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City of Tyler approves $1.5 million to repair Mayfair Building

“In order to have a better future, we also have to have a memory of the past because if we don’t know where we’ve been, we definitely don’t know where we are going.”
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Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - On Wednesday, the City of Tyler approved about $1.5 million worth of additional repair funds to repair and preserve the Mayfair Building.

“I always say if history is not remembered, it’s lost and gone forever, and too many things have been torn down. This one has been saved,” Save the Mayfair founder Jimmie Horton said.

Horton is one of the handful of speakers who asked the city to pass this funding.

“We have just a whole lot of memories of the big stars at that time coming through,” Horton said.

The building has been in Tyler since 1927 hosting stars including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.

“It’s just a great feeling to know that Tyler, even as it is growing fast and I’ve seen tremendous growth over the years, we are yet willing to preserve some of our old landmarks,” community activist Larry Wade said.

“I understand that it’s cost involved, but a lot of time we look just at the dollars in cents, but we also need to look at the historical sense,” Wade said.

Deputy City Manager Stephanie Franklin said the funds will come from taxes.

“Visitors come to our community, they pay a hotel motel tax, and that tax goes into a fund that specifically designated to be used for tourism facilities,” Franklin said.

The goal is to maintain it’s history while repairing necessary changes. “If you’ve been into the Mayfair, it’s going to look exactly like it did, it will just be restored,” Franklin said.

The funds will go to overall safety improvements including ADA access, updating energy systems, and new bathrooms.

“In order to have a better future, we also have to have a memory of the past because if we don’t know where we’ve been, we definitely don’t know where we are going,” Wade said.

Franklin said construction will start after the East Texas State Fair and is projected to take about nine months.

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