Central Marfa Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places

MARFA –– The Central Marfa Historic District in Marfa was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, the official listing of the nation’s places most worthy of preservation.  

 The newly listed district encompasses the city’s historic core, including 183 contributing historic properties. Significant resources within the Historic District footprint include the 1886 Presidio County Courthouse, the Marfa and Presidio County Museum, and another property listed on the National Register of Historic Places –– the Paisano Hotel. 

The district is nationally known for its association with internationally renowned artist Donald Judd, whose work in Marfa led to the city’s identification as a cultural center and destination for art tourism, especially for modern art. 

 Judd preserved and adapted 11 district buildings for residential and working spaces, studios, galleries, and permanent installations of his and other prominent artists’ work. The exceptionally significant period of 1973-1994 begins with Donald Judd’s arrival in Marfa and spans the last two decades of his career. 

 The south section of the district retains building patterns and techniques associated with Mexican settlement in the border region, including numerous examples of adobe construction. 

Listing affords properties a measure of protection from the potential impact of federally funded projects, as well as access to technical expertise and grant funds to facilitate their restoration and preservation. Income-producing properties are also eligible for federal tax benefits for sympathetic rehabilitation work. 

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) administers Texas National Register listings in coordination with the National Park Service. The register 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 archaeological resources.