Abilene Preservation League takes next step towards restoring Abilene Courts

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ABILENE, TX. (KTAB/KRBC)- The Abilene Preservation League is a nonprofit organization that specializes in saving and restoring historic buildings and monuments in Abilene. The Abilene Courts opened its doors in 1930, and now the Abilene Preservation League is one step closer to restoring the historic landmark.

“I think it would be great, I think it would not only benefit the town, benefit my business, but benefit all the businesses around here,” said owner of Joes Mobility Service, Joe Sosa.

According to the Abilene Preservation League, earlier this week in a hearing with the Board of Building Standards, the current owner of the Abilene Courts agreed to donate the property to the Abilene Preservation League, in an effort to save it from possibly being demolished in the near future.

“Once it’s in our possession we’ll be able to start a grassroots fundraising effort and solicit grants and other assistance from the government to try to ensure that we provide the best plan possible for this location,” said Abilene Preservation League Board of Trustees President Josh Black.

Josh Black says talks about the future of the courts have been going on for months, and the pandemic has made the conversations more complicated.

“We couldn’t have a live meeting, zoom meetings are not written into our bylaws, so they couldn’t be valid,” said Black.

Decades ago the courts saw a great deal of business because of its location along the Bankhead Highway.

“It’s on the historic Bankhead Highway, which was the first all-weather coast to coast highway in the United States,” said Abilene Preservation League Associate Development Director Morgan Paschal.

“Not only would it make the appearance better for Abilene, this thoroughfare is great man. I mean this is a good little business. There’s traffic here up and down every day, and people are noticing more of the places starting to build up, who knows what else it could do,” said Sosa.

According to the Abilene Preservation League, the property has been vacant for over 20-years. Josh Black says it is going to take a while to restore the property to its former glory.

“The previous owner has gone to great lengths to secure the property, but it’s going to take a long time to get it to some status where we can have a new tenant in that facility,” said Black.

According to Josh Black, there are multiple nonprofit organizations interested in the property.

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