Preservation Projects


Historic preservation is a conversation with our past about our future. It is telling the story of our city, neighborhoods, homes, and culture through encouraging the preservation of historic buildings, structures, sites, and districts while promoting awareness of our cultural and architectural heritage.  

Follow this page for updates regarding current preservation projects.

Dunbar School Home Economics Building Stabilization Project

The City of San Marcos has begun the process to preserve the local historic landmarks with Phase 1, stabilization, beginning Wednesday, January 10, 2024. Dodson House Moving out of San Antonio is the contractor and an April 2024 completion date is estimated. Funding for the Public Works project was approved in the FY 2023-2032 10 Year Capital Improvements Program. Future use of the building will be determined via a public participation process which will ensure the final use of the building is in line with the vision of the community. For more information call 512-393-8493.

National Register of Historic Places Nomination Project

In 2021 and 2022, the City of San Marcos was awarded two grants to fund the listing of the Dunbar Historic District & the Dunbar School Home Economics Building on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The city was awarded a $30,000 grant through the Underrepresented Community Grant Program of the National Park Service and a $15,000 grant through the Certified Local Government Program of the Texas Historical Commission.

 The City has contracted with Stantec, a national firm whose staff includes historic preservation specialists, to pursue a NRHP district nomination for the Dunbar Historic District, to include the Calaboose African American History Museum and the Ulysses Cephas House, along with an individual NRHP nomination for the Dunbar School Home Economics Building. Concurrently, a project to stabilize the Dunbar School Home Economics Building is underway. Designation on the National Register provides formal recognition as well as access to historic tax credits and grant funding. 

For more details about the project, visit the ArcGIS StoryMap.

Dunbar Neighborhood Community Meeting

A community meeting was held on Thursday, April 13, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at the Dunbar Recreation Center, 801 Martin Luther King Drive. Attendees learned about the designation project and how share any information about people who lived in the Dunbar neighborhood or went to school in the Home Economics building. They were also able to take a peek inside the building. 

Dunbar School Home Economics Building
Map Dunbar District and School Building