Dr Pepper Museum gets new roof 70 years after deadly tornado destroyed it

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 7:26 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Seven decades after Waco’s deadly tornado struck the area, the Dr Pepper Museum is finally getting a new roof.

In 1953, a deadly tornado wiped the area, killing more than one hundred people and destroying many buildings downtown.

Chris Dyer, the president and CEO of the Dr. Pepper Museum, described the disaster as a war zone.

“You can see where it ripped the top of the building off. You can see some of the old, historic photos of what downtown looked like, and it looked like a war zone, essentially,” said Dyer.

Officials said the museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, so the goal is to honor the original style of the roof from the early 1900s.

They said workers are using a stone coated metal for the roof so it can last longer.

“We didn’t want to go back to a normal synthetic, composite roof. We want something that really spoke to the history of the building,” said Dyer.

Dyer said it took a while to rebuild since it costs more than $200,000.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for about 30 years but it’s pretty expensive to do a roof like this. It’s one of these roofs that will last for probably long after we’re all gone. That’s the goal to preserve our building and history,” said Dyer.

Dyer said The Waco Cooper Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities funded the project.

Now, the roof will have stone coated metals that will last a lifetime, along with the history.

“The Dr. Pepper was invented and bottled here for many years. I think it’s a big part of our history and economy. It’s a big icon in our community,” said Dyer.

Officials said workers have been on the project for a few weeks.

They’re hopeful the roof will be completed by next week, weather permitting.