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Welcome to Historic Tyler!

Welcome to Historic Tyler!

Our Mission is to promote the preservation and protection of historic structures and sites through advocacy, education, involvement, and public and private investment.

Since its founding in 1977, Historic Tyler has promoted the preservation and appreciation of Tyler’s architectural and cultural historic resources through education, advocacy and committed action. Historic Tyler is dedicated to the preservation, revitalization, and continued use of Tyler’s historic resources. Membership in Historic Tyler helps ensure that historic preservation has a voice in Tyler’s future economic and cultural development. The ability to deliver our precious historic past for generations is in your hands now. Your donations and support of Historic Tyler, Inc. are greatly appreciated. With your help we can lay a cornerstone for tomorrow.

NEWS

The 2021 Preservation Award

Congratulations to Marvin United Methodist Church on receiving the 2021 Preservation Award!
Congratulations to Marvin United Methodist Church on receiving the 2021 Preservation Award!

When Marvin United Methodist Church was founded in 1848, it was the first congregation of any denomination. The church’s iconic stained-glass windows date back to 1891, when the sanctuary was built. The only exception is the four pictorial windows at the back of the sanctuary, which are believed to have been installed between 1912-1919. The Gothic-style windows extend from the first floor of the church to the second floor. They depict shapes and Christian symbols. Some form arches, others are rectangular, and some are circular, all with various designs.

Marvin members began to realize that the windows were in desperate need of restoration. They first noticed wind swaying the windows and cracks in the panes. An inspection revealed the interior framework had begun to separate from the stained-glass elevations. Restoration began in February of 2019. Aided by a crane, the windows were removed in three main phases. The ones on the north side were taken out first for the two-day trailer trip to Minnesota. A couple of months later, the east side windows were removed and sent out for repairs. The last batch to go was the windows on the south side. This massive restoration project took a total of 11 months to complete.

It is our honor to award Marvin United Methodist Church the 2021 Preservation Award for outstanding care in restoring the sanctuary’s original stained-glass windows, which undoubtedly contribute to the historical integrity of downtown Tyler.

Special acknowledgment to Dr. Doug Baker, Mr. Gerry Giles, The Marvin Trustees under the project director, Jim Pendleton, with the assistance of the Director of Operations of the church.

MarvinMethChurchAward2021

PROJECTS

Historic Documentation of the Riviere House

The architectural firm Mark A. Thacker, AIA ~ Commercial & Preservation Architecture, was selected to perform an investigation and documentation for 1604 N. Bois D’Arc, The Riviere House.

A devastating fire occurred on October 31, 2011, and the building then remained vacant and has been in a progressive state of deterioration since. The City of Tyler building inspection department declared the building condemned and scheduled it for demolition.

The Riverie House after the 1980 restoration
The Riverie House after the 1980 restoration
Riverie House after the 2011 fire
Riverie House after the 2011 fire
The Historic Tyler Board of Directors acted quickly and voted to fund this house’s documentation as a 2020-2021 preservation project. The intent of this report is to record as much information as possible before demolition, thereby preserving the history of this significant home for future generations. Read the full report here.

The Goodman-LeGrand Museum

Welcome to Historic Tyler!

Each year, Historic Tyler selects preservation projects that support our mission of preserving local historic sites and structures. We are proud to announce The Goodman-LeGrand as one of our projects for this year.

Dating back to 1859, The Goodman-LeGrand is one of Tyler’s oldest properties and is a wonderful historical treasure. It was the first property in Smith County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a Texas landmark since 1964. Today, the Goodman-LeGrand operates as a museum and is rich in Tyler’s history. The Goodman-LeGrand needs major exterior repairs and we felt that this was a worthy project. Historic Tyler is the first to donate to this project. We are happy to assist in the preservation of this tangible piece of Tyler’s history.

The Art of Preservation

The Art of Preservation, a coffee table book by Historic Tyler
We are excited to introduce our new project! Historic Tyler is currently in the beginning stages of creating a coffee table book that features various historic homes in Tyler, “The Art of Preservation.” In our research, we have not found any other book that focuses on Tyler’s historic homes.

The coffee table book will serve as a fundraiser for Historic Tyler. Equally important, the book will document Tyler’s historic landscape, making our local history readily available to the community. An integral part of our mission is to promote heritage preservation through education. We have photographed two homes for the book and reached out to all past tour homeowners asking if are interested in participating.

We have book sponsorships available. Please contact the office if you would like more information.

PRECIOUS LEGACY

Tyler’s heritage is disappearing. Landmarks such as the 1909 Smith County Courthouse, the Blackstone Hotel, the Fire Station, and numerous historic residential dwellings no longer exist. All have fallen victim to the wrecking ball or have decayed from neglect. Others are endangered. Why? A lack of funds to undertake proper preservation measures. It is vital that we preserve Tyler’s past for future generations. This legacy will be lost without intervention.

The concerns that Historic Tyler addresses are shared by all Tylerites, not just those who live in older neighborhoods or who own historic properties. Urban revitalization and economic diversification, defense of neighborhood integrity and authenticity of place, preservation of green space and protection of historic resources are among the most critical issues we face. We are making a positive impact on quality of life throughout Tyler.