Ryan Place Pioneer on Elizabeth Boulevard Retains Historic Charm

Before I am accused of being lazy, allow me to note that when the first house in the first planned development in Fort Worth — Ryan Place — comes on the market, I can’t not write about it even if it is just down the street from me, on Elizabeth Blvd.

When 1112 Elizabeth Blvd. was built, in 1911, the world was a very different place. My grandfather was living in his city of birth, Vienna, under the rule of  Franz Joseph, the Austro-Hungarian Emperor. It was still the Belle Epoque, with the upheavals of World War I three years in the future. In the photograph above, taken about 1912, the boulevard was already handling motor car traffic but the original hitching post remains in front, just in case. A short 20 minute buggy ride would have taken you into town. Like all of the original dwellings on Elizabeth Boulevard built between 1911 to 1928, 1112 Elizabeth Boulevard was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

The house may not be as splendid as some of the boulevard mansions that followed, like the jazz-age palace developer John C. Ryan built for himself at 1302 Elizabeth Boulevard just two years later. Still, the home is a rather imposing prairie-style construction boasting nearly 5,000 square feet of living space. The mature trees that populate the lot-and-one-half yard give the house an air of tranquil permanence. A deep porch — a necessity in pre A/C Texas — leads directly into the spacious living area.

A classic four-square, the four-bedroom, two-and-one-half-bath house doesn’t have many rooms, but all of them are large-scaled with 10-foot ceilings. The original native pine floors are a happy survivor. Abundant windows flood the interiors with light.

Ryan Place

The family-friendly, open-concept plan is replete with many Craftsman details like Batchelder tiles surrounding the dining room fire place and typical square moldings currently being embraced by a new generation of enthusiasts.

The library, as large as the living room, has the original raised panel dado. To the side lie the stairs. Beyond is the large, modern kitchen.

Some buyers may not adore the surface selections — a cosmetic fix — but the cabinets look period appropriate, there is a deep farmhouse sink and the appliances are top of the line. The tin ceiling is a keeper.

Bedrooms are roomy with treetop views. One of the baths has kept the original tile, tub and hardware.

A spacious, third-floor rec room is an added fillip. Big enough to house a pool table with room to spare, I am told there is also a view of TCU in the distance.

And what 107-year-old house would be complete without a spooky American Horror Story-style basement where generations of childre have, no doubt, played and frightened one another on many a dark rainy day? The house is now, naturally, centrally heated and cooled and the current owners who have enjoyed nearly 50 years of life here, have done extensive work to make the building foundation completely sound.

Karly Johnston of Burt Ladner Real Estate is offering 1112 Elizabeth Boulevard for $849,000.

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.