Pollard neighborhood poised to be Tyler’s next national historic district

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Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 8:15 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Work is underway to get Tyler’s Pollard neighborhood designated as a national historic district.

If all goes as planned, Pollard will join areas like the Azalea and Charnwood districts as Tyler’s eighth neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places.

“There is a significant concentration of mid-century modern homes in that area, which is part of the appeal,” said Ashley Washmon, executive director of Historic Tyler, the group leading the charge to make Pollard a national historic district.

Washmon said when most people think of the suburbs that blossomed after World War II, they may think of a cookie-cutter type neighborhood.

“They were mass-produced and weren’t individually designed with an architect,” said Washmon. “But in Pollard Farms, the houses were designed by an architect.”

“A lot of people don’t think of homes built in the 1950s or 1960s as having historic value,” said Marisa Gomez Nordyke, an architectural historian.

Gomez Nordyke, who is authoring the nomination, said Pollard is historic and offers lessons about our past.

“Americans became more affluent,” she said. “And very quickly, we see custom-built homes, sprawling ranch houses, and split-level designs with fine historical detail and high construction details.”

Among the things that make Pollard unique: embedded churches and an elementary school.

“It gives us a fuller picture of what was happening in the 1950s and 1960s in the building industry and in terms of American’s values. And the type of place they wanted to live,” said Gomez Nordyke.

Benefits of being named a national historic district include documentation, prestige, protection, and tourism.

“I like to say that people don’t visit a town to go see their big box stores,” Washmon said. “And I think that historic preservation is synonymous with the charm and character that we all love.”

This designation would be considered honorary, meaning it would not prevent Pollard area homeowners from making changes to their property.