Doors are common objects and easily overlooked, yet their purpose to grant or deny access inspires metaphors and meaningful designs. Open doors, closed doors, a door of opportunity … doors are part of the language of transition as well as finality. Of all the elegant and intriguing doors in McKinney, these eight are significant for the way their form follows their function. Three reflect period styles and two mark a threshold in time and place. Two church doors welcome outsiders inside, while one door in this collection offers the opportunity for growth through education and civic responsibility.
The Heard-Craig House Door
Long before she died, Katie Heard Craig designed her legacy: an open door to the women’s clubs of McKinney. As a young woman, Katie helped found the art Club of McKinney, and later joined the owl Club, both of which met in her home. The clubs offered cultural and educational programming as well as opportunities for civic outreach. “The club women were amazing, so well-informed about their world, so dedicated to helping McKinney,” states Barbara Johnson, executive Director of the Heard-Craig Center for the arts. Since Katie Heard Craig’s death in 1971, the Center has continued to provide a place for “enlightenment and education” primarily to women through 22 clubs that have benefitted nearly 50,000 people.
Faires House Door
The sturdy frame and panel door of the Faires House at Chestnut square was chiseled by blacksmith John Faires, who built this Greek revival style house in 1854.Crafted from the richly toned, resin saturated heartwood of the Longleaf Pine, this beautiful door bears the distinction of being the oldest in McKinney.
Every good fairy tale has a door through which its characters step into another world. In C. S. Lewis’ modern fairy tale, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a wardrobe door suspends time in this world while four children grow up in another. Adriatica has similar powers, with doors that suspend time and transport the unsuspecting bystander to the old country centuries ago.
Book Gallery Door
Books and doors have much in common. “To open a book is to open a door to another time and place,” says Jim Parker, owner of The Book Gallery. The store is tucked away in a 1917 structure in downtown McKinney. In a digital age, it’s fitting that a bookstore filled with timeless titles and rare bindings should be entered through sturdy doors from a bygone era.
Vision For Life Church Door
For decades, the old Presbyterian church on the corner of Davis and Church streets has been boarded, it’s door barred with plywood. This spring, Vision for Life Church will reopen the door of this great old building that had always been an integral part of the community. What will keep the door open for decades to come? Pastors Lisa and Mike Connaway say, “We are raising the 20-something young people to lead this church into the next generation. They have a heart for this building, have put in 2,500 man hours to restore it, and will take it over when we are ready to pass them the baton.”
Mid-Century Modern Door
These doors, though part of the 1976 addition, mimic the original door of this Mid-Century Modern house built in 1956. Marked by clean lines and strong geometry, the unique design of the doors is a favorite of Historic Preservation officer Guy Giersch.
First Baptist Church Doors
When Greg Welsh, Business administrator for First Baptist Church, speaks of the 2010 building project that replaced solid wooden doors with transparent doors of glass, he emphasizes that, despite the budgetary engineering required to keep the project on the table, “no one on the building committee, or in the congregation, ever questioned the necessity” of redesigning the entrance. The new glass doors, with the extended roof, and the wall of glass surrounding them, are welcoming. Mona Robinson, executive assistant to McKinney Mayor and City Council, and member of FBC, explains, “I like the openness. You can see in. I always feel warm and secure when i walk through these doors.”
Original to an 1896 Victorian residence in McKinney’s Historic District, this Eastlake Door represents the late 19th c. American fascination with Hints on Household Furnishings, Upholstery and Other Details, (1872, Amer.) By English architect Charles Eastlake. His style was marked by multicolor schemes and architectural ornamentation that imitated intricately turned furniture.
Anne Royer is studio artist and historian dedicated to the development of the arts community in McKinney. Director of the Arts and Music Guild, Royer holds three Master's Degrees from Yale University. anneroyer.com.