That's not to say that they ignore the house's history. The website has a section explaining the house's origins, and Gerencer mentioned that they watched TCM at the house to celebrate the film's 40th anniversary. And they certainly don't mind when horror dorks such as myself ask to take pictures of the house, which of course I did.
As you can imagine, the house underwent extensive renovations before they opened it to the public, so much of the house was unrecognizable. However, one element of the house was still quite familiar, and to be honest, it gave me chills.
This, of course, is the site of one of the most brutal scenes ever shot in a horror movie, and the one where we first meet one of the most iconic killers in cinema history.
Not only was this a nasty scene to behold on-screen, it was also apparently harrowing to shoot for Leatherface's portrayer, Gunnar Hansen (RIP), and even more so for co-star William Vail. According to Hansen's memoir of the production, he got a bit carried away during a take and when he threw Vail through the door, Vail hit his head pretty badly.
While I suppose one could argue that given the amount that the house was changed, and the fact that the house wasn't even in the same location as it was when the movie was shot, that technically I haven't truly visited the site of the Sawyer's grisly deeds. But I defy a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to walk down the foyer and not get a bad case of the willies. I'm very happy to have made the trip, and I recommend stopping by if you're in the area. If nothing else, the club sandwiches are outstanding and they have much stricter weapon restrictions than the Sawyers did in their day.