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Tyler students 'heart bomb' historic downtown building

The art students at Caldwell Arts Academy 'heart bombed' the Carlton Hotel in downtown Tyler.

TYLER, Texas — Hearts decorate the wall facing Broadway Avenue of the Carlton Hotel.

Students from the Caldwell Arts Academy 'heart bombed' it Friday to show support for the historic building.

Each heart had a message for it like calling it special and historic, while most were advocating for the building to not be demolished.

The building is located at 106, 112 and 116 E. Elm St. It operated as the Carlton Hotel from 1954 to 1971 with 200 rooms, a rooftop pool and cabanas.

Then it was vacant until 1977, when Smith County purchased it for office space. However, in 2013, the county staff moved out and the 15-story building has remained empty and boarded up since.

In Jan. of 2018, Smith County sold the building to Tai Ly, a Dallas developer, to be turned into loft apartments. The contract said that Ly would apply for permits 3 months after the sale, start construction within 9 months and have improvements done within 36 months.

The deadline for construction was in October and yet it remains the same. But the students of Caldwell are calling for people to realize "love is best old" and to save the building.

Credit: KYTX

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