Ace of Clubs House renovation progressing

TEXARKANA, Texas — The Ace of Clubs House does not have any plans to open this summer, but the historical museum’s face lift continues, and the Museum of Regional History is open to tour.

“This is a massive project,” said Emily Tarr, executive director for the Texarkana Museum Systems, about the renovation happening at the Ace of Clubs House.

Last week, the removal of the plastic sheets surrounding the cupola took place and the installation of windows and frames in the house began. The museum is in the process of doing an entire interior and exterior renovation.

“The exterior is going to happen first,” Tarr said. “In the next couple of weeks, you’ll see scaffolding going up on the entire house.”

Tarr said next the plan is to start painting and patching the plaster.

“It has gone through basically 10-plus years of total neglect,” she said.

Six inches of rainfall recently flooded the basement of the Ace of Clubs, and staff had to go inside with hazmat gear to move materials stored there to a safer location until they could dry out, Tarr said.

TMS will take a year to finish the exterior, and then the remodeling of the interior will start.

“The Ace of Clubs is one of if not the oldest still-standing homes in Texarkana,” Tarr said. “It’s a jewel of a home.”

This home is on the US Registry of Historic Places and listed by the Texas Historic Preservation Commission. The house is built in the shape of a club, like a deck of cards, which alone makes it unique.

“Although the home was built on the Texas side, it has lots of Arkansas history,” Tarr said.

With the Discovery Place children’s museum permanently closed, and the Ace of Clubs House and Ahern Home closed indefinitely, Tarr wants the community to know that the downtown Museum of Regional History is open.

The Museum of Regional History offers a variety of artifacts and exhibits to view.

“Our mission is to showcase the Texarkana area, the regional area, as it has been over the years,” Tarr said. “Downtown was the place to be way back when, and now it’s becoming the place to be again, so we are happy to be located in the middle of the synergy that’s going on.”

The Museum of Regional History is a place for all ages.

“A lot of the kids are more attracted to the woolly mammoth and mastodon teeth, but they also find it very interesting to know there used to be Indians in this area,” Tarr said.

The museum is accessible to the disabled, and it has an elevator. There is a cost of $5 to tour the museum with plenty of things to see on the first and second floors.

The hours of operation are 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1 pm to 5 pm Sunday.

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