Lost Opportunity? Sherman's Tower to Grapevine

Tower 16 Before Remodeling

5-17-04 - A Sherman landmark is now on display in another Texas city, and one out-going city councilman says its another example of a missed tourism opportunity.

John Markl is talking about the old railroad command tower that stood just off of East Street in downtown Sherman from 1903 to 2001. Known as Tower 16, it acted like a stoplight of sorts for trains, but today it’s stopping traffic 70 miles away as a tourist attraction in Grapevine, Texas.

The railroad offered the tower to Sherman two years ago, but the city turned it down and Grapevine jumped on the offer. It now sits as part of their train theme in the downtown historic district and was dedicated just last week.

Meanwhile, Markl says Sherman’s Tourism office is spending $55,000 on a consultant – something he says isn’t a smart use of taxpayer dollars. Ginger Nye, Sherman’s Tourism Director agrees that the tower was a treasure that got away, but she says the consultant is vital to the future of local tourism. She says it’s a cost that will pay for itself.

By the end of this month, a visitor information kiosk will be located downtown and by the end of June, Sherman will have a new branding image.