Beginning Aug. 1, the Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center, 3925 Jackson St., will be closed to the public for repairs and restoration work to three of its structures. Exterior work is expected to be completed by late 2021. Once completed, restoration work will begin inside the structures. Reopening is slated for late 2022.
This project will replace siding and trim on the Bear Creek Masonic Lodge and J. O. Davis House. Both structures and the work on the Sam Green House will replace doors and windows, paint all exterior surfaces, upgrade or repair steps and ramps, and repair porches.
The Bear Creek Masonic Lodge and the J.O. Davis House, located in the Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center, contain museum exhibits that educate patrons on the African American experience from the time of emancipation through the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the history of Irving's Bear Creek Community. The Sam Green House is staged with furniture and original finishes to depict what life was like in Bear Creek in the 1920s.
In April 2019, the City of Irving commissioned a study to examine the existing conditions of the Center and provide recommendations for immediate and future repairs in the Historic Structure Report Restoration Master Plan. The Irving City Council approved a contract at the June 3, 2021, City Council meeting.
In 1992 the City of Irving, identified three important buildings in the Bear Creek community that remained within the community. The Bear Creek Masonic Lodge, the J.O. Davis House and the Sam Green House were saved from demolition and moved to the site in the late 1990s and early 2000s and restored to create the Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center.