Tax Credit Program Highlight: Martin Hall at Texas College

Tyler, Smith County

1924

Designation

Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic Use

Higher Education

Current Use

University Administration

Date Certified

March 11, 2019

 

Certified for state tax credits only.

Project Contact

Texas College; Merriman Anderson Associates; Garrett and Associates

History

Texas College served as a historically black college since its founding in 1894. As the black community grew hungrier for educational opportunities following the Civil War, the local St. James Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) of Tyler started the college, hoping to enrich and advance the lives of those in their community. Tyler’s African American population rapidly expanded in the 1920s as the mechanization of farming reduced the need for agricultural labor in more rural areas. Reflecting the increased demand for higher education, Texas College built Martin Hall in 1924 as a combination classroom and administration building and is a good local example of a Classical Revival-influenced education building.

Rehabilitation Project

Martin Hall has served as the college’s administration building since the 1960s, with numerous alterations over time. Because of these, little original fabric remains in the building. The current project was begun to correct severe structural issues that had surfaced in the building in recent years, causing uneven floors and masonry failure, and which led to the building being unoccupied. The initial project scope was intended to primarily address the structural issues but, as construction got underway, the college decided to undertake a more complete rehabilitation project. Non-historic windows were replaced to match the original and an elevator and other ADA upgrades were added. Finally, new finishes were added throughout most of the building. The building will now house all school administrative functions.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • A notable aspect of the project is the replacement of windows that were installed in the 1980s and were not sympathetic to the original design.