Destroyed Building Has Historical Significance

A historic building is burnt to the ground,  though it's rich history remains in tact.

"These buildings tell the story of what Tyler was, " says Kathy Comer of the Heart of Tyler who is in charge of Tyler's Downtown Restoration.

You can still see where owner Alfred Sledge painted Moore Grocery Company on the brick building.

But the story does not begin with the Moore Grocery Company it actually begins in 1912. Thomas E. Swann built the first Swann Furniture and Carpet Store at the site. A year later, Swann sold the building and it became a clothing manufacturing company, playing an important role during both World Wars.

"I've been told during the war years uniforms were manufactured here for our troops so that makes it even more historically significant," says Comer.

After W.W.I the warehouse and building became the Moore Grocery and Sledge Manufacturing company.

And Tuesday night's fire was not the first time this warehouse battled a blaze. "In 1928 the two story structure burned was restored and renovated."

The building has been abandoned since 1976...but was purchased in 2000 by Harry Leatherwood. His vision, to maintain its historical significance while building apartment lofts.

That dream may be temporarily postponed, but the true significance of this building is still seen in it's simple structure.

"This building is really the last good example of early commercial, it is not a terrible well known architectural style but it is important.  At a time like this we all stand back and realize how important a building can be," says Comer.

The old building and warehouse on Broadway and Line may be gone but it's history will always hold the tales of Tyler's past.