horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

The seal of the President of the United StatesAdvisory Council on Historic Preservation logoU.S. Department of the Interior sealU.S. Department of Commerce seal
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Preserve America Community:
Pharr, Texas

Pharr (population 46,660) was platted in 1909, one of the new towns that developed along the Rio Grande River as the introduction of mechanized irrigation revolutionized agriculture in the region. During the past three years, the city has put in place key components to promote the preservation and reuse of its historic assets, particularly its historic downtown.

Kids in Mariachi costumes at downtown heritage eventIn 2001, the city passed a preservation ordinance and initiated its Main Street program. Successful projects followed, including rehabilitation of the first Pharr School (1911) using "sweat equity" from half-way house volunteers living on-site, and commercial façade rehabilitations through the city's Façade Restoration Assistance Program. The first Pharr Fire Station (1928), originally slated for demolition, will also be rehabilitated.

The groundwork for future success is being laid through initiatives currently underway, including development of a preservation plan, design guidelines, and historic resources survey. To promote heritage tourism, Pharr is participating in the initiatives of the Los Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor.

For more information

Pharr Chamber of Commerce: www.visitpharr.com

Updated September 15, 2009

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