Allen Heritage Village
Development of the Allen Historic Village recognizes the significance in preserving pieces of its past among the city’s rapid development. As part of this project developed by the City of Allen in cooperation with Allen Heritage Guild, several of Allen’s oldest remaining homes and outbuildings and a well-preserved church were procured. Additionally, several acres of land in Allen’s old residential area were purchased to establish a “village” setting where the structures could be relocated and restored, forming a park where visitors could admire the structures and enjoy learning about Allen’s history from interpretive exhibits. The project began in 2002 with the renovation of the St. Mary Baptist Church. The Community Development Corporation provided the Allen Heritage Guild with funds to restore the St. Mary Baptist Church, which once served a dual purpose as a school and a church to Allen’s African American population. The Heritage Guild completed the project in September 2002.
The City made significant progress in 2003 moving the other selected structures to the village and preparing a master plan for the village. Given the larger size and unique architecture of the First Christian Church, the church was sited as the centerpiece of the village. A “u”-shaped driveway joins the church to St. Mary Drive. Passing directly in front of the church, a wide east to west walkway forms a framework for locating the other village structures. In 2005 an historical architect prepared plans for the exterior restoration of the Allen Christian Church and the two bungalow houses. During the summer of 2008 the exterior restorations were completed.
Allen Heritage Village is located at 450 E. St. Mary Drive, across from the Allen Senior Center. The park presents the architectural and cultural heritage of Allen through an immersive display of four historic homes and two landmark churches. A diverse network of gardens complements the structures and features native and adapted plants arranged to create year-round interest. Home gardeners will discover new plants and plant combinations to try, while history buffs will appreciate seeing pass-along plants starring in many of the gardens. Take a glimpse at Allen’s past by visiting its Heritage Village. Here, you can learn about this suburb’s history, how it thrived, and how it developed into what it is today. You can discover its past since the 1840s, the time when many immigrants started settling into this place. At the Heritage Village, you will find many historical, old homes and buildings that have stood here for many years. One of the most notable outbuildings you can find in this area is the Allen Christian Church which was constructed back in 1918. Take time to walk around and admire the many homes and structures restored to showcase its beauty during its peak by going to this area in town.