The preservation of the John A. Kerr building
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The Kerr Building, located in Cotulla, Texas, was built in 1883 by John A. Kerr and was the first commercial brick building constructed in the town. Originally housing a wholesale and general store, the building was converted to a bank in 1907. The bank remained until its liquidation in 1935, after which another general store was established in the building, followed by an auto store. Despite its history and prime location, currently the building remains unused. The building suffers from interior deterioration of wood floors, painted pressed metal ceilings and walls, and severely deteriorated wood window and door frames. Additionally, cement stucco was used to coat the entire building between 1907 and 1916. This cement stucco presents problems of historical integrity, as well as other potential issues as the cement stucco exhibits cracking. This report provides a historical record of the John A. Kerr Building. Broader histories of Cotulla, prominent residents, and of nineteenth century architecture in Texas provide a historical context for the building. Additionally, condition assessments in the form of annotated elevations indicate deterioration of the exterior. Some interior deterioration is also briefly discussed in the report. This report also discusses mechanisms of deterioration and provides treatment recommendations.