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John S.

Member Since 30 Dec 2007
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:54 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Samuels Avenue

07 March 2018 - 11:25 AM

Thanks, John. Just yesterday afternoon, a neighbor down the street informed me that a property owner (in the 1000 Samuels  block)  there had sold two of his properties in January and had two others under contract. Another individual who owns a popular downtown convenience store and gas station stopped by and spoke with me as well yesterday. He openly wondered why Samuels Avenue has no retail component.  (pre-development it had two convenience stores and a restaurant) That indicated to me he was thinking about some type of retail venture on the available land in this small neighborhood. He thanked me for the information and said he knew how to contact me. We are not too concerned because as the S-T article indicated, we've been low key marketing our property for (over) a decade. When and if a sale happens, we will deal with the situation then. Not so long ago, old house properties on Samuels were for all practical purposes unmarketable. I have to wonder how many more new apartments will the downtown market require before market saturation occurs? Many of these new downtown apartments have rents equivalent to the mortgage payments in the suburbs so the number of prospective tenants is finite in my opinion. I especially wonder about the new Condo tower near Henderson-conventional wisdom is that the upscale market for downtown condos is fairly small. But that is a topic for another thread so I'll leave that for now. Should further developments take place on Samuels I'll be sure to post updates on this thread.

In Topic: Samuels Avenue

06 March 2018 - 02:47 PM

Forum member and Samuels Avenue resident/advocate, John S., always gets his licks in whenever he can. smile.gif



Mr. Burton, I hope you don't mind the quote because I'm back here to get a few more "licks in" before the old neighborhood and our presence in it disappear. As I sit here typing, the sounds of nail guns and heavy equipment reverberate off the bedroom walls. The S-T article seemed fair and balanced overall. The die for Samuels Avenue/Rock Island neighborhood change was cast when the late Marion Burda sold his 27 rental properties to developers back in 2003.  Now, there's no remaining vestige of those 40 or so small cottages and medium size homes that once stood there. At least the distinctive Charles E. Nash Elementary School remains as a historical reference point and reminder of the neighborhood's past. Today, development continues southward with one project by Carleton Properties (to be called "Rocklyn") underway as well as Embrey Development's 353 unit "community" getting close to the halfway mark.


I regret that the decision was made to leave us out but hopefully the last wagon out of town hasn't left us forever stranded and alone as the sole homeowners remaining on our block. City planners and Council people would be wise to take into consideration the welfare of longtime homeowners when evaluating future development projects. We had almost no say in the approval process and much of what has occurred since the project broke ground wasn't readily apparent from the documents I've read. On the balance, though, our experience hasn't been too unpleasant although we continue to wish that promised and approved infrastructural work would be completed in a timely manner. The renovation and re-purposing of the Garvey House for offices has nearly reached completion with the new stone retaining wall incorporating large Limestone blocks saved from the original retaining wall. The re-landscaped "Great lawn" seen in early renderings is now beginning to take shape as well. Sometime next year, the Embrey built apartments should be ready for leasing. The smaller "Rocklyn" apartment  project is supposed to be completed around the same time. I would encourage developers now looking around the Samuels neighborhood to consider taking Embrey's innovative approach of adaptive re-use and moving significant historic homes as a model to be followed. If done properly, Samuels Avenue should not fear becoming one monolithic mass of apartments from one end to the other. 


I've recently been in contact with the new owner of the Talbott-Wall house and applaud his appreciation for the neighborhood's history and architectural legacy. His goal appears to be to make the Talbott-Wall house as period correct as he can while working on a budget and making the house function as his new home. A shame it took someone coming all the way from Illinois to buy this unique property, but the market for saved and moved historic dwellings in Fort Worth appears to be relatively small. The 1904 turreted Queen Anne Greathouse near the Fairmount-Southside District was quietly lost to demolition for new development several months ago because there were no takers despite a fair amount of media coverage as well as several available financial incentives.

I'm tempted to assume that the stigma against the old Victorian styles of architecture commonly held from the 20th century hasn't completely gone away. Let's hope our few remaining examples from this long ago era will be kept standing because compared to other cities our size, we've lost nearly everything from the 19th century.  I'm old enough to remember when most folks looked at old Victorians and disdainfully called them monstrosities, albatrosses, white elephants and the always favorite: "eyesores". It makes me wonder whether the architecture being built today will suffer from the same level of disrespect as it ages. But most modern architecture is built on the planned obsolescence model. No one expect these apartments now under construction to still be around a century or even 50 years from now. That philosophic stand is one of the major differences between the buildings and homes of the past and today's rapidly built structures. There's no point I'm trying to make except to help understand why things are changing in our oldest of Fort Worth neighborhoods. Let's hope others will give it some thought before its all gone forever. 

In Topic: Talbott-Wall House 915 Samuels Avenue

22 November 2017 - 02:01 PM


Well as someone who grew up in "Rock Island" My parents bought a home in 1960......Me and my brothers mockingly say we grew up in the "The Bluffs" Witch was a name a developer used in the area about ten years ago. 


 The neighborhood could legitimately be coined "Old Town".


With the flood of new apartments under construction or coming in the months ahead, the historical identify of the neighborhood is being diluted. At least its good that some of the more prominent historic homes are being saved and given a chance to survive into the future.

In Topic: Talbott-Wall House 915 Samuels Avenue

22 November 2017 - 01:58 PM

The Talbott-Wall House is now featured on the national old house website Old House Dreams: https://www.oldhouse...-fort-worth-tx/

One can see in the comments on Old House Dreams website below the house post that Mr. Bailey, the new owner, alluded to a pending sale about two weeks ago. I congratulate the new owners on their excellent choice of properties. Prior to choosing the Talbott-Wall House, the Baileys had looked at a Second Empire style house in Fulton, Mo., and recently a Queen Anne style house in Lebanon KY before deciding to settle here. I wish them many happy years ahead in this beautiful turn of the last century Samuels Avenue home, They will be only the second family to own it since it was built in 1903. One reason the house remained so intact is because it stayed in that one family for 115 years. Not many houses in Fort Worth can make such a claim. We look forward to meeting the Baileys in the days ahead and welcome them to our neighborhood.

In Topic: Talbott-Wall House 915 Samuels Avenue

14 October 2017 - 12:30 PM


I believe it went before ZC last week.






ZC-17-176 Burshears 1102 Samuels D/DUDD to E/DUDD   10/11/17 11/07/17


Thanks for the information. It will be interesting to see what the end use of this historic home is.