It’s Hip to be Old: Cool Features of Palestine’s Historic Homes

It's Hip to be Old- Palestine's Historic Homes TX



Palestine has the second largest concentration of registered historic homes in Texas (Galveston has the top slot). We are surrounded by a rich architectural history that is easy to take for granted since it is commonplace for us. Driving by a handful of Victorian mansions is just a normal day in Palestine! These historic homes are a treasure for not only our community, but to everyone who drives by them or is lucky enough to go inside. (If you own one, I assume my invite is already on its way!) The features of historic homes are not often found in modern day properties and are among an ever-growing list of why it’s so cool to go old:

OH, THOSE CEILINGS—Tall ceilings make a room feel at least twice as big, and it is common for historic homes to offer the grandiose feeling that only a soaring ceiling can offer. (It also doesn’t hurt that many historic homes, especially Victorians, have no shortage in square footage!) Often historic homes boast elaborate ceilings that can only be described as amazing—from coffered ceilings (which are now seeing a comeback in contemporary homes), incredible plaster work that resembles fine art rather than home décor, wood inlays, tin ceilings, murals and trim detail. These homes know about decadence, and these ceiling details make your average sheetrock seem downright lame!

BUILT-INS GALORE—You can’t have too many built-ins. Where else will you display your treasured tchotchkes and Canton finds? From bookshelves to gorgeous leaded glass china cabinets to space-saving murphy beds, there is no such thing as a bad built-in! After all, storage truly is timeless.

WOODWORK, WOODWORK, WOODWORK— Most of these homes have an insane amount of wood contained within their walls—many with hardwood flooring that adds to the character of the home. However, hardwood floors are only the tip of the historic iceberg. Old homes are the only time I get sad when woodwork is painted out. It’s just too beautiful to hide with paint! From exquisite molding (not the black fuzzy kind!), detailed banisters and ornate trim, each house is a piece of art all it’s own.

DETAILS MATTER—The attention to detail is really what makes an “old home” stand out from its contemporaries. These details, like door hardware, light fixtures and windows are bought in bulk contractor packages for today’s homes. However, these details are distinguishing features of the home and some were handcrafted and might even be one-of-a-kind fixtures made especially for the house. Eastlake door hardware, tiffany light fixtures and stunning stained glass—these are only some of the little treasures that an old home offers.

Historic homes have their own set of hurdles and owning/restoring one is definitely a labor of love, but oh how the fruits of your labor are well worth it in the end! These homes still offer what today’s buyers want—a solid house, lots of space and plenty of character. In most cases, it would be cost prohibitive to have this extent of detail in a new construction home. It’s true—they just don’t build them like this anymore. If these walls could talk, I’d sure listen to what they had to say.

Lisa E. Priest is obsessed passionate about old homes and is an East Texas Area REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or email or at