2014 Fort Bend Heritage Award set for March 4

When Bob and Marcia Vogelsang decided to leave Houston and relocate in Rosenberg, they renovated and moved into a vintage house on Second Street that was once occupied by Bob’s grandparents.

That occurred 35 years ago. The Vogelsangs have been bringing new life to old Rosenberg structures and memories ever since.

In recognition of those accomplishments, the Fort Bend County Historical Commission has selected the couple to receive its prestigious Heritage Award for 2014. The reception and presentation will take place Tuesday, March 4 at Safari Texas Ranch in Richmond beginning at 6:30 p.m.

In addition to the family home, Bob was able to rescue his grandfather’s commercial real estate at Second and Avenue G. Today the Vogelsang Buildings house a number of businesses including Bob and Marcia’s antiques emporium. A national marker is posted to the exterior.

Resuscitating the deteriorated buildings and revitalizing Rosenberg’s old business core turned into a saga that has lasted decades. En route, the Vogelsangs and owners of neighboring properties have worked hard and waxed creative in returning the community’s attention to downtown.

Among the fruits of that long-term labor are the Rosenberg Railroad Museum on Avenue F and the Cast Theatrical theater upstairs in the Vogelsang Emporium. The first office of the Fort Bend Arts Council which began in the 1980’s and received state grants to bring state and national entertainment to the county was also housed in the building. For more than three decades, they have brought a focus to engineering, marketing and infrastructure studies to the forefront.

In addition, Bob and Marcia were among the 20-plus representatives of downtown interests who trekked to Austin last September and learned of the city’s designation as the 24th cultural arts district to be recognized in Texas.

The Vogelsangs’ interests and influence have not been confined to their city. Bob served as president of the Fort Bend County Museum Association during an expansive era in the nonprofit’s history. During this time, the museum association contracted with the George Ranch Historical Park to provide appropriate “living history” programming for the public – an arrangement that remains in place. The programs began with 150 volunteer docents.

Most recently, Bob and Marcia have provided active leadership for the railroad museum, Bob as board president and Marcia as chair or on committees of the museum’s annual fundraising gala.

This will be the sixth year for the Fort Bend County Historical Commission to present its annual award. Last year’s recipients were Vickie Tonn and Rene Lamb of the all-volunteer Old Foster Community Museum Association. The year previous was Bettye Anhaiser of Sugar Land.

“The Heritage Award was conceived as a way to honor achievements in historical preservation,” noted historical commission chair Bert Bleil. “It was created to recognize the accomplishments of persons or organizations that resulted in the preservation or promotion of historical assets within the county.

“The Vogelsangs certainly exemplify the tenets associated with this award.”

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