The beautiful Saigling House sits in the midst of Haggard Park. For a long time it has been unused; demolition was never an option because of its historical significance and soon the house will finally reopen as the new headquarters of the ArtCentre of Plano.
A new arts and cultural center and event space, Saigling House will be run by the ArtCentre of Plano, fully utilized with gallery space for exhibitions, classroom space for educational programs, reception space, meetings and more, a complement to the Courtyard Theater and the Downtown Arts District. The house will also allow for some stunning outdoor exhibitions as well.
It’s the perfect home for the ArtCentre, which has been in Downtown Plano since the ‘80s. They have fundraised to supplement the restoration which will give them the space they need to work at a more ambitious level. With the Saigling House, they’ll have the opportunity to utilize it along with the Courtyard Theater and Cox Building to add more education programs, more artist receptions and more support for local art on a larger scale.
The Camp House in Dallas was part of the inspiration behind the restoration and repurposing of the Saigling House according to former City Planner Frank Turner, who hopes that the new property might supplement the Plano Artfest in coming years and any other art festivals the city may launch.
While most of the money used for the project came from public funds, the ArtCentre is raising a substantial amount for the capital campaign and they are responsible for most maintenance and operating expense.
“The city had for many years, perhaps 1985 or earlier, desired to buy the all the property bounded by 15th, Ave H, 16th and the DART rail line to enlarge Haggard Park,” Turner explains. “The Saigling property was the final acquisition.” The performance deck at the house will be named in Turner’s honor, recognizing his years of dedicated service to the city.
The Saigling family was one of the first in Plano. Saigling House was built by a Saigling for his wife in 1906 and marks an architectural turning point. While most houses were still being constructed from wood, Saigling house is brick, showing the more modern architectural style, an arts and craft style home moving out of Victorian age as Plano as a city modernized.
Project architect Marcel Quimby and her firm are hard at work restoring the property to how it appeared in the 1920s, based on the few photographs of the house that are available. They are also preparing documentation to have the house listed on the Federal Register of Historic Places.
The Saigling family is still involved in the project and are expected to be present at the upcoming series of grand opening events, including the first exhibition in the new space, featuring the work of renowned local artist–and founder of our magazine–Jean Newman.