can you imagine time it takes to work with clinker brick?

Clinker brick exterior helps make 200 Crestwood Drive look like a fairytale home. (Photos: Trey Freeze Media)

Have you ever driven past a home and had to do a quick double-take because of the brick? I bet you didn’t know that there are almost a dozen different sizes of brick.  The times I have to stop and take a closer look are when the home appears to be bricked in a random pattern with a total hodgepodge of brick sizes and colors … with even some lava rock mixed in.  Those homes are built with clinker brick.

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Do you yearn for new construction with old school quality? Something grand, not grandiose, surrounded by similar properties? A spacious-yet-sensible plan and not a McMansion clone? River Hills, part of the interesting and evolving Edwards Ranch story, may be your answer. Founded in 1848, Edwards Ranch is older than Fort Worth itself. Now it is the locus for the most exciting new developments  in the city. It includes River Hills, the Waterside retail development, and  the Shops at Clearfork, anchored by the new Neiman Marcus. The weight and force of all of this development, together with the energetic rejuvenation of the Near South Side, is generating a gravitational pull which challenges the heretofore uncontested hegemony of the West Side.

The truth is that I have been longing to write about River Hills for some time, and prowl the area from time to time. This week I stumbled onto 3737 Aviemore a stone revetted, manorial abode, perched on a high bluff built in 2009. The street is romantically named after a resort in the highlands of Scottland and as north Texas goes, the area is hilly.

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408 Virginia Place

What tempts one to stop and take a closer look? A pleasingly proportioned door frame encasing handsome iron doors? Lovely, soft pink brick walls supporting espaliered elaeagnus, carelessly festooned with strands of fig ivy? A deep setback defined by symmetrical hardscape? This beauty at 408 Virginia Place in choice Monticello has all of this, and yet its discreet, timeless profile arouses suspicion that much more may lie concealed beyond the courtyard gates.

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