Landmarks of Longview: Gregg County Historical Museum/Everett Building

The building that houses the Gregg County Historical Museum itself is an important part of Longview history.

The building at 214 North Fredonia St. stands in an area of downtown where almost all 19th and early 20th century buildings have been razed or altered. It was built in 1910 and is the only example of 20th Century Classical Revival commercial architecture in the city.

The Everett Building is a two-story building with a raised basement. It faces the southwest corner of the property with a rounded bay and recessed main entrance on the first level. Four freestanding pink granite columns and two pink granite square columns flank the entrance to support the second story bays above. The majority of exterior features are original, including the primary entrance, Ionic capitals and pilasters and pink granite composite order columns. Alterations to the building have been minimal.

The original commercial front on Fredonia Street has been replaced. Early photographs show an elaborate raised panel above the cornice at the south corner with the date 1910 embossed. Another ornate raised panel was situated above the cornice on the northwest elevation, indicating the secondary commercial space on Fredonia Street. Both of these have been removed.

H.H. Howell organized and received a charter for Citizens National Bank. The bank was located at the northeast corner of Tyler and Fredonia streets, in the J. C. Turner Building. Citizens National Bank purchased a lot half a block to the north, on the northeast corner of Fredonia and Bank Alley. There, the Everett Building would open its doors as Citizens National Bank. Construction of the new building was a collaborative effort of Citizens National Bank President L. J. Everett and local educator and architect Samuel Blocker, who was one of the earliest members of the state architectural association.

Other previous tenants of the building include the Commercial Guaranty State Bank of Longview, Rembert National Bank, American Red Cross, Lanier Clothiers, and, finally, the Gregg County Historical Museum. Additionally attorneys, doctors, barbers, druggists, and other commercial tenants have used office spaces in the remaining portions of the building, including prominent attorneys Thadeus Stinchcomb and Erasmus Young.

Between 1960 and 1979, the structure remained virtually empty, except for special temporary activities such as the Longview Centennial in 1970 and the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976. Ann Lacy Crain purchased the Everett Building and donated it to the Gregg County Historical Foundation in 1979. The Gregg County Historical Foundation, which had been chartered by the State of Texas in 1966, had always hoped to have a permanent place to display its collection of historic Gregg County artifacts, documents, and photographs.

The Everett Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1979, and is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1983.