The link John Roberts posted above on May 7 has the full agenda presentation for the proposed Garvey House rehab. (Streamed live yesterday at the City's website online and on Charter's Ch. 190 Community Access channel.- check for re-broadcast times) The Landmarks Commission approved the Garvey House rehab plan with little fanfare. It's my understanding the intent is to gut the house to the studs inside (removing all of the old plaster and lath) then rewire and replumb. All the old siding will also be removed and replaced with synthetic cement Hardi-boards. In this case, provided the Hardi board clapboard profiles are compatible with the originals, I think its an acceptable alternative because the original siding is Cypress and is no longer commercially available. (Western Red Cedar clapboards are available but they have a tendency to split over time) I assume since there is diagonal sheathing behind the original clapboards, the wall insulation will have to be installed from the interior of the house. Synthetic slates are proposed for the roof but the originals were cypress-cedar wood shingles stained/painted Verdigris green to mimic patinated copper. A portion of the original painted shingles were uncovered under many asphalt layers when valley work was being done on the porch roof in the early 1990's. Synthetic slates are an acceptable substitute as this is not a museum house and will be used daily by residents and staff of the new development. It currently has older metal "shakes" over many layers of older shingles. One can see the original wood shingles still visible in the attic.
A question remains as to whether the Southern Yellow Pine interior millwork (staircase newel, balustrade and hand rails) will remain or will be removed and replaced as well? I assume the triple stained glass windows will remain and I hope when they are sent in for repairs the artisan replaces any damaged or missing panes with exact matching pieces. In the 1970's the windows were taken out for repairs and re-leading and unfortunately, non-matching replacement panes were used which leave something to be desired when looked at up close. Virtually every piece of original stained glass in the window is still available from the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company, Kokomo, Indiana. The venerable firm has been in continuous operation using glass formulas handed down since the company began operations in 1888. Louis Comfort Tiffany was one of their regular patrons traveling by train from NYC to Kokomo to hand select the glass sheets for his heavenly windows. Kokomo Glass still has the old company ledgers showing Tiffany's purchases. My spouse and I toured the glass factory last September and were amazed to see the glass production using techniques that haven't changed in over a century. A warehouse section has over 100,000 sheets of glass stored in every color, texture, and combination imaginable. Sorry to digress... but I hope the Garvey House windows are restored properly with correct matching panes. There's some distinctive millwork trim around windows and doors in the Garvey house with Adamesque type carved Colonial Revival ribbons and streamers. Impossible to replicate today, as far as I know. (unless a CNC lathe is used) The 9 foot tall pocket doors (3 double sets) are irreplaceable as well. It would be a shame to lose these distinctive details in a gut rehab.
Now the two mantels in the Garvey House are a different matter. At the time it was built, I'm willing to bet the original mantels were like 99% of those being made in the late 1890's: tall, Quarter-sawn Oak mantels with a beveled glass upper mirror (often oval or rectangular) and columns to either side with tilework hearth and tilework flooring border in front of the hearth. (The American Encaustic Tiling Company of Zanesville, Ohio made the bulk of them) But the Garveys were well off enough to change with the times so circa 1910 (both Garveys died in 1915) the Victorian Oak mantels were removed and plain Craftsman type brick mantels replaced them. If it were my restoration, I'd incorporate period salvage Oak mantels to reconnect the interior to its original period. There's a "courting bench" inglenook off the main staircase with a window looking to the front. The shape and location of the window almost guaranty it had some type of art glass originally...leaded/beveled clear glass, or stained glass. I hope these unique details are not entirely lost in the rehab.
One treasure of the Garvey house will probably never be restored: the wheel-cut entry door pane, the sidelights, and transom. Some years ago, neighborhood miscreants threw a metal pipe at the transom one night causing significant damage. During my research of the Garvey House in 1992 I took photos of these rare windows. Only the wheel cut sidelights survive; the entry door pane ended up at the lakehouse of a previous owner..said to have been cut in the glass in a Colonial Wreath pattern. A swag pattern was wheel cut in the entry transom but only a section of that vandalized window remains and it may have been discarded. Another transom wheel cut window survives with a swag pattern cut in the glass but in the lower section is a BB hole. I would think the clear material used to repair cracks in automobile windshields could be used to fill in the BB hole. To be accurate, there is (or at least was) one Austrian emigre living in California who still does traditional glass wheel cutting but he charges by the square inch and I think to replace the damaged and missing wheel cut panes would run well into the thousands and they would still be vulnerable to accidental damage. I don't know where the 1894 date for the Garvey House that was mentioned at the meeting yesterday came from. I could not find any mention of a construction date for the main house in my 1992 research but changes in tax valuations suggest it happened in the 1898-1900 period. Fort Worth photographer Charles L. Swartz included the Garvey House in his 1901 Views of Fort Worth and it looks fairly new in the photo. Classical and Colonial Revival style homes were all the rage in the late 1890's but would not have been here in 1894. Anyhow, minor quibble of little consequence. I sincerely hope the plans for rehabbing the Garvey House are preservation sensitive and not a "Property Brothers" type gut and build new inside approach. A sterile modern interior would greatly diminish the historical value of the Garvey house but understandably, some compromises are required. (such as making the Garvey House ADA compliant) A rear addition where the old kitchen and (since gutted and removed by the previous owner) butler's pantry were located is to be removed and replaced with a two story "sleeping porch" addition with casement windows instead of screens. The two garage apartments behind the main house have been approved for demolition and removal. (I hope someone saves the old sliding barn doors on antique rollers which are all the rage on some HGTV shows like "Fixer-Upper" staring Chip and Joanna Gaines in Waco) No matter what kind of rehab approach is taken, making the Garvey House useful and functional again is a major project in itself. I wish the rehabbers the best.