The doors closed in the early 1980's and things started to fall into disrepair. The Benchoff Building was put up for sale in late 2017, right about the time that our family business, Texas Heritage Woodworks, was looking to grow our operation (You can read more about us here, http://www.txheritage.net/ ). The timing couldn't have been any better. We became the new caretakers of a grand old building that fit our needs perfectly, and this beautiful structure found a family willing to put in the labor and time needed to bring her back to her former glory. There are two main problems that we have been facing in this restoration, the heavily leaking roof due to a lack of maintenance, and the fact that the entire building was filled to the brim when the doors were closed. We had 8,000 square feet of space that was filled with the remnants of decades worth of doing of business; old inventory, paperwork, store displays, etc., most of it in poor condition due to exposure to the elements. It was a mess, to say the very least. We found a local contractor who was willing and able to tackle the roof repairs, but we needed to empty the building of its contents so that construction could take place.
We've spent the last year or so cleaning out the building, making repairs as needed, trying to make things as accessible as possible. We've gone through quite a few dumpsters in the process, and some great progress has been made! We've had to go slowly because we keep finding historical treasures from our little West Texas community as we sort and sift through the debris. Old handwritten invoices from businesses from the late 1800's, someone's matchbook collection from the 60's, land deeds from the early 1900's, Stetson Hats still in the box, never worn. Sorting through all of the trash is time consuming, but definitely worth all of the effort! The upstairs is a few months away from being completely emptied, so the time has come to start thinking about fixing the roof.
This campaign is being used to raise the funds for the roof repairs on the Benchoff building. As you can see in our video and in these photos, these repairs are extensive, which is why we are enlisting the help of professionals for the roof. We were given a quote of a little over $51,000 to fix the roof, and anyone who’s done a renovation of any sort knows that there are always surprises. We have set our fundraising goal at $60,000 to cover the repairs to the roof, plus any other unexpected repairs that pop up. If any additional funds are raised, 100% of it will go towards further repairs and work on the building. Once the roof has been repaired and the inside of the building is dry, we can take care of the rest of the restoration process over time. When we move our operation into this building, we will be able to provide jobs to members of our community. We will be able to host classes that teach every type of craft you can imagine. We will be able to spread our love and passion for working with our hands. We will be able to keep a beautiful building and an important part of our town's history alive and well.
We can't do any of this without your help. We've done all we can up to this point, relying on the help of friends and family and a whole lot of sweat equity on our part! With your help, we can complete the next stage of this restoration and be well on our way to saving this building, growing our small family business, and bringing a little pride back to the downtown area of Menard, Texas. Thank y'all so much!!
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- Kristy and Drew Gallagher
- Rusty Miller
- Noland Miller
- Brian Hafner
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