TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Tyler City Council voted Wednesday to move forward with plans to restore the historic Mayfair building.
In a 5-1 vote, the council authorized the City Manager to approve a change to the construction contract for the Mayfair building at the Rose Complex.
In April 2021, the city council officially approved the construction contract for Phase I of the Rose Complex construction, including Mayfair renovations. The council’s Wednesday vote authorized a change order amount of over $1 million for the Mayfair building.
Originally built in 1927, the Mayfair Building has hosted notable acts including the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Professional wrestling matches and Golden Gloves boxing events were also held in the building, and during World War II soldiers from Camp Fannin would meet there for dances.
“The history associated with this property transcends local significant and state significant, we had national music icons travelling to a small East Texas town to perform here, and that’s really important,” Ashley Washmon, Executive Director with Historic Tyler said.
Many members of the community came forward to speak in support of rehabilitating the Mayfair building. Councilmember Shirley McKellar thanked those who came to speak in support of the building.
“I, too support the Mayfair building. It’s historical to the African American community,” McKellar said. “I remember growing up when the only building in Tyler, Texas that African Americans could use was the Mayfair building.”
The Mayfair building is known as a beloved staple of the area, with a nonprofit named Friends of the Mayfair forming in support of it.
Later on Wednesday, Mayor Don Warren formally announced the name of the new Rose Complex Conference Center.