The county courthouse annex building, which sat vacant for years, was demolished yesterday. It was built in 1916 to house the Latin American Club. The site was host to many social events. In 1929 it became property of Webb County. Via the City of Laredo Historic Preservation Plan of 1996:
County officials evaluated the building's unstable roof this summer and blocked off parts of San Agustin Ave. and Houston St. when it was determined to be a hazard. Commissioners Court sought input on what steps to take, but it was clear that the building posed a danger to the public. Advocates for preservation shared their concerns. Their cause, however, would not prevail.
This issue certainly provided for some interesting commentary from the public, with some being too quick in wanting to rid the community of this eyesore. I would've loved for the annex building to be saved, but alas, the county didn't have the wherewithal, financially or otherwise, to do that. I think the statement on the City of Laredo's preservation plan sums it up nicely:
Heritage education programs can instill a sense of civic pride in the contributions of Laredo's industrious ancestors to the built environment.(Public History and Heritage Education, page 7)
When we preserve our buildings, and tell the stories of the past, we honor those that came before us. Their sacrifice is what we should pay tribute to. It matters that we take care of our history. It's apparent that preservation wasn't a priority at the county level.