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Port Aransas residents upset historical building could be demolished or removed

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Posted at 7:39 AM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 13:29:18-04

PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Some in Port Aransas said they are upset about the deadline for the Liberty Hall building which could be demolished or removed if not claimed by May 20.

Cliff Strain is the Chief Executive Director of the Preservation and Historical Association. He said Liberty Hall is a historical building from the 1940s.

Strain said previously, the building served the community as a drug store, a bar, and a restaurant among other things.

According to the Port Aransas South Jetty newspaper, its property owner has set a deadline of May 20 for someone to claim the building, or it could be demolished or removed.

Locals like Cathy Fulton and Barney Farley said they don’t want to see an old town gem erased.

“When you have these types of buildings that have survived multiple hurricanes and the wind damages and everything. You want to save that type of history because it is historic for us, for this town,” Fulton who lives in Port Aransas said.

“This is the oldest section in town that has seen a lot of changes. The Tarpon Inn is still there they go together you know, it should not be demolished,” Farley who lives in the area said.

KRIS 6 News called the property owner Wednesday and then again Thursday and left messages but have not heard back.

Strain said because the building is on private land, they can’t make the owners keep the building there. However, Strain said the city’s new comprehensive plan to maintain the old town historical area, gives him hope.

“You know we are really trying to save this building that has definitely evolved the history of Port Aransas,” Strain said.

And even with a short notice to claim the property, he said some people are interested.

“We have two families, matter of fact one is coming down from San Antonio to look at the structure. And we have another family that ironically lives on the same block that is also looking to move the house,” Strain said.

Strain said those wanting to claim the building, remodel it and save one of the two last historical buildings in Port Aransas can call the property owner or the Preservation and Historical Association at 361-749-3800.

“We want the city to place value and move forward in all these different types of decisions in the city that involve doing what they said they were going to do when they voted in the comprehensive plan,” Strain said.