Holt Delivers Fiery Speech to Save the Mayfair Building

Jun 8, 2022

Edwin Holt joined several passionate citizens at City Hall, delivering a fiery speech to the council emphasizing the importance and restoration of the legendary Mayfair building located adjacent to the new home of Tyler’s Rose Complex. The Mayfair has a long history of live performances and served as the only local dance hall catering to both blacks and whites since its construction in 1927.

Holt’s Speech to Tyler City Council on June 8th, 2022:
How hollow it must be to live in a world without song. Whether that song be the notes skillfully executed on an instrument or the simple sounds of nature itself performing in concert on a simple stroll in our very own rose garden. Music represents so much of who we are. The different chapters we have all lived through, from high school dances to an all-out rock concert we may have attended as a young person. Music is, as our good friend Dick Clark put it, the soundtrack of our lives.

Tyler, Texas, has had many chapters. And with any story, the pages of a great novel are filled with victories and defeats. And through it all, our little city has continued to always serve and support the arts. Music being at the forefront of that support.

The Mayfair building, constructed in 1927, is an icon and one of the most important chapters in this book we call Tyler. From the dances held every Saturday night with Raymond Rhone and his orchestra to the very beginnings of rock and roll featuring a young Elvis Presley or a very young Man in Black howling his Folsom Prison Blues, the Mayfair has cradled the memories of these wonderful artists and stood firm as their foundation of song for 95 years.

Some folks will argue that history isn’t important. We have all watched our own nation attempt to erase the bad things within our past. But what we don’t take into consideration is the positive that can come from all things…good and bad. It is the way God has worked through man since the very beginning continuing to push us to good throughout all of our self-proclaimed achievements as well as our mistakes made throughout our existence on this earth.

As a city and a nation, we must hold on to and preserve our history. It is who we were and will always be a part of who we are. The Mayfair represents everything that is good about the human condition and is a part of who we are. It is a part of our Tyler and deserves the restoration it so badly needs.

I will leave you all with one of my favorite quotes from the man himself, Mr. Bob Dylan.

“Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.”