Elizabeth Boulevard

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.

Elizabeth Boulevard

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College Avenue

The Sandidge-Walker House at 2420 College Avenue was built by cattleman George Sandidge, who only lived in it for four years. Legendary Will Rogers was a frequent guest. The next owner was Dr. Gussie Walker, who had served as Fort Worth’s City Health Officer. In 1954 it became the rectory for the nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church, from whom the present owners purchased it. In 1986 it was added to the long list of Texas Historic Landmarks.

“It wasn’t in great shape when we bought it,” owner Judy Robinson tells me. “Repairs and electrical work weren’t professionally done. Work was mostly done by church volunteers,” she explains. Owners Steve and Judy Robinson completely rewired the structure in 1996.

College Avenue

The Sandige-Walker House in Ryan Place is on the list of Texas Historic Landmarks.

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13190632_0

by Eric Prokesh

Slightly under the radar, which we of course love, an architectural gem on Fort Worth’s historic Elizabeth Boulevard is now on the market after undergoing an extensive two year renovation/restoration. And we are just drooling with delight.

The 6500 square foot house at 1302 Elizabeth Blvd. sits on half an acre of lushly landscaped land. There are five bedrooms, four full en suite baths and two partial powder rooms. The usual formals, of course, and a stunningly modernized kitchen but we just want to park ourselves in the solarium with lattice work top and bottom, sip on a mint julep or two, and while the day away. Also here you will find what should be the poster child of master closets  –enormous and with windows — a full basement for storm protection and a third floor plumbed for even more finish out. The home was designed as a showplace for John C. Ryan, developer of Ryan Place, by gifted architect Wiley G. Clarkson, born in Corsicana, who left to Fort Worth a legacy of important public buildings as well as dozens of its most beautiful residences. The home was built in 1913.

The current owners, Jennifer and Samuel Demel, engaged Castor Vintage Homes to execute the challenging restoration. For much of the work the couple actually camped out in 2 ground floor rooms with their infant son, Grayson, while the team banished the last vestiges of nob and tube wiring, upgraded plumbing, returned supporting columns to plum, and installed a new HVAC. But oh the touches of yesteryear, like this brass hardware detail on the transoms…

Erik Prokesh hardware (more…)