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Historic PreservationLocal LandmarksPublic & Municipal Sites

Historic Preservation
423 West Ferguson
Tyler, TX, 75702
Phone: (903) 531-1175
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Public & Municipal Sites

 

4. TYLER MUNICIPAL ROSE GARDEN

Established in 1952
420 Rose Park Drive
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Tyler’s most famous landmark is the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden. Twenty-one acres, hosting over 450 varieties of roses, are the focal point of the city known as “The Rose Capital of America”. Among the pathways are numerous ornamental fountains and fixtures. Officially established in 1952, the Rose Garden was the result of 30 years of effort to place the “Tyler Rose” into national prominence. In 1953, Rose Festival activities began taking place in the floral setting of the gardens. The Tyler Rose Garden has been designated as one of the 24 National Test Gardens in the United States to which over 100 new patented roses are introduced and tested annually.
 

6. BERGFELD PARK & AMPHITHEATRE

Established in 1913
1510 S. College Avenue
South Broadway from 2nd to 4th Street

Mr. Rudolph Bergfeld, a prominent Tyler businessman, owned the land in 1882. In 1909, he donated the land to the City of Tyler, but the site was not developed until 1913. In giving the land, Mr. Bergfeld stipulated that it was to be used exclusively as a public park. In 1935, funds were donated by Gen. R.E.Woods, president of Sears, Roebuck & Company, for construction of an amphitheatre. The first two Rose Festival Coronations (1933 & ’34) were held in the park, while the festivals of 1936-39 took place in the General Woods Amphitheatre. Today the park is the center of enjoyment with play equipment, tennis courts, and picnic areas within the 8.32 acres of land.
 

7. CARNEGIE LIBRARY BUILDING

Built in 1904
125 S. College Avenue
National Register of Historic Places

Industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, granted funds to the City of Tyler for the construction of a library. Completed in 1904, this building served as Tyler’s public library until 1980 and remains one of the few original Carnegie Libraries in Texas. Unique features include the domed ceiling in the meeting room and arched stage in the auditorium. In 1982, the building was renovated to accommodate the archives of the Smith County Historical Society, as well as a historical museum. Public exhibits are continually being collected for permanent and rotating displays. The auditorium is available for public use.
 

8. SWANN-MOORE-DENNARD BUILDING

Built in 1913
408 N. Broadway Avenue

Tyler’s only example of Chicago architecture, the Dennard Supply Company building, is a noteworthy example of an early 1900’s commercial brick building with detailed masonry work. It was built in 1913 by T.E. Swann for his furniture and undertaking business. Upon completion, the five story structure was the largest in Tyler with floor space of approximately 6,000 square feet per floor. In 1918, A.P. Moore purchased the property for his Moore Grocery Company, and in 1956 it became Dennard Supply.
 

10. TYLER’S WOMAN’S BUILDING

Built in 1932
911 S. Broadway Avenue
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
National Register of Historic Places

In 1931, several of Tyler’s women’s organizations were in need of a permanent headquarters for entertaining and study purposes. The property at 911 S. Broadway was donated by Judge S.A. Lindsey with the stipulation that a building be constructed within one year. With great community support, money and materials were raised to complete the building in 1932. The three story Federal style building contains party and sitting rooms, a large kitchen, an auditorium, and on the top floor, apartment space. The auditorium was the site of high school graduation parties, piano recitals and Town Hall meetings. Throughout the years, the Tyler’s Woman’s Forum has continued to offer a gracious setting for civic and social events.
 

13. OAKWOOD CEMETERY

Established in 1846
400 N. Palace Avenue
West Oakwood at North Palace
Texas Historic Cemetery
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Oakwood is the original cemetery utilized by the public of Tyler and Smith County and is the final resting place for many notable individuals including Governor Richard B. Hubbard, his mother, and second wife. Other Tyler pioneers interred are Major James P. Douglas, John G. Woldert, Rudolph Bergfeld, Samuel A. and William J. Goodman, Senator Horace Chilton, Judge Stephen Reaves and Judge Micajah H. Bonner, Mayor John H. Bonner and Texas House Speaker Thomas R. Bonner. A Confederate marker was erected in 1907 to the memory of the 231 Confederate soldiers buried in Oakwood. The oldest marker is that of Peter S. Ramsour and the most unusual inscription is for Katie Bannon, “Erected by Henry Reynolds – her affianced”.
 

22. TYLER LITTLE THEATER

Opened in 1939
1014 W. Houston

When it opened in 1939, this art deco complex designed by Shirley Simons became the new home of the Tyler Little Theatre. It was built with funds from private donations, the City of Tyler, and the Works Progress Administration. Ray Woodney Parks designed the interior and landscape while architect Sam Brown, Jr. designed the gardens. Unable to continue its productions in wartime, the theatre closed. The Congregation Ahavath Achim purchased the complex in 1943, converting it into a synagogue after some modification that included a new staircase and kitchen. They remained in the building until 1984, when it was sold to Bethel Church. After a short time, this community church outgrew its space and sold the property. In 1989, the fiftieth anniversary of its opening, the old Tyler Little Theatre building once again became the hub for artistic expression and interaction as the Midtown Arts Centre. It is presently being used as a church.
 

25. 1881 SMITH COUNTY JAIL

(a.k.a. LEWIS HOTEL)
Built in 1880-1881
309 E. Erwin Street
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
National Register of Historic Places

Constructed in 1880-81 as the third Smith County jail, this structure was the first public building erected in the county after the Civil War. It is an example of Second Empire and Italianate style architecture. It served as a jail until 1916, when it was sold to Jefferson Y. Lewis, a former jailer who renovated the building and converted it into a hotel. Major modifications were made in 1933 as a result of the housing shortage that accompanied the discovery of the East Texas oil field. Although Lewis died in the 1950’s, members of his family continued operating the hotel. The restoration of the building began when Historic Tyler, Inc. purchased the property in 1986 and removed the 1933 front and stabilized the building. In 1992, Randal Gilbert restored the property to its present appearance and converted it to law offices.
 

26. GARY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Built in 1908
730 S. Chilton Avenue
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Gary Elementary School was Tyler’s fourth elementary school when it was built in 1908, following the construction of Marsh (1889), Douglas (1902), and Bonner (1904), the last of these also being a historic landmark. Because the original building was constructed of white stone, considered very modern at the time, the St. Louis architect claimed that the white walls made lighting fixtures unnecessary. In 1924, the original building was replaced by what is now the west wing of Gary Elementary School. The new building contained eleven classrooms and an auditorium. A decade later, a cafeteria and two classrooms were added. Subsequent additions over the next forty years added classrooms, an auditorium and gymnasium. The school is the namesake of Franklin Newman Gary, a South Carolinian who came to the Tyler area in 1850. He practiced law here before joining the Confederate army and attaining the rank of Captain. Gary supported the public education movement and was a generous and public-spirited citizen. He died in 1886.
 

29. THE B.W. ROWLAND-LIEBREICH BUILDING

Built in 1888
100 and 104 W. Erwin Street

The B.W. Rowland-Liebreich Building’s original structure was built in 1888. Commonly referred to now as “Rick’s on the Square”, the building is located on the original site of the El Ranch Saloon. The site is noted for a regionally famous shooting during the reconstruction era involving local citizens and law officials. The portion of the building now located at 100 W. Erwin was the home of the East Texas Conservatory of Music, established by Ms. Estelle Burns. Ms. Burns, nationally recognized for teaching “voice culture” was recognized in New York City as the head of the Vocal Department of the National Academy of Music Art. Through adaptive reuse, the current owner, Rick Eltife, has restored the structure to its original condition and operates a restaurant and club in the structure.
 

34. ARRATT-ODD FELLOWS BUILDING

Built 1907
220½ W. Erwin

The Arratt-Odd Fellows Building is a wood frame and brick structure which is categorized as Romanesque with arched windows. The structure was built by Judge T. Brown Ramey in 1907. Most of the materials used in the construction are from buildings torn down in Tyler, some of these buildings dating back to the 1880’s. The windows are from the Methodist Church that was located on this site and are over 100 years old. The prominence of this is seen on the top floor where only minor changes have been made during 90 years of existence. The Odd Fellows purchased this building in January, 1912, from Judge Ramey for $16,000. Many businesses and organizations have occupied the ground floor.
 

42. THE U.S. POST OFFICE AND COURTHOUSE

Built in 1933
211 W. Ferguson
National Register of Historic Places

This masonry, brick, granite, and limestone structure was constructed in 1933 in the Classical Revival style. The Federal Building was dedicated on August 4, 1934,as both the U. S. Post Office and Courthouse. The Federal Building/United States Post Office/Courthouse in Tyler, Texas, is significant as a symbol of the Federal presence in Tyler. The passage of the Public Buildings Act of 1926 precipitated a period of building construction that was unprecedented in the United States. Shirley Simons, Sr., local architect, designed the Federal Building in Tyler. Many of the Federal buildings of this period exhibit streamlined, almost austere finishes and features, as evidenced in the streamlined Classical Revival design of the Federal Building.
 

47. JAMES S. HOGG MIDDLE SCHOOL

Built in 1929
920 S. Broadway Avenue
National Register of Historic Places

James S. Hogg Middle School was designed by Bryan and Sharp Architects of Dallas, Texas, and opened as James S. Hogg Junior High School in September, 1930. Hogg Middle School is located in Tyler’s Azalea District on approximately 8 acres of land and is an example of the classical architecture used for schools during this time period. Hogg Middle School was named for James Stephen Hogg, the nineteenth governor and first native governor of Texas. He was a firm supporter of public education. Mr. Hogg was born in Rusk, Texas, on March 24, 1851.  He moved to Tyler in 1882, serving as District Attorney, and in 1886 became the Attorney General of Texas. In 1890, he ran for governor and won, and was re-elected in 1892. After his terms in office ended in 1895, he moved to Austin, where he died in 1906. Hogg Middle School is currently a prominent middle school in the Tyler Independent School District and hosts over 600 students, along with an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Pilot Program.
 

56. CITY PARK SPRING POND

Constructed in 1941
200 West Queen Avenue

The City Park was purchased from Mrs. Fannie Heffler on September 26, 1930, for $4,000.00. It is located on a 1.85 acre site and is one of the oldest parks in the city.
A natural spring is located within the park. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a wading pond of natural iron ore rock to contain the fresh spring water. They constructed a small ledge for citizens to sit on as they cooled their feet in the natural spring water. The original gate valve for controlling the flow of water out of the pond is still working and is in use. This wading pond was constructed long before there were any community or city pools within the city. The date etched into the cement of the pool is 1941, so it is assumed that was the construction date. In addition to the WPA iron or rockwork in the wading pond, picnic tables, benches, bridges, a sandbox, and a lined creek through the park were constructed.

The City Park underwent a facelift in the late 1990’s with the installation of a new irrigation system, a covered pavilion, and new picnic tables. However, the spring pond remained hidden and forgotten behind dense brush on the edge of the park until recently, when City employees began clearing in this area.

The Spring Pond is historically significant to Tyler and the United States because it represents a period of our history when our nation was making every effort to put people back to work following the Great Depression. The WPA work within the City Park is a fine example of the many WPA projects within Tyler that needs to be recognized and preserved.
 

59. S. H. KRESS AND COMPANY BUILDING

Built in 1946
116 W. Erwin Street

The S. H. Kress and Company building was built on the company’s 50th anniversary. The building has a pale yellow brick façade with off-white trim that was the “signature” storefront for Kress from its beginning to the mid 1930’s. Edward Sibbert, a well educated New York architect employed by the prestigious Kress chain, reverted to the original storefront circa 1940. As written in “America’s 5 & 10 Cent Stores, The Kress Legacy” by Bernice L. Thomas, Kress stopped building on Main Street around 1942. This store in Tyler is one of the last stores constructed in the downtown area. The building is now owned by Martin and Michelle Heines. They are rehabilitating the building and converting the use into a Pilates and dance studio.
 

60. ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SERVICE BUILDING FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE ELLA REID PUBLIC LIBRARY AND THE TYLER NEGRO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Chartered in 1941
1400 W. Lollar Street

The first recorded beginnings of the Negro Public Library date back to the World War II era. In July, 1941, the Negro Public Library was chartered and located in the basement of Bethlehem Baptist Church. It was supported by donations of money, books, and furnishings, the majority of which were provided by white citizens. In the fall of 1949, the Library was moved to 1400 Lollar Street.

In 1952, the city officially established the Library Board as a city board. In November 1961, the Board requested the name be changed to the Ella Reid Public Library in honor of a church and community leader who was highly respected by Tyler’s African –American population. In 1968, the City closed the library because of decreased use as everyone was now able to use the Carnegie Public Library. Commissioners authorized a resolution that combined the boards and operations of the Ella Reid and Carnegie Public Libraries. On November 22, 1971, trustees for Gamma Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Sorority Tyler purchased the building.

 

61. J.C. MARTIN HALL LOCATED ON THE TEXAS COLLEGE CAMPUS

Built in 1924
2404 N. Grand Avenue
National Register of Historic Places

Martin Hall is named for Bishop Joseph C. Martin. Financed by loans and donations from the Christian Methodist Church (C.M.E) church and its membership, from Bishop Martin, and from alumni and members of Tyler’s African-American community, Martin Hall is a good local example of a Classical Revival influenced education building. It is the only surviving intact example of a 1920’s education building in the city. Martin Hall, an African-American institution, is a three-story red brick building erected from plans of an unknown source. Martin Hall originally housed a combination of classrooms, administrative and assembly space, and retains its original 1,000 seat auditorium. The auditorium contains a 1943 mural depicting events in the history of Texas College. Martin Hall currently houses the President’s Office, administrative offices, and the auditorium.
 

62. PRESIDENT'S HOUSE LOCATED ON THE TEXAS COLLEGE CAMPUS

Built in 1944
2404 N. Grand Avenue
National Register of Historic Places

The President’s House was built for D.R. Glass, the first president of Texas College for 30 years from 1931-1961. The two story brick colonial home housed the college president and his family as well as serving as a guest house to visiting dignitaries for many years. The house has been vacant since 2001 and is currently used for social events.
 

63. GUS F. TAYLOR GYMNASIUM LOCATED ON THE TEXAS COLLEGE CAMPUS

Built in 1940
2404 N. Grand Avenue

Gus F. Taylor Gymnasium was built for $30,000. The one story brick structure has hosted sporting events and yearly formals, along with elite speakers for the college and community. The facility was also utilized to house visiting intercollegiate athletic teams when dorm space wasn’t available. The gym is currently used for all physical education programs and intercollegiate competition in volleyball and basketball.
 

64. D.R. GLASS LIBRARY LOCATED ON THE TEXAS COLLEGE CAMPUS

Built in 1950
2404 N. Grand Avenue
National Register of Historic Places

The D.R. Glass Library built in 1950 is a two story brick structure that houses all of the library resources. The library is named for Dominion Robert Glass, the first president of Texas College. The present collection contains approximately 80,000 volumes, which include basic standard reference books, professional and technical literature, recreational reading materials, and current bound publications.The library also houses The Black Studies Collection that contains extensive material by and about the African-American experience. The Black Studies Collection is one of the largest collections in East Texas; this Collection serves the public schools and the general community.
 

69. TYLER CITY HALL

Built in 1938
212 N. Bonner Avenue
National Register of Historic Places

Tyler City Hall was built in 1938, incorporating Depression-era government building architecture and a mix of Art Deco massing with Classical Revival style detailing in the exterior design. The architectural plans for the building were drawn by T. Shirley Simons, Sr., a prominent Tyler architect, and the Tyler contracting firm of A.M. Campbell & Co. erected the building. The interior of the building has retained its original interior plaster walls, terrazzo flooring, marble wainscoting and decorative aluminum balustrade. The architectural and historic integrity has been retained to a very high degree.

Tyler City Hall is an important local landmark significant for its architectural form and for its role as the seat of city government. The nominated property also is significant for its association with Tyler’s general development patterns during the period of significance when the success of the East Texas Oil Field brought thousands of new residents to Tyler and fostered the growth of neighborhoods, business and educational facilities.

The National Park Service listed Tyler City Hall in the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 2007. As the nation’s official list of historically significant properties, National Register listing denotes that Tyler City Hall is especially worthy of preservation.

 

70. COTTON BELT DEPOT

Built in 1905
210 East Oakwood Street

This historic structure replaced the previous depot which was built in 1883, that straddled what is now Broadway Avenue, making way for the north/south thoroughfare. The Cotton Belt Depot was used for passenger service from June 2, 1905 until April 22, 1956. After its use as a depot, the railroad continued to use the structure for offices and storage until it was boarded up in 1987. In September 1988, Southern Pacific Railroad donated the building to the City of Tyler. A restoration project funded by the Tyler Half-Cent Sales Tax and grants from the Texas Department of Transportation and the Vaughn Foundation was completed in 2004.

The restoration project included a master plan for restoration, exterior restoration, and interior restoration - repairing damaged wood, plumbing, new electrical wiring, windows, installation of stained glass, new doors and paint.

Today the main passenger station is used by Tyler Transit as their general offices and the freight-baggage room is used by the Cotton Belt Depot Museum. The museum is filled with artifacts from the railroad and also houses a vast collection of donated model trains. The museum is staffed by volunteers from the Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Tyler TAP Chapter. There is no admission charge, but donations are accepted. The museum has had visitors from all 50 states and 25 countries, averaging about 375 visitors per month.

 

85. People's National Bank Building

Built in 1932
102 North College Avenue

The People’s National Bank Building served Tyler’s growing need for office space during the early years of the East Texas oil boom. The building housed oil companies, geologists, attorneys, engineers, and insurance companies. The building became the city’s most prestigious business address during the 1930’s and 1940’s. When it was built in 1932, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The building is currently being restored by a joint venture of Tyler’s two earliest families the Bergfelds and Brookshires.

 

87. Tyler Fire Station-Hillside Community Center

Built in 1930
1111 East Erwin Street

Reflecting the Spanish Colonial Revival design is the Sub-Station that is an icon in the Hispanic community of Tyler. The Spanish roof tile and the arched entrance to the west and east side of the building reflects the Spanish culture and heritage that are very valuable to our community.

 

93. Bergfeld Shopping Center

Built in 1948-1949

108 and 109 8th Street

 

Rudolph Bergfeld originally owned the land and it still remains in the family to this day. The Bergfeld Shopping Center was constructed in 1948-1949. The architects were Harwood K. Smith and Joseph M. Mills. The Bergfeld Square on South Broadway remains historically, if not architecturally, notable. The two, one-story commercial blocks that face each other across Eighth Street comprise what is thought to be the first suburban shopping center in Tyler. Although altered to the point where its original appearance is obscured, the center is an important landmark in Tyler and still retains its original signs.

 

94. Bergfeld Shopping Center Signs

Built 1948-1949

108 and 109 8th Street

 

Rudolph Bergfeld originally owned the land and it still remains in the family to this day. The Bergfeld Shopping Center was constructed in 1948-1949. The architects were Harwood K. Smith and Joseph M. Mills. The Bergfeld Square on South Broadway remains historically, if not architecturally, notable. The two, one-story commercial blocks that face each other across Eighth Street comprise what is thought to be the first suburban shopping center in Tyler. Although altered to the point where its original appearance is obscured, the center is an important landmark in Tyler and still retains its original signs.

 

95. The Simons House

Built February 1931

118 West Fourth Street

 

The Home was an original design of Shirley Simons for his personal use. Randy and Bruce Roberts purchased the home October 1, 1989. The configuration of the home is multilevel. The original home had a ballroom located on the first floor and is currently used as the firm's library and was restored to its original design. Shirley Simons was noted for designing circular windows in his architectural practice and this home as three. This property is currently used as Roberts and Roberts Law Firm.

 

96. ARCADIA THEATER SIGN

Built in 1925

121 North Spring Street

 

The Arcadia showed the very first “talking motion pictures” in Tyler on February 13, 1929. The theater had 585 seats. The Arcadia Theatre was just one of the many theaters that lined the streets of Tyler at one time. A very attractive two story building with a sloped red shale shingled roof .

The theater had a triangular marquee with just a single panel for attractions and then two large green neon lettering above spelling out “Arcadia”. The marquee was removed, but one of the large green neon “Arcadia” sign was left intact on the building’s front façade. The theater closed its doors after a brief run showing classic films in 1992. The property is currently used as Martin and Walker Law Firm.

 

99. Lawrence Grocery/F&W Food Store

Built in Circa 1924

509 West Dobbs

The site was used as a grocery store from 1871 through 1978. The original grocery store was known as Lawrence Grocery. The store was a wooden structure from 1871 to 1924, when the current brick building was constructed. The site was a well-known neighborhood grocery stored known as the F&W Food Store. It was operated by Herman W. Waller and his partner, R.A. Floyd for 32 years at this location. The property is currently used as Willis Jerrell Jr.'s office.

 

101. Hand-Mayfield-Hunt House

Built in Circa 1861

223 East Charnwood Street 

The home was built in 1861 originally as a frame dwelling that served as both a private school and residence.  The house obtained its present form in 1899 when it was incorporated into the house currently on the site during an extensive remodeling by John B. and Hattie Belle Mayfield. The 2 ½ story, high-style Classical Revival dwelling has a hipped roof finished with a wooden balustrade and quality detailing such as a full height projecting portico supported by square columns. The historic property at 223 East Charnwood is significant as one of the oldest houses in the district and as an example of how changing local conditions fostered its evolution from modest dwelling to school to high-style residence and major district anchor. The property is currently used as the office for Brian Loncar.

 

102. Bonner Boarding House

Built in Circa 1800s

223 South Bonner 

 

103. Marsh House

Built in Circa 1893

805 South Broadway

 
 
Copyright 2017 by City of Tyler