Port Arthur Downtown Historic District Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The Port Arthur Downtown Historic District in Jefferson County was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) assisted in the nomination of this property in recognition of its importance to the history of Port Arthur and the State of Texas. Noted for its historical and architectural significance, the district joins more than 3,300 other properties in Texas with National Register status.

From the city’s founding in 1895, through the years when it was home to some of the world’s largest oil refineries, to its devastation from recent hurricanes, Port Arthur has a history largely influenced by its Gulf Coast location and its natural resources from the surrounding environment. The district reflects the development of the city from its emergence as a tourist destination, and later in its role as a major shipping outlet and one of the nation’s most important petrochemical centers.

The Port Arthur Downtown Historic District encompasses nine city blocks and includes sixteen buildings within the historic commercial core and the government center along Lakeshore Drive. It contains the remaining intact downtown buildings associated with the city’s period of commercial prosperity and developmental growth, including an impressive assortment of significant buildings in a variety of styles, such as Renaissance Revival, Art Deco, and Late Modern.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the country’s historic and archeological resources.

Listing affords properties a measure of protection from the possible impact of federally funded projects, as well as access to technical expertise and grant funds to facilitate their restoration and preservation.

To learn more about the National Register of Historic Places, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512-463-5853 or visit thc.texas.gov.