Oldest house in Tyler to remain standing after owner abandons plan to demolish it

Oldest Home In Tyler To Stay Standing

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It doesn’t look like much from the street, but the house at 421 S. College Avenue in Tyler is a part of history.

Built in 1847, the home was constructed one year after the city of Tyler was founded. James K. Polk was president and the Civil War wouldn’t start for another 14 years.

Recently, a new owner planned to demolish the house and build new housing.

“The new owner applied for a rezoning with with city, which would result in this house being turned into a quadplex,” Historic Tyler Executive Director Ashley Washmon said. “If you look up and down the street, it maintains a high degree of historic integrity and so if this house was demolished and a new structure was built in its place, it would be an eyesore.”

Even though nobody currently lives in the house and it’s seen better days, it’s the history behind it that has Washmon fighting for it to stay.

“As soon as we start tearing down this little house here, this little house there, it’s whittling away at the historic integrity of these districts,” Washmon said.

Today’s planning and zoning commission meeting was a relief for the people there in support of keeping the house standing.

“The applicant did mention that they wanted to proceed with the AR zoning request,” City of Tyler Planning Director Kyle Kingma said.

The owner now plans to change the zoning to adaptive reuse − meaning the home will stand and will likely be repurposed. For Washmon, its history preserved.

“Can go home tonight and be glad that this house is gonna stand,” Washmon said.

The property owner now has 30 days to apply for the adaptive reuse zoning change.

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