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Knights of Pythias Hall to be demolished


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#51 RD Milhollin

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 09:52 PM

QUOTE(seurto @ Jun 12 2007, 04:36 PM) View Post

Y'know, I'm really serious about trying to do this if y'all are. I'm not sure how we should start the project, ...
What do you think?


You are going to need to incorporate, get grants and loans from the developers working on the east side of Downtown, and probably the Bass enterprises as well. Someone needs to hit up Downtown Fort Worth for ideas and introductions. Fixing the place up is step one, selling it to a responsible development/management company already in the area is the second phase. Any profit realized could be plowed back into another historic structure. A grocery store is something that has been discussed in the past, something that is needed downtown, and Hillside is not that far away. It is or could be made walking distance from the dense residential going in across Belknap/Weatherford and to the south, lots of apartments walking and bicycle distance. Fresh meats and veggies, a decent bottle shop, a deli. This could be a maker idea, but SAfly, lose the boxing thing. Upstairs is an auditorium/meeting space. Need some fresh ideas about what to go in that space. Probably best to have something that will not disturb the patrons shopping downstairs during those business hours, dance studio and tai-chi/martial arts come to mind for after hours downtown residents. Is this sort of offering currently available?

#52 Bernd

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 10:19 PM

If you get chains that have a square or hexagonal cross-section, they'll be much harder to cut with bolt cutters. I may have some good locks for you, depending on where/to what you plan locking up to.
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#53 seurto

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 06:13 AM

QUOTE(Prairie Pup @ Jun 12 2007, 10:52 PM) View Post

QUOTE(seurto @ Jun 12 2007, 04:36 PM) View Post

Y'know, I'm really serious about trying to do this if y'all are. I'm not sure how we should start the project, ...
What do you think?


You are going to need to incorporate, get grants and loans from the developers working on the east side of Downtown, and probably the Bass enterprises as well. Someone needs to hit up Downtown Fort Worth for ideas and introductions. Fixing the place up is step one, selling it to a responsible development/management company already in the area is the second phase. Any profit realized could be plowed back into another historic structure. A grocery store is something that has been discussed in the past, something that is needed downtown, and Hillside is not that far away. It is or could be made walking distance from the dense residential going in across Belknap/Weatherford and to the south, lots of apartments walking and bicycle distance. Fresh meats and veggies, a decent bottle shop, a deli. This could be a maker idea, but SAfly, lose the boxing thing. Upstairs is an auditorium/meeting space. Need some fresh ideas about what to go in that space. Probably best to have something that will not disturb the patrons shopping downstairs during those business hours, dance studio and tai-chi/martial arts come to mind for after hours downtown residents. Is this sort of offering currently available?


Admittedly, I'm an idea person, a visionary if you will, and lack the know-how from the business end - wrong side of the brain, I guess. However, I am a quick study and hard working support staff for the "point guard." Got some ideas about the 2nd floor, too; the problem is probably going to be ADA compliance.

#54 Janna

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 08:48 AM

QUOTE(seurto @ Jun 12 2007, 04:36 PM) View Post

Y'know, I'm really serious about trying to do this if y'all are. I'm not sure how we should start the project, I would think maybe meeting with the owners, giving them our thoughts and see if they'll delay the demolition. Perhaps, if we talk really nice, they might consider lowering the price a little, seeing as how this would be a "grass roots or community type" project and not a big major corp. Then hit hard and heavy on raising the $$, while someone is researching how to set things up. There was also a mention, I believe on your site, AG, about there being a shotgun house adjoining it?? Is that part of the deal I wonder? Usable for storage or such?? A little eating place for SAfly?? Having a lot for parking is a triple bonus.

Also, maybe the Hillside development folks would be willing to help out a little; after all, it is only going to benefit their development - what a selling point!

Maybe some help from Historic FW also??

In all seriousness, I'm willing to get together with whoever wants to go forward with this and make a plan of action. I'm tied up this Saturday, but can probably work around anything else.

What do you think?


The most common idea (over the years) has been a grocery store BUT because of the fact that Hillside sits down in an area that most people don't come to unless they have good reason, (to visit Hillside residents, going to church or lost when leaving downtown on 3rd street), we don't think it would have enough business from our resident's and the small businesses around us. Someone could put 4 or 6 apartments in it. The shotgun house is a part of the deal but the grassy area between the church and the Phythias building is owned by the man who lives in the (rundown) house beside the shotgun house.


#55 Keller Pirate

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 12:39 PM

If the property is for sale could someone post the asking price? I see some folks getting excited about a good idea but what is it going to cost? After we buy the property how much will restoration cost? How much does that add up to per member? Who will take time off from posting to run the grocery store and how much will you pay me?

#56 cberen1

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:08 PM

QUOTE(Janna @ Jun 13 2007, 09:48 AM) View Post

The most common idea (over the years) has been a grocery store BUT because of the fact that Hillside sits down in an area that most people don't come to unless they have good reason, (to visit Hillside residents, going to church or lost when leaving downtown on 3rd street), we don't think it would have enough business from our resident's and the small businesses around us.


I agree. You need something that either 1. can be supported by the immediate area or 2. is a draw in and of itself.

Given the size of the property it probably needs to be some sort of a boutique business. You don't have enough parking for a real restaurant and the residents probably don't want the streets lined with unfamiliar cars. A wine store might work, but right next to the church probably makes that a no-no.

I thought maybe a dance studio upstairs would work. How about a travel agent downstairs?

Actually, a day-care would work there. The problem is that none of these generate enough revenue to fix the property. They would all need to be sudsidized to some degree. Maybe it should be public building of some sort.

I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud.

#57 AndyN

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:54 PM

I'd have to say, not (likely) going to happen at this point (the store idea, not the chaining yourself to the building).


Pythias Hall owners plan to level building
By SANDRA BAKER
sabaker@star-telegram.com

FORT WORTH -- The owners of the former Knights of Pythias Hall in the city's Hillside neighborhood plan to tear down the historic building because they say it is too costly to renovate, raising concern from preservationists because the building just last month was listed as being endangered.

The two-story structure at Third and Crump streets, just east of downtown, is more than 80 years old and is now among Historic Fort Worthís list of Most Endangered Places.

"Itís a neat old building," said Craig Kelly, a Fort Worth real estate developer, who along with two colleagues bought the building in 2004 under the name Crockett Realty. But, he said, "It's just falling apart. We really tried to work with it."


The rest of the story here....
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#58 Fire-Eater

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE(Bernd @ Jun 12 2007, 11:19 PM) View Post

If you get chains that have a square or hexagonal cross-section, they'll be much harder to cut with bolt cutters. I may have some good locks for you, depending on where/to what you plan locking up to.


I appreciate everyone's interest & excitement in restoring & using this HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT historic property. But, the fact remains that the current owners appear to be hell-bent on its destruction.

First things first--call up these folks, find out if it's still for sale, and get the asking price:

Kelly Geren & Searcy
www.kellygeren.com
3108 W 6th St # 100
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 429-7847

WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




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#59 Fire-Eater

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 02:08 PM

I just got off the phone with Sandy, and she told me to be sure and give her a call when I chain myself to the Pythias.

Here's her article online, which will run in tomorrow's paper:
http://www.star-tele...ory/135668.html

Me think White Man speak with forked tongue.


WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#60 Fire-Eater

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 02:25 PM

Here's my letter to City Council District 8 Representative Kathleen Hicks, who responded to my e-mail yesterday.

Dear Ms. Hicks,

In regards to the Knight's of Pythias Building, here's an article online, which will run in tomorrow's paper: http://www.star-tele...ory/135668.html.

Even if the owners are denied a permit to demolish, they, like many others, are getting around the city's Historic Preservation Ordinance by conducting "demolition by neglect." All they have to do is do nothing and wait until the building collapses through lack of appropriate maintenance.

Isn't there something the city can do to require the owners to at least secure the property from further deterioration? Routine maintenance to prevent collapse should be required. Especially since this is such an important city landmark???

I invite you to read the posts found in the Fort Worth Forum: http://www.fortworth...topic=2387&st=0. There are many concerned citizens who, with your leadership, would like to work to save this important building!

Thank you for your time and interest!


Sincerely yours,
FIRE-EATER
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




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#61 seurto

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE(cberen1 @ Jun 13 2007, 02:08 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Janna @ Jun 13 2007, 09:48 AM) View Post

The most common idea (over the years) has been a grocery store BUT because of the fact that Hillside sits down in an area that most people don't come to unless they have good reason, (to visit Hillside residents, going to church or lost when leaving downtown on 3rd street), we don't think it would have enough business from our resident's and the small businesses around us.


I agree. You need something that either 1. can be supported by the immediate area or 2. is a draw in and of itself.

Given the size of the property it probably needs to be some sort of a boutique business. You don't have enough parking for a real restaurant and the residents probably don't want the streets lined with unfamiliar cars. A wine store might work, but right next to the church probably makes that a no-no.

I thought maybe a dance studio upstairs would work. How about a travel agent downstairs?

Actually, a day-care would work there. The problem is that none of these generate enough revenue to fix the property. They would all need to be sudsidized to some degree. Maybe it should be public building of some sort.

I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud.

Well, I'm disappointed sad.gif . I guess it's only logical that someone thought of a grocery store before and in my own twisted mind, it still seems like the one type of business that people in the area might actually seek out. The other ideas are good, but need to be way more convenient to passing traffic IMO. O well.

That having been said, when the next building with possibilities comes up (for any type of venture), we could still look into obtaining it as a group.

#62 Fire-Eater

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 05:16 PM

QUOTE(seurto @ Jun 13 2007, 04:07 PM) View Post

QUOTE(cberen1 @ Jun 13 2007, 02:08 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Janna @ Jun 13 2007, 09:48 AM) View Post

The most common idea (over the years) has been a grocery store BUT because of the fact that Hillside sits down in an area that most people don't come to unless they have good reason, (to visit Hillside residents, going to church or lost when leaving downtown on 3rd street), we don't think it would have enough business from our resident's and the small businesses around us.


I agree. You need something that either 1. can be supported by the immediate area or 2. is a draw in and of itself.

Given the size of the property it probably needs to be some sort of a boutique business. You don't have enough parking for a real restaurant and the residents probably don't want the streets lined with unfamiliar cars. A wine store might work, but right next to the church probably makes that a no-no.

I thought maybe a dance studio upstairs would work. How about a travel agent downstairs?

Actually, a day-care would work there. The problem is that none of these generate enough revenue to fix the property. They would all need to be sudsidized to some degree. Maybe it should be public building of some sort.

I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud.

Well, I'm disappointed sad.gif . I guess it's only logical that someone thought of a grocery store before and in my own twisted mind, it still seems like the one type of business that people in the area might actually seek out. The other ideas are good, but need to be way more convenient to passing traffic IMO. O well.

That having been said, when the next building with possibilities comes up (for any type of venture), we could still look into obtaining it as a group.


As one of the former owners of The Human Bean, I don't recommend a coffee house! I don't recommend ANYTHING retail! I've been that route, and unless you have multiple locations and can buy huge quantities wholesale, you won't make a dime. Because of its location, I think a convenience/grocery store would be financial suicide. If y'all want to see a restaurant in there, let the restauranteur finish-out the building. One big problem to overcome is parking -- that lot in back won't do but for a few spaces.

If I had the money, I would restore the building using federal investment tax credits for commericial properties and the City of Fort Worth's financial incentives for historic properties. I would seek creative solutions to reduce renovation costs.

After the building is restored, I would lease it as office space and hope that rents would eventually cover the restoration. Street parking and the lot in back might be adequate for an office building. Maybe Hillside or the Church next door would help with parking.

WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#63 Fire-Eater

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 05:25 PM

THESE are the people we need to call:
www.daedaluscorp.com.

They are freakin' MIRACLE WORKERS! AWARD WINNERS!

They've successfully undertaken multiple projects in South Fort Worth.

They are AWESOME!

I'll e-mail them tonight after I put the 5-year-old to bed!

WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#64 Fort Worthology

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE(Fire-Eater @ Jun 13 2007, 06:25 PM) View Post

THESE are the people we need to call:
www.daedaluscorp.com.

They are freakin' MIRACLE WORKERS! AWARD WINNERS!

They've successfully undertaken multiple projects in South Fort Worth.

They are AWESOME!

I'll e-mail them tonight after I put the 5-year-old to bed!



Daedalus is good stuff. Also, Eddie Vanston of the Carillon Group does outstanding work with old apartment & mixed-use structures. My girlfriend lives in the LaSalle in Fort Worth South that he restored, and it's just lovely.

- Writer, musician, photographer, general nerd.

 


#65 GenE

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 07:46 PM

online Star Telegram has a story about this building (story apparently went online about 2.36.

John is quoted in the article.


Headline is "Pythias Hall owners plan to level building"

GenE

#66 safly

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:45 AM

The last sentence in the article makes me feel a little bit better about the demo.

Law Firm office would be best. A 6500 sqft. up to date build-out with 5 parking spaces could easily fetch $8500/month.

A local Farmer's Market or a certified Organic Foods store would do great IMO. Minimal interior upgrade. Rooftop patio seating upstairs, throw in a decent wine selection and you've got a winner.
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#67 GenE

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 05:00 AM

QUOTE(safly @ Jun 14 2007, 02:45 AM) View Post

The last sentence in the article makes me feel a little bit better about the demo.

A local Farmer's Market or a certified Organic Foods store would do great IMO. Minimal interior upgrade. Rooftop patio seating upstairs, throw in a decent wine selection and you've got a winner.



Are ya'll at all famialiar with how Temple, Texas saved the facade of the old 5&10 store on their main street? This may have been done in other area's also, I don't know.

See Texas Escapes.com Select Temple Texas as the city and look a little more than 1/2 way down the page. It is a small picture, but it is a start until I can get to Temple this weekend and get a larger better picture to show you.

" The big preservation news is the stabilized facades just south and east of the square. Several old buildings were in such disrepair that they had to go. The brickwork on the upper portion of the buildings was worth saving though, so with ingenuity, hard work and the desire to save what they could, they came up with a solution that many other towns in Texas could benefit from."


Maybe something like this could be done to save SOME of the historical features, while useing the inside area for an outdoor patio something similar to Safly's idea for a local farmer's Market etc.

GenE

#68 Fire-Eater

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 01:38 PM

QUOTE(safly @ Jun 12 2007, 12:57 AM) View Post

What you have to do is SAVE the picture of the cornerstone to any pictures program, then mess with the brightness and contrast. The detail will come out better, plus you can zoom in for good measure.

So far I have :
-Leon Maddox and OC Crook as trustees on the tablet.
-AL Reg.(?), or AL Regents (?)
-Magic No.146
-RN Austin cc UH Logan, KRS (Knights of the Rising Star?)
-Trustees
-RL Davis James Gooden
-Dan Washington (centered)
-Marine No.240

-can't make out rest, then some folks with last name Brown. Mike Brown BH Brown (?)
-CL (?) Monfreek(?) or Northern(?)

other half:
-Alta Vista No.67
-TS Stovall cc Luke Moore (?)
-Trustees
-JH Taylor J burton or Burnett (?)
-JS Lewis (centered)
-Davis No.174
-Will Robinson cc TJ Updick(?) KRS



I can't do this anymore PPup.
Please, I beg of you. My eyes can't go on. Tired. Very tired. Muuuuust quiiiiiit. sleep.gif


Thank you for that painful attempt, Safly! I stopped by, and it wasn't too easy eventhough I was in-person.

Apparently, there were several chapters of the Knights of Pythias meeting in the building. Here's what it says on the corner stone:

Key of the West No. 5
Ithus White, C.C.
W.D. Donifer, K.R.S.
Trustees: Leon Maddox, O.C. Crook, A.L. Reese

Magic No. 146
R.N. Austin, C.C.
V[U?]. H. Logan, K.R.S.
Trustees: R.T. Davis, James Gooden, Dan Washington

Marine No. 240
Silas Glaze, C.C.
Wm. Smith, K.R.S.
Trustees: Murray Brown, B.H. Brown, C.F. Norfleet

Alta Vista No. 67
T.S. Stovall, C.C.
Luke Moore, K.R.S.
Trustees: J.H. Taylor, J. Britton, J.S. Lewis

Davis No. 171
Will Robinson, C.C.
T.J. Updack, K.R.S.
Trustees: A.T. Thomas, Caspie Haynes

Prattís Pride No. 422
L.E. Bonner, C.C.
L. Carson, K.R.S.
Trustees: J.C. Reed, A.G. Wright, Riley Clark

I had another few minutes today and checked a couple of names in the 1928 Fort Worth City Directory:

ē Caspie (Florine) Haynes, porter Mitchell-Greer Co., 1418 Stewart
ē Thos. J. Updack, genl supt Universal Relief Ins. Co., 1120 E. Humbolt

This week, after hitting the city directory, I'm gonna hit the microfiche and see if the Fort Worth Mind has anything about the Pythians in it. The Mind is the oldest black newspaper they have in the Fort Worth library, and it goes back to 1933. The Como Weekly, Como Monitor, and Fort Worth Defender only go back to the 40s-50s.

I left a voicemail at the adjacent Morning Chapel C.M.E. church. Parishioners there might be a good source of information on the Pythians.


WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#69 Fire-Eater

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 03:10 PM

Dear Ms. Hicks,

Thank you for your quick response to my e-mail last week. Iím very disappointed, however, that your response was merely a defense of the City Councilís record on historic preservation. Although some designations have been made, it is a dollar short for many of Fort Worth's historic properties. I believe City Council could have, should have, and, for the future, must do more. Besides that, though, I was hoping that the City Council would take the lead in attempting to protect a historic property that is very important to Fort Worth ís African-American heritage.

I believe that every month should be Black History Month and that, with Juneteenth upon us (this Tuesday), a positive step should be taken NOW towards protecting the Knights of Pythias Building. I have been researching city ordinances and have found that to allow this building to collapse is a violation of law. Therefore, I sat down today and made the following complaint, registered C-74007 as a Code Compliance Citizen Alert, with the City of Fort Worthís Code Compliance Department/Building Standards Commission:

The Knights of Pythias Building is designated Historically Significant Endangered (HSE). It is a historic landmark to Fort Worth and the African-American Community. The current owners, who are quoted in an article in last Monday's paper http://www.star-tele...ory/135668.html, are in violation of city code and the city's historic preservation ordinance by neglecting this building. They are committing "demolition by neglect," which is illegal. The ceiling has all sorts of holes in it, which contribute significantly to its continuing deterioration. I am copying the Star-Telegram, City Council, and NAACP on this request, so please review this in a timely fashion.

Please donít let this historic landmark fall-in! I have begun research on the men whose names appear on the cornerstone. I have also contacted the pastor of the adjacent Morning Chapel C.M.E. I am hoping his congregation will be able to provide info on this important buildingís history.

This building was constructed during the Progressive Era, which was a period of reform dating from the 1890s through the 1920s. Many fraternal organizations were created nationwide during this period. The Knights of Pythias Building, at Crump and Third, is a physical manifestation of Fort Worth ís African-American residents participating in a national trend of community improvement. It is a tangible link to Fort Worth ís African-American past.

I would like to see the City Council do something positive to preserve Fort Worth ís history this Juneteenth. There is much ado about Cowboys & Culture in Fort Worth : would you take a moment from that to at least make sure this historic African-American property doesnít cave-in on itself?

Please call upon me if there is any way in which I may help you with this important effort.


Sincerely yours,
FIRE-EATER
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#70 cbellomy

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 05:16 PM

Nice letter, FE. Very well done. Thank you for your energy and commitment.



#71 safly

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 10:07 PM

I sincerely hope it proves to be very effective. Places like these were built to offer a congregation for minorities to advance economically within their city or county of residence. I am sure that very important decisions regarding the FW African-American community were made at that exact site. Perhaps one more very important role of preservation and heritage could be decided there.
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#72 Fire-Eater

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 11:20 AM

A response to my above letter from Wendy Davis:

We will do all we can to help. Mayor Pro Tem Hicks has been a champion of historic preservation. As has Council member Frank Moss. We will raise the issue at council on Tuesday and see what can be done. I know we all appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We had not been made aware of the demolition attempts prior to your emails.

-wendy

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History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#73 djold1

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:09 AM

FE: Your letter was excellent. And obviously effective. Thanks for doing that..

QUOTE
We had not been made aware of the demolition attempts prior to your emails.


The quote above is revealing.

I realize that that there is a lot going on in the city, but I really didn't realize that no one has the responsibility to report pending or potential historic demolitions to the council as a routine matter. Isn't there a process for this? I would think thre should be...


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#74 Fire-Eater

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 11:28 AM

QUOTE(djold1 @ Jun 18 2007, 05:09 AM) View Post

FE: Your letter was excellent. And obviously effective. Thanks for doing that..

QUOTE
We had not been made aware of the demolition attempts prior to your emails.


The quote above is revealing.

I realize that that there is a lot going on in the city, but I really didn't realize that no one has the responsibility to report pending or potential historic demolitions to the council as a routine matter. Isn't there a process for this? I would think thre should be...


Aye! I'm engaging in hard, quiet work until histronics become absolutely necessary!

To answer your question, I don't think demo papers were "officially" filed. I think word got out after they went to landmarks committee, which, as I understand it, told them they needed to get more paperwork together. I think they intend to appeal to the landmarks committee for permission to demolish -- I'm sure justification will be something like: (1) It'll cost $10 billion to renovate the building and (2) absolutely no one wants to buy it. I'm just guessing.

If I'm on landmarks, my questions are:

1. How did you become a major player in real estate making deals like this: buying something without "counting the cost" -- investing in something with no research -- acting with no feasibility study. You mean AFTER you bought it you learned that you couldn't afford to renovate it???

That's pitiful business sense.

2. When no one wanted to buy it, what was your asking price? What would your asking price be now? And, uh, you bought it for HOW MUCH????

3. You didn't, like, ever have any intention of purchasing this property with no intention of ever renovating it, did you? You didn't, uh, buy it for the land, did you? I mean, the fact that you're letting it fall-in on itself doesn't tell us how you REALLY feel about the building, does it?


WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#75 Keller Pirate

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 01:49 PM

This is going to be educational watching Kip working to save this building. I would say at this point I think his chances are 50/50. I donít believe chaining himself to the building will save it but the work he is doing right now might.

In favor of the building is that the cost to fully restore it was quoted as $600,000 which is not all that much in this day and age.

I was surprised how easily the K of P kissed off the building as not being part of their organization. Does the Black or Key West K of P still exist? They might be able to throw some support behind saving the building. Have any of the Black organizations Fire Eater e-mailed responded?

On the other hand, according to the article the building has been vacant for many years so I donít think it is fair to blame the current owners for the buildings condition. They may be right when they say the bricks are to fragile to support a restoration. If that were true, would a re-creation using the cornerstone and a few of the bricks be reasonable?

It seems odd to appeal to the city about an owner allowing a property to collapse when a cityís usual response to dilapidated properties is to bulldoze them and bill the owner.

Sort of along the line of discussion about this building, remember the railroad freight house that was torn down by a developer in Dallas? I looked for the forum thread on it but couldnít find it. Anyway within the last month or so I think I read or heard that the city told the developer to rebuild the building, which was an option under their HP law. The developer refused and took the city to court and won. Is this true or did I dream it? If it is true does that mean HP laws donít apply in Texas?

Lastly, someone with poll creating skills should put one up on this K of P building and what may happen to it.


#76 cberen1

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:31 AM

In a related topic, it turns out the African American fraternal organizations of this kind go way back in U.S. history. There were black masonic lodges as early as 1775.

#77 Fire-Eater

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 10:15 AM

QUOTE(cberen1 @ Jun 20 2007, 08:31 AM) View Post

In a related topic, it turns out the African American fraternal organizations of this kind go way back in U.S. history. There were black masonic lodges as early as 1775.


White Knights of Pythias wanted NOTHING to do with the Colored Knights of Pythias. A suit over rights to the name went all the way to the Supreme Court.

One of the hallmarks of the Progressive Era (1890-1930 or so), including the dramatic increase in fraternal orders, was the codification of segregation through Jim Crow laws. Segregation was considered "progressive." Woodrow Wilson himself segregated the Federal Government in 1913.

After The War, some municipalities enacted Black Codes -- Reconstruction struck down these laws, however. Segregation in public accommodations in the South was not always a given. The Populist Party of the 1890s led a multi-race, multi-gender, multi-class movement. The Democratic Party FUSED with the populists and used race to split and eventually destroy the Populist Party.

So, "separate but equal," in the guise of Jim Crow, didn't fully emerge until the very end of the 19th century, almost 40 years after the War Between the States. Blacks were forced to create a parallel society, banned from participating in mainstream America, during the "Progressive" Era.

See why this building is SO significant? It is a landmark to that era of American history. I really don't give a rat's patootie how much it costs for them to fix it. They shouldn't have bought it. If they don't want it they should sell it at-cost. They owe it to the people of Fort Worth.
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#78 Fire-Eater

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:23 AM

I just sent this to Wendy Davis:


Dear Wendy,

I just wanted to check-in with you on yesterday's city council deliberations on the historic Knights of Pythias (HSE-designated) building at Crump & 2nd streets.

Did y'all have a chance to discuss?

Will the Council encourage the City to enforce code compliance on this building, which is in danger of ultimate "demolition by neglect?" I think it's 2000.00 a day, isn't it, for violators?

I understand that the present owners have done nothing to the building since they purchased it in 2004. I understand that they consider demolition their only recourse because of the "excessive" cost to renovate.

I would like to suggest that
1. They should have never bought an HSE property if they did not intend to renovate it -- it was in poor condition when they purchased it. What did they expect?
2. They need to forget demolition and instead focus on selling the property -- they'll be doing everyone a favor. Landmark properties deserve stewards, not brokers seeking to maximize profit.
3. The City Council should use this opportunity to lead the way in setting the standard for historic preservation in the city: it should require the owners to attend to their responsibilities and, additionally, it should form a coalition of concerned organizations and individuals who will help find a real solution for the Knights of Pythias (I will be the first to volunteer.)

Thank you for your sincere interest and kind concern in this matter!



Respectfully yours,
FIRE-EATER
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#79 djold1

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 02:35 PM

Bravo!

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#80 Janna

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 07:57 AM

[color=#000000]
QUOTE(djold1 @ Jun 20 2007, 02:35 PM) View Post

Bravo!



Hello............I hear from a very reliable source that the Knights of Phythias WILL NOT BE TORN DOWN after all. I'll keep you posted!!!

#81 Fire-Eater

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 07:20 AM

Wow! I'm impressed: I called city code compliance this morning and there is an open case on the Knights of Pythias building. Owners have until July 5 to bring the historic building up to code!

I hope the owners not only stabilize the building, but I hope they restore and use the building -- or sell it to someone who will.




WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#82 RD Milhollin

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:41 AM

QUOTE(Fire-Eater @ Jun 26 2007, 07:20 AM) View Post

Wow! I'm impressed: I called city code compliance this morning and there is an open case on the Knights of Pythias building. Owners have until July 5 to bring the historic building up to code!


Or else what?

#83 JBB

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:59 AM

I'm curious about what the recourse is as well.

#84 Fire-Eater

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 12:57 PM

2000.00/day fine
WWSPFD?*

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For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#85 RD Milhollin

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 04:58 PM

QUOTE(Fire-Eater @ Jun 26 2007, 12:57 PM) View Post

2000.00/day fine


OK, that's good, I was afraid the consequence of poor upkeep might be city demolition. Where was this sort of enforcement when the last of the 1930's auto dealerships on W. 7th Street was allowed to disintegrate in front of everyone?

#86 Bernd

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 05:18 PM

I haven't been by there lately... is there any work going on right now? I'd think if the deadline for code compliance is July 5, they'd better get crackin'.
The future "best blog" in Fort Worth.

#87 Janna

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 06:29 PM

QUOTE(Bernd @ Jun 26 2007, 06:18 PM) View Post

I haven't been by there lately... is there any work going on right now? I'd think if there deadline for code compliance is July 5, they'd better get crackin'.



There isn't anything going on yet..............I'll "alert the media" when they show up!!! newlaugh.gif

#88 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:10 PM

Pup, there were a lot of discussions going on behind the scenes to save the Smith-Swinney Building. Part of the reason the original demolition permit was pulled that forced the building to come before the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission (December 2005) was that the Downtown improvement group turned the building in for code violations. The structure already had a file on it when it lost its roof, so they threatened fines. The owner said that he wasn't going to put any more money into the property and if the city levied fines, then he would demolish the building on day 181 (May 17, 2006). Day 181 would be the first day all restrictions on demolition would have been lifted. Several interested preservation parties, including Historic Fort Worth, lobbied that if city code officers could be satisfied with the owner securing the fence around the property, they would not levy the fines and the owner would promise to keep the building standing for an undetermined time period, or until a buyer could be found. Several potential buyers were also at these meetings. The parties were satisfied, and the building was allowed to remain until March 15, 2007. The City's Preservation Officer notified all of the interested parties from the meetings that legally she had to approve the demolition permit when it crossed her desk in February 2007. That was a courtesy, so we new what to expect, once the bulldozers arrived on the site.

#89 cberen1

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 08:03 AM

QUOTE(Fire-Eater @ Jun 20 2007, 11:15 AM) View Post

I really don't give a rat's patootie how much it costs for them to fix it. They shouldn't have bought it. If they don't want it they should sell it at-cost. They owe it to the people of Fort Worth.


And this attitude is why, in my opinion anyway, you fail at these things. The truth is that they don't owe the people of Fort Worth a darn thing. Moreover, the vast majority of the people of Fort Worth don't care about preservation in general and have never heard of this building specifically. So if you want the owners to do something other than tear down this building, you're going to have to appeal to something aside from what you think they "owe" the people of Fort Worth. You have zero concern for the property owner's interests.

What if had been a modest income retired couple that bought the building hoping to turn it into a business until they found out the exorbitant renovation costs. Would you still be so quick to dismiss their interests? To bend them to your preservation will?

You don't give a rat's patootie about the owners, but luckily for you they seem to give your cause at least some consideration even though they don't have to. The law is completely on their side here. You want something from them but offer nothing in return except for disdain and contempt. What possible motive would any property owner have for working with someone with your attitude?

I like this building and I think it should be preserved. But if I owned it I would tear it down just to spite you.

#90 safly

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 02:44 PM

QUICK! Someone get the water hose.

FE, you should REALLY consider becoming more positive and neutral in this process. As in, keep it business like.
CB is right in this case, and if they get word of your passion and EMOTIONS without sincerity, then it could all blow up in your face. And then who would you have left to blame.

There are two parties of interest here. THE CITY and the OWNERS. So you have to play a neutral yet PRO-active role in SUPPORTIVELY meeting the needs of both. Perhaps the owners have tried numerous times to sell the property for their deemed market value, or projected ROI. And so far no takers would consider the expenses. It happens, this I KNOW.
COWTOWN! Get your TIP ON!
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#91 Fire-Eater

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 09:24 PM

QUOTE(cberen1 @ Jun 27 2007, 09:03 AM) View Post


I like this building and I think it should be preserved. But if I owned it I would tear it down just to spite you.


Who's the Fire-Eater now???


WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#92 Fire-Eater

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 09:33 PM

QUOTE(safly @ Jun 27 2007, 03:44 PM) View Post



FE, you should REALLY consider becoming more positive and neutral in this process. As in, keep it business like.



You're right. "Rat's patootie" is very unbusiness-like. You'll notice, however, I used that term only here in the Forum--not in my various letters to Official Folks. Don't you think my letters to city council, Code Compliance, Startlegram et al were business-like?


WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#93 Fire-Eater

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:08 PM

QUOTE(cberen1 @ Jun 27 2007, 09:03 AM) View Post

The truth is that they don't owe the people of Fort Worth a darn thing.

The law is completely on their side here.


I'm not going to spend all night attempting to refute that entire post, but I would like to address those two statements because I believe they are the most inaccurate and, if not addressed, most damaging.

Just in case some of y'all are thinking otherwise, the law is not completely on their side. They are currently in violation of city building code. Additionally, as property owners, they do not have the unrestricted "right" to demolish the building. It has been designated Highly Significant Endangered (HSE). They must follow regulatory procedures that may ultimately result in them being denied the "right" to demolish.

As for the other statement, anyone who owns a city landmark owes the citizens, past and present, due consideration for what they own. This is a significant historic property -- legally designated by the City/People -- and the owners owe the building, and the people it symbolizes, their respect. Lastly, they owe the people of Fort Worth their good faith in following the law, which requires that they meet building code requirements and follow proper legal procedures regarding the disposition of the property.



WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#94 PPoole

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:21 PM

The TownSite Company submitted a contract today on the Knights of Pythias Building to purchase it and adaptively reuse it.

We had done a structural analysis in 1998 for the former owner and found that that no addition deterioration since that time had occurred to the load bearing masonry walls or the foundation.

The current owners have secured the building and tuck pointed the masonry wall to prevent any further damage while a use could be determined.

There appears to be no current city code violations and we will move immediately upon acceptance of our contract to apply to the City of Fort Worth for an historic designation.

That process will take about 120 days. We feel confident that we can reuse this building as we were successful in doing on the Historic Cotton Depot up the street.

We look forward to a successful use of this important historic asset.


#95 AndyN

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:45 PM

QUOTE(Fire-Eater @ Jun 27 2007, 10:08 PM) View Post

QUOTE(cberen1 @ Jun 27 2007, 09:03 AM) View Post

The truth is that they don't owe the people of Fort Worth a darn thing.

The law is completely on their side here.

Just in case some of y'all are thinking otherwise, the law is not completely on their side. They are currently in violation of city building code. Additionally, as property owners, they do not have the unrestricted "right" to demolish the building. It has been designated Highly Significant Endangered (HSE). They must follow regulatory procedures that may ultimately result in them being denied the "right" to demolish.


A good example of this is the fact that the owners of the Katy Freight Building thought that they had the unrestricted right to demolish a historically designated property without regard to the historic designation. As a result of their blatant disregard for the procedures, they are currently dealing with the City of Dallas in court.

QUOTE(PPoole @ Jun 27 2007, 10:21 PM) View Post

The TownSite Company submitted a contract today on the Knights of Pythias Building to purchase it and adaptively reuse it.


Thank you, Mr. Poole. And kudos to the TownSite Company.
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#96 Fire-Eater

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:51 PM

Thank you, Mr. Poole! You ROCK!
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#97 safly

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 02:00 AM

Thank you Mr. Poole. And peace be with you.
COWTOWN! Get your TIP ON!
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#98 Keller Pirate

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 06:21 AM

QUOTE(AndyN @ Jun 27 2007, 11:45 PM) View Post

A good example of this is the fact that the owners of the Katy Freight Building thought that they had the unrestricted right to demolish a historically designated property without regard to the historic designation. As a result of their blatant disregard for the procedures, they are currently dealing with the City of Dallas in court.


This is the building I was refering to. I heard or read that the city of Dallas told the developer to rebuild, which was one of the options under the preservation code. The owners took the city to court and I heard they won, city lost. I'll have to surf the net again looking for a reference to the Katy to see if I can find something.

#99 Janna

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:58 AM

QUOTE(PPoole @ Jun 27 2007, 10:21 PM) View Post

The TownSite Company submitted a contract today on the Knights of Pythias Building to purchase it and adaptively reuse it.

We had done a structural analysis in 1998 for the former owner and found that that no addition deterioration since that time had occurred to the load bearing masonry walls or the foundation.

The current owners have secured the building and tuck pointed the masonry wall to prevent any further damage while a use could be determined.

There appears to be no current city code violations and we will move immediately upon acceptance of our contract to apply to the City of Fort Worth for an historic designation.

That process will take about 120 days. We feel confident that we can reuse this building as we were successful in doing on the Historic Cotton Depot up the street.

We look forward to a successful use of this important historic asset.



Phillip......no one can THANK YOU more than I!!!! I hope everything works out!! smile.gif


#100 Keller Pirate

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:18 AM

I say "Good Show" to P Poole and TownSite company. I also apologize to the current owners that have apparently done no harm to the building, for being roasted in this forum.




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