New Shop in Winnsboro Wins Best Restoration in State


Winnsboro’s Clara Ida Frances, Inc. is the finalist and winner of the Best Restoration category of the 2014 Texas Downtown Association (TDA) Presidents Awards Program. Since 1998, the program has recognized more than 150 projects, events and people that make a difference in Texas downtowns. The categories are divided based on populations of over and under 50,000 inhabitants. 

The Best Restoration category recognizes excellence in restoration of interior or exterior of an existing building. Rather than maintaining and preserving a building as it has evolved over time. The expressed goal of restoration is to make the building appear as it did at a particular — and most significant — time in its history. 

Winners of other categories are announced November 6 at the Presidents Awards Luncheon held in conjunction with the 2014 Texas Downtown Development and Revitalization Conference in Granbury. Judging for the awards took place recently in Austin.  The distinguished jury panel included Angela Castilleja, Keep Texas Beautiful; Nancy Glover, City of Temple CVB; Dick Ryan, former TDA Board Member; and Kendra Wright, Saffire Events. 

The Texas Downtown Association, established in 1985, is an independent, statewide nonprofit organization comprised of more than 430 members involved in downtown and commercial district revitalization projects. TDA provides resources to members through networking opportunities, marketing, education and advocacy to achieve community goals.  To learn more, visit 

The building housing Clara Ida Frances now was originally constructed in 1901 by merchant and civic leader, R.E. Skeen. After incorporating another two story structure at the rear built by his brother in 1890 as a medical clinic and pharmacy, the Skeen building housed a general merchandise and clothing business from 1901-1984. From 1984-2011, it served as a drug store and pharmacy.

The current owners, Peter and Janice Schma, acquired the Skeen building and restored the structure to its’ original stature during this past year.

Named for Janice’s grandmother, the store is full of home accessories, clothing, gifts, coffees, and wine.

Shoppers can explore the store online at and even purchase there but to get the real experience in this historic building it’s well worth the trip to visit in person.

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