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Swayne House


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#1 bburton

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 05:33 PM

Built in 1899 in "Quality Hill." Sepia tone.

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#2 earlbutkus

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:10 PM

Where is this located? I think I have seen it but not for sure.



#3 John S.

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:51 PM

The former James W. Swayne House built in 1899-1900 is located at 1319 Ballinger St.. According to the Tarrant County Historic Resources survey, Mr. Swayne was an attorney and Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial District Court and lived there until 1912. It was occupied by a number of prominent Fort Worth residents between 1912 and 1953 when it was acquired by American General Insurance Co. According to the survey, American General made a number of alterations to the original design. In 1973, it was purchased by James R. Wooten who has worked to restore some of the home's historic features. It's a rare survivor of the now almost vanished "Quality Hill" neighborhood clustered around Summit Avenue, West Seventh, and Pennsylvania Avenues. In 1901, Fort Worth photographer Charles Swartz published a tourist oriented souvenir booklet titled VIEWS OF FORT WORTH recording local landmarks and high end Fort Worth homes that existed at that time. Of the numerous homes featured in the booklet's "residences" section, only 3 still stand today: the Ball-Eddleman-McFarland mansion at 1110 Penn Street; the William B. Garvey House at 769 Samuels Avenue; and the James W. Swayne House at 1319 Ballinger, as noted. Only the Garvey House is still used as a private residence, the other two now being used for commercial and organizational purposes.

#4 earlbutkus

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 02:18 AM

Thanks John S. for the info. I remember not to long ago there were quite few houses still standing at Quality Hill. It's such a shame they are practically gone.



#5 John S.

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 01:44 PM

You're welcome. Had smarter minds prevailed, an intact Quality Hill neighborhood would have been quite a tourist draw much as Dallas's Swiss Avenue is today but with even more impressive architecture. Just the homes of legendary cattle barons W.T. Waggoner (his 1880's ornate stone mansion "El Castille" still stands outside Decatur, TX) and Sam Burk Burnett on Summit Avenue were according to most first hand accounts mind boggling in their lavish interiors. The stereotype of the rugged 19th century Cowboy modestly living in a rustic log cabin or simple ranch house is far from accurate. "Palatial" would not be an overstatement to describe these homes which were demolished with little fanfare in the early 1960's. We are fortunate to have any homes still surviving from the fabled Quality Hill neighborhood. It's almost silent disappearance makes the frequent posts to save Fort Worth's oldest neighborhood-Samuels Avenue-quite relevant and timely. New development continues to encroach on Samuels Avenue putting those few early homes remaining from Fort Worth's 19th century into the endangered category. Hopefully, something has been learned from the loss of Quality Hill as well as from other Fort Worth landmarks disappeared in recent decades but as others here have pessimistically opined, maybe Fort Worth's citizenry by and large just doesn't care about our community's built heritage. I'd like to think we are more enlightened than that.




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