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City of Bryan, Texas



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Historic Preservation

The City of Bryan is a unique place identified by its embrace of various cultures, distinctly intact historic downtown, and welcoming attitude. We all have places that matter to us or our family. These places help form our identity, our community, and tell our story. They explain our past and serve as the foundation for our future.

Merriam-Webster defines preservation as the activity or process of keeping something valued alive, intact, or free from damage or decay. Therefore, historic preservation can be defined as an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve, and protect buildings, objects, landscapes, stories, or other artifacts of historical significance. Historic preservation is further explained by the National Park Service as a conversation with our past about our future. It provides us with opportunities to ask, “What is important in our history?” and “What parts of our past can we preserve for the future?”

Through historic preservation, we look at history in different ways, ask different questions of the past, and learn new things about our history and ourselves. Historic preservation is an important way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations.

Bryan-College Interurban railway in early 1900s.

historic landmark program marker

Historic Landmark Program

Do you own an historic home or commercial property in Bryan? If so, you may qualify for the Bryan, Texas Landmark Program. Secure your place in Bryan’s history with an official marker.


We’re here to help

Don’t know where to start on your conservation project? That’s why we’re here! Email the Historical Preservation Team in the City of Bryan’s Development Services or call 979.209.5030.


Historic Preservation Plan / Public feedback

Promo image of the cover of the City of Bryan's Historic Preservation Plan.

View the Plan

Why do we need a plan?

Preservation plans provide an opportunity for cities to lay the framework for preserving, protecting and leveraging their historic and cultural fabrics for the betterment of all. At its most basic definition, historic preservation is the process of creating and implementing a strategy to protect and enhance historic resources. These resources include sites, structures, objects and districts that have national, state or local historical or cultural significance.

What you told us

We asked residents through an online survey, and in-person at the May and June First Friday events, to pick one word that describes historic preservation. Here are the results:

word cloud with the following words describing historic preservation: Necessary Needed Educational Pretty Culture Happy Educational History Important Important Legacy Educational Awesome Acknowledgement Togetherness Science Cool Important Beautiful Joy Important Informative Best Part of History Hope Family Smart Vital Community Swaggie Familiarity Important Legacy Cool Family Important Worth it Aesthetic Yipee Hooray Essencial Stories Past Legacy Family Good Times Tradition Downtown Character Vital Necessary Important Necessary Excellent Legacy LaSalle Hotel Important Nostalgic Essential Duty Vital Memory Education Priceless Education Crucial Great Important Important Stale Connection Heritage Essential

What’s new in this plan?

This plan serves as an update to the previously-approved Historic Preservation Plan for Bryan, Texas, completed in 1989 by Tom Niederauer & Associates. This plan works to supplement the City of Bryan Comprehensive Plan as well as federal, state and local programs. Using the previously existing plan as a guide, this update removes completed goals and objectives, and maintains strategies, goals and objectives which are still relevant today.

Vision, goals and strategies

  • Goal 1: Cultivate a “preservation ethic” in the community through an active outreach program.
  • Goal 2: To act as historic preservation advocates for/to all Departments, Boards, and Commissions of the City of Bryan, and provide leadership in integrating those municipal programs that impact preservation.
  • Goal 3: To record and promote the history of the people and the development of Bryan.
  • Goal 4: To preserve and enhance all historic structures in Bryan through an active Designation program.
  • Goal 5: To provide preservation services to the community through guidelines, seminars, and review processes.
  • Goal 6: Promote historic preservation as a catalyst for economic development.

Explore Bryan’s history – digitally

timeline promo image

City of Bryan’s 150th Anniversary history website

For the City of Bryan’s 150th anniversary of official incorporation in 2021, we went all out to try to share the story of Bryan in a new and innovative way.

View Interactive Timeline

Take the official Bryan, Texas History Tour

The official Bryan, Texas History Tour is a self-guided journey through time as you take a look into the legends of our past at more than 20 historical sites and landmarks throughout the city. Check in to all the stops to receive a Bryan-themed prize pack.

Sign up today for this free, mobile friendly pass and start your historical journey through Bryan.

Get Your Tour Pass

Destination Bryan History Tour

Share your stories

As a part of the City of Bryan’s 150th anniversary we began collecting historic items, photos and oral histories from numerous residents to really show and tell the story of Bryan from the people who have lived it. But there are so many more stories and important artifacts that we need to collect and record for future generations.

If you have an interesting story to tell about your life in Bryan, an historic event that happened here, or any physical items or photos that you’d be willing to share with us for documentation, please let us know. We want to hear from you.

Share Your Story

Listen to Our Oral Histories

Ibarra School fifth grade basketball team.

A Story from Ibarra: One man’s oral history

Ibarra Elementary served Mexican students throughout the 1930s and 40s. The school was later renamed San Jacinto Elementary, and most of the students were eventually relocated to Bowie Elementary. Joe Ramirez shared two stories with us about the Ibarra Elementary basketball and baseball teams in these recordings from April 17, 2012. Mr. Ramirez passed away on Dec. 15, 2016. He was 78 years old.

Protecting our heritage: We’re here to help

Don’t know where to start on your conservation project? That’s why we’re here! Email the Historical Preservation Team in the City of Bryan’s Development Services or call 979.209.5030.

Email Historical Preservation

main street before
main street after

Historic Landmark Program

Do you own an historic home or commercial property in Bryan? If so, you may qualify for the Bryan, Texas Landmark Program. Now is the time to secure your place in Bryan’s history with an official marker.

The Bryan, Texas Landmark Program is a project of the City of Bryan Historic Landmark Commission and was created to recognize and preserve Bryan’s many historic landmarks and foster a sense of community pride.

Since the first public efforts in the early 1980s, Bryan’s citizens have worked diligently to preserve their history for generations to come. The past echoes from Bryan’s many historically significant locations. In the reborn historic downtown and throughout many residential and cultural historic sites, Bryan’s past is a present and vital part of the community. The landmark program is designed to give these historic treasures the added recognition they deserve, helping to preserve their stories for the future.

historic landmark program marker

How to Apply

Step 1: Find out if you meet the criteria and download the application

You qualify for the program if your structure or subject site is:

  • Located within the boundaries of an existing Historic Preservation Overlay District; and,
  • Is at least 50 years old; or,
  • Is an individually designated historic structure or site by inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places or a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

Download the application

Step 2: Submit the application and supporting documents

There are four submittal requirements:

  • $100 application fee
  • Photographs of historic and existing conditions (as available)
  • Narrative history (to the extent known)
  • Completed and signed application form

Completed applications should be emailed to the Historical Preservation Team in the City of Bryan’s Development Services or submitted in-person at the Development Services office at Bryan City Hall, 300 S. Texas Ave., Bryan, TX 77803

Email Your Application

Step 3: City staff members will review the application

City staff members will review the request for a historic landmark marker and will contact the applicant to let them know if their site is approved to join the program.

Bryan, Texas Landmark Program markers are awarded to structures and subjects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical associations and architectural or cultural significance.

Step 4: If approved, you get your marker

The historic landmark marker is tangible symbol of a legal designation by city ordinance. In other words, the City of Bryan is legally saying this site is a historic landmark.

Once installed, the marker should not be removed from the property in the event of a transfer of ownership. Only action by the Bryan City Council may alter or remove the Historic Preservation Overlay designation.

If you have any questions about this program, please email the Historical Preservation Team in the City of Bryan’s Development Services or call 979.209.5030.

Email Historical Preservation

An Important Distinction

The Bryan, Texas Landmark Program is separate from the federal National Register of Historic Places and state Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks programs, but properties so designated within these programs are also eligible for a Bryan, Texas Landmark Program marker.