Bryan got its start as a railroad town when the H&TC line arrived in 1867. Quickly becoming an agricultural and commercial center and seat of Brazos County, the downtown district grew parallel to the railroad tracks, town planning that is visible today in this pedestrian welcoming core. The vibrant town of today was not what would have been experienced twenty years ago! Bryan’s preservation wake-up call began when the roof of the neglected Palace Theater collapsed. Citizens pitched in to clean up the debris and while the structure was lost, the space remains as an outdoor event space with the original marquee floating above the entrance. With renewed care for its historic building fabric Bryan now has color-coded routes proudly guiding pedestrians through historic downtown streets to museums, shops, galleries, businesses, theaters and restaurants while festivals and activities happen weekly.
Local heritage is displayed at the Brazos Valley African American Museum where the collection focuses on the regional experience of African Americans through artifacts and art of the founding Mel Pruitt collection. Galleries also showcase contemporary artworks through rotating exhibits. The Carnegie Center of Brazos Valley History offers tours about how the building was saved and architectural features of the restored 1903 neoclassical Carnegie Library. Experience heyday Bryan charm by staying the night at the restored LaSalle Hotel, a 1928 property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bryan boasts a state cultural district designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Explore all they have to offer on your next visit!