Yoakum Commercial District listed in National Register of Historic Places

The Yoakum Commercial Historic District in Lavaca and DeWitt Counties was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) assisted in the nomination of this district in recognition of its importance to the history of Yoakum and the State of Texas. Noted for its historical significance, the district joins other properties around the state with National Register status.

The Yoakum Commercial Historic District includes an impressive assortment of significant commercial, civic, governmental, and industrial buildings that reflect the development of the city through the post-World War II period.

Established in 1887 along the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, the city of Yoakum became an important commercial center in a largely agricultural region. Yoakum was one of many communities across the state whose development was driven by the railroad, with an extensive network of rail lines. Traditionally a farming and ranching community, Yoakum developed a strong industrial economy for a city of its size, with numerous firms specializing in tomato processing and shipping, meatpacking, and leather goods manufacturing, which expanded through the mid-20th century.

Many originally commercial buildings in the district became home to these and other industries. The buildings display a variety of architectural styles and forms indicative of popular trends in architecture and retail store design, with many examples of high style architect-designed civic buildings throughout the district.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the country’s historic and archeological resources.

The National Register includes more than 3,300 listings in Texas. Listing affords properties a measure of protection from the possible impact of federally funded projects, as well as access to technical expertise and grant funds to facilitate their restoration and preservation. Income-producing properties are also eligible for federal tax benefits for sympathetic rehabilitation work.

To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853 or visit thc.texas.gov.

The information in this article is from a press release sent by Texas Historical Commission.