Named for President John Tyler, the city was established on April 11, 1846 by the Texas Legislature as it also created Smith County. Tyler was designated the county seat.
Downtown Tyler today is a bustling financial and business center, with numerous historical structures, government buildings and a revived restaurant district and nightlife.
In the heart of downtown is the T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza, commonly called "The Square". It is the site of many events throughout the year.
The Tyler Visitor’s Center is located in the Plaza Tower in the heart of Downtown Tyler at 110 N. College Avenue, Suite 105.
Street parking is available; metered parking is free on the weekend and after 5pm on weekdays.
Visitors can find free maps, activity guides and brochures, or can choose to purchase any of the many souvenirs that the gift shop has to offer, including stickers, shot glasses, posters, pins, mugs, T-shirts, hats, and local college memorabilia.
There are literally dozens of good restaurants in Tyler ... here are just a few favorites for enjoying a great meal while downtown!
We have no affiliation with any of these restaurants ... they are listed as a starting point for you to make your own dining decisions.
|Rick's on the Square
|Black Pearl Tyler
|Don Juan on the Square
|ETX Brewing Company
|True Vine on the Square
|Andy's Frozen Custard
|1948 Coffee and Juice Company
|Tyler Tortilla Factory
|Tapatio's Grill Chicken
Design Plan for Downtown Tyler Public Spaces
The Tyler City Council and Smith County Commissioners Court took a historic step on September 20, 2023, and approved a design plan for Downtown Tyler's public spaces!
Where Can I Shop in Downtown Tyler?
Other Places of Interest
More Information on Downtown Tyler
Since Tyler has no major hotels or motels in the downtown area, visitors might want to book one of the many fine hotel properties along the South Broadway Corridor, only about 5 miles south of downtown. Lodging is available downtown at boutique hotels and B&Bs.
A new boutique hotel opened in 2022 in downtown Tyler near Liberty Hall at 109 East Erwin Street.
Andrew and Grace Cryer, the owners of The Thomas Hotel, have worked to create a "hotel with heritage.” Grace is a fourth-generation Tylerite. The facility has eight suites, with bedroom and living areas along with a kitchenette.
The Thomas is a place for Tylerites and travelers to gather, meet, play, rest, recharge and enjoy the beauty of this magical town together! It offers intimate accommodations, warm service, and a true Tyler experience.
Also located on the property is "The Judge," a boutique cocktail bar serving a curated selection of wines, beers, and cocktails.
|The Thomas Hotel in downtown Tyler, Texas
Developers have transformed the old Greyhound Bus Station in Tyler into a boutique hotel. The structure dates to 1933, is built in the Art Deco architectural style, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located at the corner of West Locust Street and North Bois D'Arc Avenue, and is known as the Greyhound Inn.
The restored structure features nine guest rooms - five original upstairs apartments, two first floor units and two new rooms divide the building’s Art Moderne addition.
The upstairs rooms make use of apartments and rooms that are believed to have once housed bus drivers. The existing apartments include a living space, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
The first floor will house retail services such as a lounge, bakery or restaurant. Guests can book and check-in using their smartphones.
The boutique hotel project is headed by Bergfeld Realty. Fitzpatrick Architects is involved with the design and historic preservation of the project, while Brownlow & Sons Garden Works is responsible for the design of outdoor dining spaces and landscaping. Maddox Construction is also on the team to provide restoration and construction services.
Contact Andy Bergfeld at Bergfeld Realty for details or more information.
The downtown area does feature nearby bed & breakfast inns, including those listed below.
Rosevine Inn Bed & Breakfast and Extended Stay Lodging
. Rosevine has 4 unique guest rooms (each with a private bath) and 2 fabulous auites. Rosevine Extended Stay Suites are also available in an array of 1930s vintage homes that have been restored and furnished in the same period. There are 5 Executive Suites and 3 Rooms to choose from.
The Woldert-Spence Manor - 1859 Bed & Breakfast Inn
611 West Woldert, near downtown Tyler. Tyler's oldest B&B is an historic landmark restored to its prior beauty, and the closest lodging facility to the downtown Tyler square. The inn offers a total of 7 guest rooms, (3 downstairs and 4 upstairs). All rooms have private bathrooms with wall-mounted hairdryers and wireless internet access. Choose from king, queen, or full-size beds.
. This lovingly restored the home has 5 imaginative and comfortable literary themed rooms: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Alice in Wonderland, Around the World in 80 Days, The Great Gatsby, and The Little Prince. The home also offers a large amount of social space including a double living area, library, dining room, and full kitchen.
There is always something fun and exciting in downtown Tyler! With festivals, art shows, parades and Christmas lights, events are plentiful year round!
Events such as the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival attract thousands of visitors downtown. Other events include the Downtown Tyler Music Festival, CityFest, the Tyler Azalea Trails just south of downtown, and Downtown Tyler's Holiday Open House.
Another major annual event is the Tyler Art Festival held in the fall on the downtown Tyler square.
On the second Saturday of every month, Downtown Tyler celebrates Hit the Bricks. Each month offers new and fun activities enjoyable by all.
|Welcome to Downtown Tyler and the Arts & Culture District
The city is looking forward to another major event in 2024 ... Totality Tyler will be a celebration of one of nature's most amazing events: a total solar eclipse! For the first time since 1979, Tyler is in the path of totality, with the moon's shadow completely covering the sun for a few minutes. Activites are planned on the Tyler Square downtown, on April 5-8, 2024. The actual eclipse will be on April 8.
For more information on events and timing, visit Totality Tyler at the VisitTyler website.
The Fair Plaza Parking Garage is located on the corner of West Elm Street and South College Avenue. Parking is free. The garage's exterior design incorporates architectural elements from several landmark Tyler buildings including the Blackstone Hotel, Tyler Commercial College, and the clock tower from the historic Smith County Courthouse. Street parking is also available, with advanced meters offering credit card payments.
Much of Tyler's history is being chonicled in the Half Mile of History, which pays tribute to people, places and events that have contributed to the history of Tyler and Smith County.
Tyler Half Mile of History ... plaque honoring Texas Governor Richard B. Hubbard
The Half Mile of History is a permanent, outdoor, half-mile loop surrounding the courthouse square in downtown Tyler, administered by the City of Tyler.
Read about one of the people on the loop ... Walter E. Stewart.
More historical resources in Downtown Tyler:
Cotton Belt Depot Museum
|The Cotton Belt Route mural ... corner of West Rusk Street and South College Avenue, downtown Tyler
West Erwin Street Sign in Downtown Tyler: Established 1846
A number of historic districts have been identified in Tyler, many of which are near downtown:
Brick Streets National Historic District
Downtown Tyler has been named the city’s seventh historic district. It was was created May 21, 2022, by the Texas Historical Commission State Board of Review and will be entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
This new historic district covers 68.9 acres in the downtown area. It includes 19 blocks and 241 parcels between West Front Street to the south, Border Avenue to the west, the Cotton Belt railroad tracks to the north and Fannin Avenue to the east.
|Download a map of downtown Tyler and things to do at VisitTyler.com
Shown to the right is The Liberty Theater, 103 E. Erwin, downtown Tyler before restoration (right) and re-use.
The Liberty is once again home to memory-making events and entertainment after it was converted into Liberty Hall and re-opened in September 2011.
Shown below is the Liberty Hall after restoration.
The Caldwell Auditorium is part of the Caldwell Elementary Arts Academy, and is operated by the Tyler Independent School District (TISD). It is located at 300 South College Avenue near downtown Tyler.
It is the site of a variety of performances and musical events through the year, including concerts sponsored by the Tyler Community Concert Association.
Streetscape, downtown Tyler, Texas, including the site of the Arcadia Theater
Shown in the photo to the right is the Woman's Building, South Broadway Avenue, Tyler, Texas, built in 1932.
In September of 2016, the Tyler Woman’s Building Inc. Board of Directors gave to the United Way of Smith County the deed and keys to the historic, 84-year-old structure.
The United Way budgeted $2.6 million of renovations to the interior and exterior of the building.
|The Smith - Butler House, circa 1890
419 West Houston
The Fitzgerald House
LeGrand - Goodman House & Museum, North Broadway
|Marvin United Methodist Church, Tyler, Texas
First Baptist Church in downtown Tyler
|Tyler, Texas historical survey marker in the downtown square
|The Smith County Courthouse on Broadway Avenue, at the Square, Downtown Tyler, Texas, dedicated in August of 1955
|Historic Oakwood Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Tyler,
located near downtown
Built in 1957, this concrete water tower stands 206 feet tall, and is still in daily use by the City of Tyler. It also originally functioned as a fallout shelter for 750 people
|A number of
housing options are available downtown, such as the Moore Grocery Lofts and the Tyler Lofts.
|West Oak Villages
|West Oak Townhomes
The Morrison Lofts
This new community is conveniently located in Tyler's Downtown area. It features free-flowing floor plans, thoughtful design elements and the convenience of downtown proximity. With one and two bedroom apartment homes, The Morrison Lofts offer unique designs, convenience, affordability and a downtown lifestyle.
The NORF Companies broke ground on the 6-story Wilcox building at 230 South Broadway Avenue in downtown Tyler on March 30, 2023. The project will be a $12 million investment and will open in the winter of 2024. The building will be converted into an apartment/condo complex. Originally constructed in the 1950s, The Wilcox was named after local architect E. Davis Wilcox, its designer.
This is the first project of several NORF is developing Downtown, totaling $100 million in investments in the next two years.
|King Chevrolet in downtown Tyler, circa 1964