Azalea Trail #4, Azalea District Historic Homes
After touring the Pyron House’s garden, I used the rest of Saturday afternoon to see a couple of homes on the “Historic Tyler on Tour”, along the Azalea Trail. The first house on the tour was the Tyer Home and of course I left my entry ticket in the car four blocks away, where I parked. So I wasn’the able to get any interior photos. My apologies to the owners. It was a very stately looking home from the exterior. I loved the fountain!
I walked back to my to car and retrieved my pass for the Hardin Home. The docent at the front door was very nice and outgoing. He made the experience pleasant. I did not listen to the entire tour, but I was able to grab a couple of quick photos. Time was rapidly flying by.
I captured a couple of photos of the interior, the dining room and the living room. I thought the owners had done an excellent job of preparing for the tour. The home was very bright and filled with sunshine. I felt warm and at home!
This next home was a little different. I had my slip checked to validate I was at the Bankston home and actually visited it. As I entered, I was asked if I wanted the tour. I said no thank you as time was literally running out. I told the lady docent that I just wanted to take a few photos of the interior, for my blog and try and make the next house before they closed at 5:00 PM. The docent looked at me and said “You cannot take any photos in the house”.
I explained I was a guest of the city of Tyler, performing media functions and the other houses hadn’t had a problem. Her retort was caustic and she stood by her no photo rule. I said thank you kindly and exited. She followed me all the way out with her eyes. I am not sure if she was upset I didn’t want the tour or just didn’t like my Hawaiian shirt and beard. I knew when I wasn’t welcome and left.
The last home on the tour for me was the Frank Home and it could not have been more different than the Bankston House. The docent greeted me with a huge smile and asked if I wanted the tour. I said yes, as I had plenty of time after the incident at the Bankston House. I was very happy I decided to go with the tour. I had four different docents and each were well versed on the history of the house and the couple that resided in the home presently. The lady of the house was quite a decorator and collected Franciscan Desert Rose China, just like my Mother. I had an instant bond!
The husband was an officer in the Navy and a Submarine officer at that. I would not be able to even ride a submarine much less live on one. In addition he was fantastic with his hands and did all kinds of work around the house. They tried to maintain as much of the 1950’s accents throughout the home as possible. This included the kitchen, the bathrooms, and several items they rebuilt or refinished. The counter below is a sample of the quality of work he does.
It was obvious that the wife was fond of the Franciscan Deseryt Rose China. The photo below shows many pieces that either weren’t available when my Mother was collecting or she didn’t have the funds. I was attracted to all the various items and cannisters with the design.
My favorite piece of all was this Piggy Bank located beside the stove top. I have never heard or seen this item before and the docent told me he thought it was rare, but he wasn’t sure. I do know it is out of stock on EBay and has been removed. The price quote was $97.00 before it was deleted. I can only guess it is fairly limited in supply.
I love Rattan furniture also and they had a set of the real straw furniture that was very old and authentic. I could sit on this porch every night watching as the sun set, and just might enjoy a toddy or two!
If you are wondering, there are 20 pillows on the bed. I personally have a hard time removing and returning this many pillows on my bed, but it wasn’t really my concern. Notice how great the curtains, pillow covers and comforter all match. The lady of the house has a great eye for design.
None of the homes on the tour were located adjacent to each other and many times it was comfortable walking between homes. I was flabbergasted by the quantity of outstanding homes located in the various districts of Tyler. There was home after home of fantastic architecture. I took many, many photos and thought the homes displayed below were some of the more attractive homes. I hope you enjoy!
This tour is an annual event tied into the Azalea Fest. I highly recommend you experience it in the coming years, if you are fond of old architecture and love seeing the result of makeovers. When I was younger and had just got married, my wife and I served as docents, on the Galveston Old Homes Tour and really loved meeting the people on the tours and delivering our spiels. I know when you come to Tyler you will be treated like royalty and thoroughly enjoy their tour immensely.
***Portions of my stay were in association with the City of Tyler. All opinions, as always, are those of my own.