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Historic Texas Bank Transformed into Unique Airbnb Getaway

Published December 27, 2023
7 months ago

The small town of Bartlett, Texas, harbors a hidden gem for travelers and history aficionados alike—an Airbnb vacation rental that encapsulates over a century of history within its walls. Jennifer Tucker, a real estate broker with a fervor for historic restoration, has transformed the long-abandoned Bartlett National Bank into a cozy three-bedroom home, complete with original vault doors and a teller station.


Bartlett National Bank, which dates back to 1904, bears witness to the fluctuating fortunes of the Texan town named after John. T. Bartlett. It experienced prosperity in the early 20th century, centered on cotton and wool shipping, before spiraling into silence during the Great Depression. The bank, despite its temporary revitalization in the 1990s and a cinematic moment in the 1998 film "Newton Boys" starring Matthew McConaughey, largely lay dormant until its recent reincarnation.


Upon acquiring the property in December 2019, Tucker embarked on a meticulous renovation journey. From January to July, she and a specialized crew worked tirelessly, investing approximately $200,000 to retrofit the 1,200-square-foot space with modern amenities such as electricity, plumbing, and air conditioning—all while preserving the unique historical elements.


The Airbnb resonates with the echoes of the past as guests are greeted by the building's original brickwork, woodwork, and tile flooring. The personalized experience begins in the grand living room that formerly housed the bustling bank hall, showcasing the magnificent vault and antique teller cage sourced from Bells, Texas.


Tucker's dedication to authenticity extends to the hardwood staircase, which was reassembled from Victorian wood salvaged and stored by a local woodworker. Each bedroom, from the one with an attached green-and-white-themed bathroom to the upstairs sleep spaces with captivating grey ceilings and period-appropriate designs, tells a story of a bygone era.


Even the kitchen and dining area reflect a charming fusion of eras; exposed brickwork and timeless hardwood floors blend seamlessly with modern culinary amenities. It is these thoughtful touches that enchant guests, prompting accolades for seamlessly melding time periods with present-day comforts.


Bartlett National Bank now stands as an inviting retreat, available to book for around $248 per night. Visitors are not merely renting a place to stay—they are immersing themselves in a piece of Texan history, carefully conserved through a transformative restoration that honors its origins.


Positive testimonials have surged on the property's Airbnb listing, commending the space for its authenticity and comfort. Such emphatic appreciation underscores the project's success, assuring that the bank's story proceeds into the future, embraced by those who value heritage and a distinctive lodging experience.



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