HGC

Simply put, it’s so damned exciting living in Fort Worth now. Growth is insane, lively development or redevelopment can be found in any direction one looks, and a lot of young, vigorous, and creative talent is steering much of it.

HGC Residential Development was born in 2000 and has flourished and grown in a period in which the population of Fort Worth has increased by 60 percent. We’ve had periods of dizzying growth and prosperity in North Texas before, but often it seems as if these were eras of loss and missed opportunities. Think: The 1980s and the damage done to older neighborhoods, particularly Highland Park and Oak Lawn, when many a proud, carefully conceived structure was leveled and replaced with modish, but generic building stock. Much of residential construction then strived for grandeur and a vaguely remembered past — and missed the mark.

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Bishops Flower

After last week’s post in Park Hill, I was determined to find new construction that could rival the venerable Winton Terrace grand dame for classical style and pleasing proportions. My first impulse was to look in Riverhills, a new development in Edwards Ranch that a classic house lover can embrace. Choice listings here are thin on the ground, so I was pleased to find a balanced beauty on the charmingly monikered street at 3820 Bishop’s Flower.

I had to look the unlikely name up. If you don’t know, bishop’s flower is a lovely, simple, white bloom used in cut flower arrangements. It grows in the Western United States. Lovely, simple, white, only begins to describe the appeal of this listing, too. Symmetrical quoined bays frame the receding center block capped by a lantern. (more…)

Winton Terrace west

One great perks of the job that comes with writing for CandysDirt.com, is meeting some really great agents. Last week we looked at a historic, honey of a house in Hemphill Heights listed by Briggs Freeman’s Gwen Harper, who had such an interesting portfolio that I contacted her about one of her listings at 2225 West Winton Terrace West in Park Hill. Actually, her portfolio is a bit slimmer this week owing to recent sales, including the Heights property, which predictably went under contract after last week’s open house.

The truth is, I don’t need much of an excuse to tempt me into Park Hill, one of my favorite and one of the loveliest of all Fort Worth neighborhoods. What is it about Park Hill? Park Hill has a solidity and sense of permanence that comes with time. Distinctive houses rest on deep set-back bluff lots, enveloped in beautiful landscaping and mature trees. And then there is — excuse the foreign phrase — an elusive, Park Hill je ne sais quoi. The more one dissects the romantic façade of a Park Hill beauty of 1920s vintage, the more layers of true architectural sophistication one uncovers. (more…)

Travis Ave.

I must confess to a certain lackadaisical, late-summer lethargy searching for this week’s Fort Worth Friday. Then I found 2832 Travis Avenue in Hemphill Heights and regained my enthusiasm. We’ve been keeping an eye on Hemphill Heights as one of the up-and-coming in-town neighborhoods for some time. “The Heights” is a neighborhood south of Ryan Place, roughly bounded by Hemphill St. and West Berry St. The neighborhood is still a bit rough around the edges, but has a rich stock of  turn-of-the-century, Craftsman-style houses to tempt young, urban pioneers.

Listings in Hemphill Heights are rare. Sales in Hemphill Heights usually happen on the QT, privately, seller to buyer. So 2832 Travis Avenue is truly a find.  And this 1909-built, three-bedroom, three-full-bath house has been thoroughly updated and restored. New roof, new electric, plumbing, HVAC system, new double hung windows — the works.  (more…)

South Main

The South Main development is one of those stories with so many threads that it nearly defies being woven into a coherent fabric. In fact, South Main is comprised of so many stories, any one of which is worthy of focus. Neighbor, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s agent, and generally super-connected person Lisa Logan, whom we’ve met more than once on this page, suggested I take a look at South Main. To better grasp the explosion of growth, building activity, and shear, unleashed creativity, we decided to walk the area.

South Main

“Clay, my son, used to take boxing over there,” Logan said, pointing to one of the many brick warehouses “Five years ago there was NOTHING!” (more…)

Things aren’t necessarily what they appear at street level.  From the corner of Irwin Street and Forest Park, 2301 Irwin Street appears to be just the sort of charming, one-story Craftsman-style bungalow one would expect to find in Mistletoe Heights.

I continue to marvel at the variety of venerable Near Southside neighborhoods — Berkley, Park Hill, Fairmount, Ryan Place, and Mistletoe Heights — connected one to the other, of approximately the same age, and each with its own distinctive character. This 1924 build exudes period appeal beginning with the front arched entry vestibule, which seems to push itself forward to welcome visitors from a rhythmic procession of interesting roof lines.

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If convenient, lock-and-leave living, a choice West Side location, and an affordable price top your list of must haves, you should definitely take a look at a new listing at 716 Arch Adams Lane. Location? Off 7th Street and within easy walking distance of the museums and 7th Street restaurants and clubs. The street is easy to miss, and that’s a good thing. Though near the heart of so much action, Arch Adams Lane is surprisingly quiet and tranquil. The street front entrance is the garage. The front door is accessed down a private path behind. The design recalls an urban loft conversion with industrial style windows and rusty iron canopies sheltering the entrance. Though the building looks freshly minted, the project was completed in 2004. That has given thoughtfully planned landscaping time to grow and fill in.

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Mopey and melancholic, your Fort Worth Friday correspondent was looking for real estate comfort food to chew on, and there are few neighborhoods more delicious than Crestwood with its lovely, well-bred, unpretentious houses set among cherished old oaks. And with the summer dog days upon us, we are all seeking refuge where we can, so it was with great and unexpected pleasure that I discovered  a delightful, verdant oasis, hidden behind limestone walls at 208 Rockwood Drive in the heart of Crestwood.

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