In the “keeping track of what’s going on in one’s own backyard” file, the recent and rapid sale of 1111 Elizabeth Blvd. has raised some eyebrows. One hundred years old this year, 1111 Elizabeth Blvd. was built for George W. Armstrong, founder and president of Consumers’ Light and Heat Company, which ultimately became Fort Worth Power and Light. From 1935 to 1955, the home served as the parsonage for the First Methodist Episcopal Church. Listed in the National Registry, the 3,869-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-and-one-half-bath house is also a Fort Worth Historical Preservation Award winner.
Of equal interest are the rather unusual owners — Bill and Carolyn Sierra. Having lived in the home for only one year, and making minimal updates and improvements, they are pocketing a tidy 30 percent profit on their home, which was on the market for all of two weeks.
“This is our 14th house in 10 years” says Carolyn. “In 2008, when the stock market got scary, I thought, ‘This is something we can do.’ ”
Of course it’s helpful that Carolyn is an interior designer. The period feel has been respected, though some walls have been altered for a more open and modern feel.
The living room contains one of two fireplaces. Ample fenestration makes the Craftsman/Tudor style home light and airy. On a raised lot, the living room has strategic views of the street.
The kitchen has been thoroughly renovated with modern stainless appliances and a deep stainless farmhouse sink. The Sierras added the glass-front cabinets and enlarged the island, now open to the dining room. The kitchen also opens onto a sitting room, which was once the breakfast room.
The master bedroom is ample and connects to a modern bath with separate pedestal sinks and marble shower stall.
A secondary, cozy bedroom houses the other fireplace and gives way to a beautiful vintage bath with period tile and extra-long tub.
Sleeping porches have been enclosed and incorporated over the years to add extra upstairs living space and bedrooms.
The double lot is nearly half of an acre. Guest quarters over the garage add an additional fully self-sufficient 360 square feet of living space, which rents for $550 per month.
“We only lived in our previous house around the corner on 5th for six months and didn’t plan on selling it,” Carolyn recalls. “And we definitely planned to stay here,” she adds.
“Would you consider a flip again?” I inquire.
“I don’t know. Maybe,” she muses.
Special credit should be given to the boutique firm of Ruth Story, under the Keller Williams umbrella, who has made historic Ryan Place her specialty. She handled the sale of the $850,000 property.
Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, and in books and publications including D Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and D Home has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.