From the founding of the city through the 1950s, Downtown Abilene was a bustling focal point of the city. However, with the decline of the railroad and growth toward the south, like many cities in the United States, the downtown area saw a decline in business and activity overall despite the municipal presence. By the 1980s, several vacant buildings sat in disrepair and were subject to vandalism and home to vagrants. Founded in 1977, the Abilene Preservation League was one of the groups created to help preserve some of the landmarks around Abilene and downtown.
This exhibition, Downtown Revitalization Beginnings, is the second part of a series of exhibitions that is highlighting the early efforts of the many groups and community leaders that banded together to jump start the revitalization of downtown north of the train tracks.