To write about 1315 Elizabeth Boulevard in Ryan Place is a daunting proposition. There is just so much deserving of comment to give this venerable Fort Worth grande dame her due. On a personal level, its owner hosted a party here to welcome me and other newcomers when I moved to Elizabeth Blvd. six years ago. The sale of this property is somewhat bittersweet because the current owner was one of the community leaders responsible for the Ryan Place Renaissance — often an indispensable force in the neighborhood. Her departure is difficult to imagine.
This architectural gem sits in the prime middle block of the half-mile long Elizabeth Blvd., which is the main axis of the historic neighborhood. Just across the street is the impressive house built by Ryan Place developer John C. Ryan as his own home, which was the subject of my first Fort Worth Friday.
The structure, one of the finest residential commissions of legendary architect Wylie G. Clarkson, possesses a dignified grandeur expressed in the classical tradition. Perched on a deep-set lot above street level, the house is reached by two flights of steps and a lovely wide walkway of red brick. The stucco exterior is a warm biscuit color that reminds me of Bath, England. Architecturally, the nearly 90-foot-long, symmetrical façade reads ABCBA from left to right. There are two Palladian motifs on the ground floor — the one at the right has a sophisticated blind opening to preserve the symmetry. The portico is supported by paired Doric columns. Above a smaller Palladian framed window just peeks through the broken pediment crown.