A NEW BEGINNING
It's been a long time coming, but a groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow morning officially marks the start of landmark renovations. Plus, new events coming to Temple art world, and an exciting FLASHBACK!
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 16, 2021
Everyone invited to downtown groundbreaking
This illustration shows the completed Sears/Arcadia/Hawn project. A formal groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the parking lot behind the Hawn.
Project officially begins Wednesday
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A groundbreaking ceremony commemorating the long-awaited renovations of the Hawn Hotel, Arcadia Theatre and Sears building will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot behind the landmark hotel.
“We are thrilled about getting started on this project,” said Cody Turner, partner and development manager at Waco-based Turner Behringer Development. “We hope everyone will join us for the ceremony.”
After being vacant for more than a quarter-century, the Hawn Hotel and Arcadia Theater will once again be the talk of the town, Turner said. The development will include residential apartments, commercial retail spaces, and a privately-owned and operated multi-purpose performance and events hall.
Turner Behringer plans to construct 57 residential apartments in the Hawn and Sears buildings totaling approximately 45,000 square feet.
These units will include one- and two-bedroom apartments.
Additionally, Turner Behringer plans to construct commercial units totaling approximately 32,000 square feet including restored storefronts and ground-floor commercial spaces. These spaces will target new restaurants, retail shops and office tenants.
Here’s another angle at what the completed project will look like, except the parking lot in the foreground will be replaced by a parking garage. That project also is officially under way.
PAINTING COMPETITION DEBUTS IN 2022
Temple artist Susan Sterle stands next to a painting-in-progress at her 9th Street art studio. Susan photographed the horse at a recent horse show, then began thrilling social media art fans with her progress. David Stone | Our Town Temple
Local artist to bring new painting competitions to Temple
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A local artist with an eye for painting animals hopes a new art competition will help promote Temple’s historic buildings.
Susan Sterle has been painting the pets of Central Texas residents for years, and a walk through her art studio is dominated by images of pigs, horses and especially dogs.
“Over the years I’ve been commissioned by people who want paintings of their pets,” she said. “I love animals and it’s something I really enjoy.”
Art has dominated Sterle’s life — she started painting in fifth grade — and she received an art degree from the University of Texas before launching a 35-year career as a graphics designer.
She also owns an AirBnb, located above her art studio at 8 North 9th Street.
“I bought the house in 2005, renovated it and moved in during 2007,” she said. “I lived here for 10 years, then converted the upstairs into the AirBnb. I’ve been painting here for years, but I just opened the art gallery this year.”
The studio is open Wednesday through Saturday afternoons. In addition to Sterle’s work, the gallery also features pieces by artists Jesse Tames, Nancy J. Holder and Pattie Marek.
The AirBnb has been tremendously successful, and Sterle is a designated Superhost, meaning she has created extraordinary experiences for her guests.
“It’s an honor,” Sterle said. “Guests rate you as a host and the AirBnb as a location. I received high reviews for cleanliness, communications with the customer, and other criteria.”
This spring, Sterle hopes to bring an outdoor painting competition to Temple in conjunction with the Community Treasures Photography Contest. The annual contest is part of National Preservation Month, and it draws attention to the importance of preserving historic buildings.
Contest participants capture images of Temple’s landmark buildings through photographs, and starting this year, through painting.
“We’re adding the painting division,” Sterle said. “The contest is open to everyone and the paintings must be done between January and March. The paintings will be judged, then exhibited and sold at locations throughout the city.”
Another big painting event — this one sponsored by the Outdoor Painters Society — will take place Feb. 18 and 19.
“It’s a Plein air event,” Sterle said. “Every month, members of the society paint the same location. In February, that location will be downtown Temple and some other sights around the area, including a location on Wilson Valley Loop and at Summer’s Mill.”
“There will be about 30 artists from around the state participating,” she said. “These are all accomplished artists.”
At the end of the event, Sterle hopes artists will be able to display and sell their work locally.
Plein air painting is a French expression that means “in the open air.” It is used to describe the art of outdoor painting, capturing landscapes and views in natural light.
“This kind of art has been popular for centuries,” Sterle said. “It requires a different set of skills and techniques than studio painting.”
Sterle also conducts popular art classes, both at the studio and once a month at Corky’s Beer & Wine Bar.
“The Corky’s class has been a lot of fun, and it’s usually a small class,” she said. “I’ve got a couple coming up — on Nov. 20 and Dec. 18, and they start at 3 p.m.”
Before each class, participants email Sterle a photo of something they want to paint.
“It can be a pet, loved one or even a truck,” she said. “I draw it out on canvas, then they paint it during class.”
Starting in January, Sterle will be offering three-day beginner workshops at her studio. The class will meet from 1 to 5 p.m. and the cost will be $150.
“We will be focusing on the basics of color and composition,” she said.
Sterle also teaches a weekly art class from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday at the studio. The cost is $35.
For additional information about classes, the art studio or upcoming art events, contact Sterle at email@example.com.
Sterle Fine Art Studio, located on 9th Street between Adams and Central, houses the works of four prominent Central Texas artists. The studio is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons. Also, Susan Sterle offers beginner classes and workshops at the studio, plus her popular monthly session at Corky’s Beer & Wine Bar. The studio’s upstairs has served as an AirBnb.
POSTCARD FROM THE PAST
A Temple fire wagon is shown at Central Fire Station in this early day photo. The fire department was organized in 1883, just two years after the city was created. Firefighters used a hand-drawn apparatus from 1883 until 1887 when the city purchased a wagon and team.
FLASHBACK: L.B. Kinchion has been called the Jay Gatsby of Belton, entertaining black royalty of his time at the south Belton home known as Villa Lu Necia.
Villa Lu Necia, located on the corner of Avenue F and South Pearl Street in Belton, was a hospitable place to stay during an inhospitable time for black Americans before the Civil Rights Movement. It was the dream home of a Central Texas educator and entrepreneur L.B. Kinchion.
Belton bungalow hosted Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Louis
By DENISE KARIMKHANI, special to Our Town Temple
L.B. Kinchion is a character shrouded in mystery.
Not much is known of his early life. He was born in Buda in Hays County in 1874. It is believed that he lived in Kincheonville, a small farming community named for Thomas Kinchion in what is now southwest Austin.
In 1896, Kincheon married Necia Luline Gramlin in Jefferson. During his early years, L.B. Kinchion made a fortune selling cosmetics and hair-straightening products.
That livelihood at some point took a turn toward public education for both him and Lu Necia. Kinchion served as principal of the West Austin Colored Public School about 1900-1901 and later as a teacher at the Gregory Colored School in Austin from about 1906-1907.
The Kinchions came to Belton about 1909 and he built a red brick on Belton’s south side in 1929 and called it Villa Lu Necia in honor of his wife.
The bungalow was in the “silk-stocking district” of the black community on South Pearl. It had wooden floors throughout.
According to Roscoe Harrison, Temple minister and historian, his father grew up with the Kinchion children and told his son stories of the rich and famous guests who passed through the doors of the house, including Duke Ellington, Marcus Garvey, Joe Louis, Ella Fitzgerald and Jackie Robinson.
Harrison said Kinchion had a valet, chauffeur, cook and butler for entertaining and that champagne flowed like water.
In Belton, L.B. Kinchion was principal at T.B. Harris School, which was originally West Belton School and is described as the only school for black students in Belton until integration in 1966. Mrs. Kinchion was often listed as a teacher at the school.
L.B. spoke seven languages, and everyone called him “Fess,” short for “Professor.” He played a significant role as a charter member of the Teachers State Association of Texas, organized to promote quality education for blacks and good working conditions for black teachers. He later served as president of the association in 1920-21.
Kinchion was actively involved in the Knights of Pythias. He was the Vice-Grand Chancellor of the Grand Lodge Colored Knights of Pythias, Jurisdiction of Texas in 1923. He was later elected Grand Chancellor. There were rumors that he made and lost a fortune through his fraternal affiliation.
His beloved Lu Necia died in 1938, leaving him a widower. The Belton Journal called Mrs. Kinchion "a woman of exceptional intelligence and character, and a leader in the colored church, fraternal and social affairs of Belton."
L.B. became a recluse in his final years until he died on Sept. 17, 1955, at the age of 81.
The house was entered on the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 26, 1990.
WHAT’S HAPPENING, CENTRAL TEXAS?
Central Texas largest and most complete calendar of event:
November 16, Tuesday - The Temple College Chorale will present a concert titled “Voice Dance” at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center on the Temple College campus.
November 16, Tuesday - Tarok Card Party & Lessons. Czech Heritage Museum. 7-9 p.m.
November 18, Thursday - The Temple College Symphonic Band will present “Fall Back to Band (Returning to the ‘New’ Normal)” at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center on the Temple College campus.
November 18, Thursday - Turkey Day Table Art. Need some centerpieces for your big Thanksgiving dinner? What’s better than an adorable handmade craft made by your little turkey? Kids will make different types of table art for you to display. Register at templeparks.com. Open to ages 2-6. $7 per child.
November 19, Friday - Yuletide Tour of Homes. To purchase tickets, visit www.TempleChildrensMuseum.org/events.
November 19, Friday - Book Cellar Investigation. $20 per person. 8 p.m. to 11:55 p.m.
November 19, Friday - Justin Hewitt at O’Briens. 9 p.m.
November 19-20 - The Temple College Opera Workshop class, also known as Opera in a Box, will present a show titled “Mostly Mozart” on Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jackson-Graeter Backstage Theatre.
November 19 through January 15 - Facing the Inferno wildfire photo exhibit opens at Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum.
November 20, Saturday - Casey Donahew at Bell County Expo Center’s Assembly Hall.
November 20, Saturday - Facing the Inferno wildfire exhibit opens at Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum.
November 20, Saturday - Game Show Night by Texas Red at Fire Base Brewing. 7-9 p.m.
November 20, Saturday - Belton Market Days. Downtown Belton. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
November 20, Saturday - The Gathering. Native American music, dancing, food. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for picnicking and fun. Yetti Polk Park in Belton. 11 a.m.
November 21, Sunday – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), free movie at Cultural Activities Center. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles. Shrubberies not required. The event will include a pre and post-movie discussion with Professor Dr. Joseph Taberlet. 2 p.m.
November 25, Thursday - Thanksgiving Outdoor Movie Night at Barrow Brewing in Salado. “A Christmas Story.” 6 p.m.
November 27-28 - Kris Kringle Mart presented by KC Council 3444, 2218 W. Avenue D, Temple. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 2 — Die Hard at The Beltonian. It IS. a Christmas movie!. 6 p.m.
December 3, Friday - Sammy G’s Toy Drive Block Party at Fire Base Brewing. 7 p.m.
December 3-5 — Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Temple Civic Theatre.
December 4, Saturday - Barrow Brewing Christmas Market, Salado. Noon.
December 4, Saturday - Santa at the Depot, Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum, 5-8 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Lance Wade Thomas rocks O’Briens. 9 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Temple Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert featuring soprano Priscilla Santana and tenor Brian Joyce. Temple High School. 7:30 p.m.
December 4, Saturday - Chisholm Trail Christmas Ball featuring Rick Trevino. Bell County Expo Center. 6 p.m.
December 4-5 - Kris Kringle Mart presented by KC Council 3444, 2218 W. Avenue D, Temple. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
December 6, Monday - The 75th Annual Christmas Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. This year's theme is “The Magic of a Traditional Christmas." Details will be made available on templeparks.com.
December 10, Friday - TISD Jazz Band – Merry Christmas and All That Jazz at Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy Auditorium, 5:30 p.m.
December 10, Friday - Bone at O’Briens. 9 p.m.
December 10-12 — Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Temple Civic Theatre.
December 11, Saturday — Downtown Temple Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy. We are excited to partner our market with a Food Truck Event! Come join us and support local businesses in our area! 2 N. Main Street. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - 5th annual Holiday Extravaganza at the Troy Community Center. Shop with local small businesses. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
December 11, Saturday - Tucka Texas Takeover with LJ Echols, Fat Daddy and Mr. Smoke. VFW Post 1820, Temple. 7 p.m.
December 12, Sunday - Temple High School Band Winter Concert in the THS Auditorium, 2:00 p.m.
December 13, Monday - Temple High School Orchestra Christmas Concert at THS Auditorium, 7 p.m.
December 14, Tuesday - Temple High School Choir Holiday Gift at THS Auditorium. 7:30 p.m.
December 17, Friday - Matt Cearley & The Rowdy Few, O’Briens. 9 p.m.
December 19, Sunday – When Harry Met Sally… (1989), free movie at Cultural Activities Center. Boy meets girl, boy sees other girls, and girl sees other boys. Maybe boy and girl should have seen each other. “I’ll have what she’s having.” The event will include a pre and post-movie discussion with Dr. Joseph Taberlet. 2 p.m.
December 23, Thursday - Santa & Elvis at Fire Street Pizza. 6-9 p.m.
December 31 - January 1 - Texas Elite Pole Vaulting. The Expo Explosion, the second largest indoor pole vaulting event in the country. Bell County Expo Center’s Garth Arena.
December 31, Friday - New Year’s Eve at O’Briens with the Jason Custer Band. 10 p.m.
December 31, Friday - New Year’s Eve at Bo’s Barn with the Craig Howell Band. 9 p.m.
January 29, Saturday - Parker McCollum Red Dirt Mardi Gras at Bell County Expo. 8 p.m.
LIST YOUR EVENT! Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.