City presents 100th historical marker to 1932 Southside home

(L-R): Councilwoman Linda Harvell, HPC Chairman Gerald Burgner, Emily Jane Cowen, Chris Cowen, Councilman Dennis Maloney, and Mayor Karl Mooney.

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Let’s face it: Plenty of College Station residents were born before our city was officially incorporated in 1938. Still, honoring our history — albeit a relatively brief one — is essential. 

That’s why College Station’s Historic Preservation Committee had the vision to launch its Historical Marker Program in 1991. The effort recognizes qualifying homes, buildings, sites, events and other classifications significant to College Station’s earliest days.

The College Station City Council on Thursday honored the 100th residence to receive a marker: 603 Guernsey Street, which is owned by Chris and Emily Jane Cowen. The Cowens purchased their beautiful 1932 home in 2012 and later renovated the entire structure. They now have a numbered, cast-aluminum plaque bearing the likeness of an old College Station railroad depot to display on their home with pride.


The College Station Historical Marker Program shouldn’t be confused with the National Register of Historic Places or with Official Texas Historical Markers; instead, it’s a separate endeavor with clear criteria consisting of two categories: structure and subject.

The structure criteria are pretty straightforward. A home must be at least 50 years old, have historical significance to Texas A&M or the community, or display architectural importance. Questions asked by the committee might focus on whether the structure’s materials came from local sources, or if the builder, architect or style of construction carried significance.

Subject marker criteria is a bit different. To be considered, a nominated person must have had a prominent role in the city’s history and been deceased for at least 20 years. Their contribution to the community might have been in education, government, business, religion, cultural institutions, or ethnic or civic leadership.

Even events, objects and topics meeting their own sets of criteria can be considered for a College Station Historical Marker.

To learn more about the program, visit


About the Blogger

Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his 10th year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as past president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


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