PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - The historic city of Palestine has another lovely historic landmark to rightfully boast about.
The Palestine City Council announced the house at 616 South Sycamore, a dignified Tudor-Revival house designed by one of Palestine’s most influential architects, as the City’s newest historic landmark.
Originally a single-story frame building, the house was built about 1897 by Dr. Thomas Milton Colley for his recently-married son, Paul Sims Colley.
The city says it was the year 1929 and Palestine architect Theodore S. Maffitt was visiting with his client, Paul Sims Colley, at Colley’s home at 616 South Sycamore Street. The house on the property was an unassuming wooden frame house built just prior to the turn of the century. Palestine was a thriving place, and had recently added all of the modern conveniences, such as paved sidewalks and streets, municipal water, and sanitation. Mr. Colley asked the architect to update the home and add all the modern conveniences.
Theodore S. Maffitt developed a Tudor-revival design for the house, they said, the same style he had recently chosen for clients’ houses at 201 West Kolstad Street and 303 South Royall. The major features of Maffitt’s design can still be seen on the house today, such as the steeply pitched gabled roofline, brick exterior, half-timbering, and stained glass details.
According to Palestine Main Street Manager Laura Westgate, the Colley family lived in the house until 1984, when Rhonda Herrington acquired the house. With new ownership, a historically-sensitive rehabilitation of the interior brought the second floor into use, and refined the kitchen and bath areas. Outside, the gardens and landscape features were re-invigorated, while maintaining the historic character of the home.
The home saw its share of weddings throughout its gardens and flower-strewn paths until 1981, when Ms. Alma Colley passed away. The present owner acquired the home in 1984 and has made many lovely and gracious improvements.
Long a Palestine landmark, the home at 616 S. Sycamore is today additionally noted for its annual Christmas decorations – both the multiple Christmas trees inside the home, and the extensive array outside.
For more information on the Historic Landmarks Commission or Historic Preservation please contact Jacob Morris at (903) 731-8419.