Historic Preservation

Gray Street 1958

historic overlay district

Historic Overlay District

Come experience some of the original developments built in the late 1800s when the railroad first came to town. Visit the restored Santa Fe Depot now housing the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, or take a stroll along Avenue D and imagine the City of Killeen's first hardware store, blacksmith shop, saloons and general stores. The streets were bustling with excitement and downtown had everything you needed.

Unique to the City of Killeen, downtown also features an array of mid-century development highlighting the second boom in our history when the The Great Place of Fort Hood was established in 1950. This event expanded the footprint of downtown to include new and exciting buildings with innovative structural designs and dramatic features. In just a few historic blocks you can experience both periods of growth in our history and enjoy the unique and authentic environment that Downtown Killeen has to offer. Visit downtown today and explore where our story began.

GET INVOLVED

The Heritage Preservation Board, and the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Board all play a vital role in guiding downtown development efforts. All Killeen residents and business owners are encouraged to attend and be a voice in the community and in the future of Downtown Killeen.

View more information on these boards and meeting agendas here.

history of Killeen

CITY HALL BUILDING LISTED IN NATIONAL REGISTER

The building which houses Killeen City Hall is now included in the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission nominated the site for its architectural and historical significance, and it was selected for the national listing. 

The building is officially listed in the Register as Killeen High School as it was named when completed in 1924, but most knew it as Avenue D School. It was Killeen’s only school from its opening until the 1940s. All grades attended classes in the building. It transitioned to an elementary school in 1949 and remained so until 1981.

PUBLIC SCHOOL

It was actually the second public school built on the site. The first was built in 1902 but was destroyed by fire in 1923. It was replaced by the current structure, which opened to students February 1, 1924. Designed by C.H. Leinbach, the school is a more modern take on collegiate Gothic style and is one of the few pre-World War II buildings in existence outside the Downtown Historic District.

REPURPOSING AS CITY HALL

The City of Killeen acquired the school building in 1993, and opened it as City Hall in 1995. While modified for its current use, much of the original structure remains intact including its red brick façade, boy’s and girl’s entrance markers and wood floors. Another interesting feature is the repurposing of the school’s cafetorium for use as City Council Chambers.

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION

The City of Killeen has made an asserted effort to preserve history in the community. The Killeen Downtown Historic District, also listed in the National Register, is located between Avenue B and Santa Fe Plaza and North 4th Street to North 8th Street though many historic properties stretch beyond these bounds. Through a Downtown Plan, historic overlay district, design guidelines and incentives and grants, the City hopes to encourage revitalization and preserve Killeen’s historic resources for future generations. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL REGISTER

The National Register of Historic Places is a program of the National Park Service. It is the nation’s official list of historically significant properties that are worthy of preservation. Killeen’s school building joins more than 3,100 sites in Texas and more than 80,000 in the United States.