Restoration of the 1910 Jail
We consider the 1910 Archer County Jail to be our largest artifact. When the jail was decommissioned, the community rallied together to convert the building into a museum to house the artifacts and stories of the county. The jail is a cornerstone of our museum moving forward, however, it will no longer house artifacts or exhibits. We plan to restore the jail and will be a visual example of how jails used to function. It will also illustrate the establishment of early law enforcement and formation of towns in the area.
The restoration of the jail will be broken into phases. The first phase will tie the exterior walls of the building to the interior structure and stabilize the roof with steel beams and concrete footers. The second phase will be to fully restore the roof, address water abatement and collection to prevent pooling at the foundation and restore the wooden flooring on the first floor. The third phase will focus on the interior finishes like addressing the cracking plaster walls, flaking paint on the jail cells, and restoring windows and doors.
Currently in Phase 1- Wall Stabilization
We are working with Architexas, an architectural firm out of Dallas, to create documents and solutions to secure our exterior walls to the structure of the building. The first floor of the jail was built as a family living quarters for the Sheriff or Deputy and the top two floors contain cells. During the original construction of the building, it's become evident that the walls were not properly tied into the concrete slabs or steel cells of the second and third floors. This has resulted in the walls pulling from the building and in some instances up to a two-inch gap between the walls and floors, especially on the third floor. The solution prepared by JQ Engineering will be to add 50 steel clip angles throughout the second and third floors to secure the walls to the floors.
The original flat roof with four corner towers was capped with pyramidal clay tiles in the mid-1920s. We believe the extra weight has also contributed to the stress and displacement of the walls. This phase will include adding two steel columns, one on the north side and one on the south side. This will aid in dispersing some of the weight on the existing steel beams of the roof.
Work will begin mid-summer and be completed by the end of 2023. We are in the process of acquiring funding for this phase.
We are grateful to the following foundations who have supported this phase of work:
Texas Historical Foundation: texashistoricalfoundation.org