from the mid-1800s in central Texas to a landmark twentieth century hotel in Dallas,” said Preservation Texas President W. Dwayne Jones of Galveston.
“Eleven of the Honor Awards will recognize sites that were previously included on our Most Endangered Places list. All of them have been saved through the tireless efforts of visionary Texans who understand the value of protecting historic places.”