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Pflugerville home, San Marcos jail cell among Texas’ most endangered places

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A historic home in Pflugerville and a “moveable” jail cell in San Marcos – both potential victims of suburban growth in the Austin area – made Preservation Texas’ 2012 list of the nine most endangered places in the state.

The William Pfluger House, at 1512 Pflugerville Parkway, was home to five generations of the Pfluger family. It dates back to 1875.

The “moveable” cell served as the jail in Kyle. Today, it’s temporarily located at the San Marcos Academy, a Christian boarding and day school at 2801 Ranch Road 12.

“By calling attention to these sites now, we want to encourage local action while there’s still time,” said Jim Ray, president of Austin-based Preservation Texas, a partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “It is our hope that inclusion on our list will provide those who care for these sites with the support, expertise and momentum to take their preservation efforts to the next level.”

The two-story William Pfluger House, made of limestone, is surrounded by suburban development. A German immigrant, Pfluger was a rancher, banker and cotton gin owner, and a founding father of Pflugerville.

“As the Central Texas region continues to outpace the state and nation in growth, the community of Pflugerville is struggling to keep ties with its past and accommodate the future,” Preservation Texas said. “Concerned citizens, the city and the school district support the concept of restoring the property; however, several attempts to provide funds and to find a solution have failed.”

Preservation Texas fears that if the house isn’t saved, “the story of Pflugerville’s roots will be lost to more parking lots and big-box stores.” The house sits northwest of a Walmart store.

According to the City of Pflugerville, the home has been vacant for about 15 years. Led by the Pfluger Haus Foundation, efforts are under way to restore and preserve the home “as a local landmark and a beautiful monument to Pflugerville’s heritage.”

In San Marcos, the moveable jail cell – which looks like an outhouse – also is at risk. The wooden cell remained in use until 1925 as Kyle’s city jail. It later was moved to Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, but a lack of funding forced its removal. At the last minute, it was rescued and relocated to the current location in San Marcos.

Preservation Texas called the jail cell “a valuable piece of Hays County history.”

“It needs a permanent home where it can be restored and appreciated,” the preservation group said. “Local advocates are working to raise funds and public support to preserve the moveable jail cell in order to tell a broader story of the county’s history.”

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