Tyler’s first ‘oil mansion’ designated as historic landmark - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tyler’s first ‘oil mansion’ designated as historic landmark


The history of Tyler continues to expand as another home was designated as a local historic landmark. This week, The Bracken House, located in the Azalea District, became the 124th local landmark in the city.

From the bricks, to the gardens, the famed Azalea district is riddled with history.

"You can drive down Chilton, you can drive down the national districts and you can see the progression of Tyler," said Historic Preservation Officer Amber Rojas.

The homes tell the stories of Tyler's beginnings.

"This is one of the first oil mansions in Tyler," said homeowner Nancy Clark.

The original owner of the home A.T Bracken founded Bracken Oil Company. The home was designed by architect Arthur E. Thomas.

"He designed Baylor Hospital and Children's Medical Center and the Dr. Pepper Building," Clark said.

Clark has lived in the Bracken House for nearly 30 years and she began working on the historic landmark application last year.

"We love the district, we love the azalea district and just love old homes," Clark said.

The historic preservation board has two major requirements. The home has to be at least 50 years old and with no major renovations.

"We don't want to take the historical character out of the home," Rojas said.

Clark said they haven't made any changes to the interior of the 3,600 square foot home, but at one point there was a back porch.

"The Bracken son had closed it in," Clark said.

Another son redid the kitchen in the 1960's.

"The backsplash is hand-painted Portuguese tile," Clark said.

From the wood floors to the stained glass windows the home's unique character is how it earned its place as Tyler's 124th historic landmark.

”What better way to see the growth of Tyler and also the heritage and identity of Tyler than through its homes," Rojas said.

The historic landmark program is voluntary and there are tax abatements available for homes that qualify. 

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