Landmarks of Longview: Downtown’s Heritage Tower reflects modern Longview history

From McWilliams to Heritage, the downtown building being renovated to provide apartments and commercial space reflects much of modern Longview history.

Now known as Heritage Tower, the six-story structure built in the city’s oil-boom heights was named a local historic landmark in 2019. It also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It was originally built in 1935 for McWilliams Hardware & Furniture Co. at 208 N. Green St., the former site of First Christian Church. The McWilliams Furniture Co. Building was designed for ground-level retail with office spaces on the upper stories.

Five years later, Southwest Reserve Life Insurance Co. bought the building, and it was renamed the Southwest Reserve Life Building. Longview industrialist Bob Cargill later owned it.

Most recently, the 45,000-square-foot structure was known as the Weaver Building before becoming Heritage Tower.

Four Corners Development is converting Heritage Tower into a mix of 36 apartment homes for senior residents 55 or older and at least 2,500 square feet of commercial, retail and office space.

The building is an art deco office rectangular building with a concrete foundation, buff brick cladding and flat roof.

Original construction was funded by McWilliams Hardware & Furniture along with local businessmen J.B (Jim) Bond and J.M. (Jimmie) Garrett of Longview and H.P. McGaughey of Gilmer. It was designed by architect Martin T. Clements with the firm of Voelcker and Dixon. Voelcker and Dixon also designed the Gregg County Courthouse.

Local historic landmarks are recognized for their significance with respect to the history, events, culture, economy, social fabric, ethnicity, architecture, archaeology or paleontology of Longview, the state or the nation, according to the city. They are protected by city ordinances, and a Certificate of Appropriateness must be obtained before any work can begin on any designated landmark or any property located within a historic overlay district.

The city has named eight local landmarks. In addition to the McWilliams Building, they are Longview Train Depot, Rucker-Campbell House, Longview Municipal Building-Central Fire Station, Idylwood Fire Station, Gregg County Historical Museum/Everett Building, Petroleum Building and Boy Scouts of America Troop 201 Cabin.