109’s older-style homes maintaining their charm

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Whether it’s Tudor, Ranch, Colonial Revival, or a mix of architectural styles, the 109’s single-story homes are part of a charm that some hope to keep.

Many Tudors were built around the depression, Susan Kline, a local preservation consultant, said, and some have said that people then looked to the older-style to try and connect with the past as sort of a reassurance that things would be OK.

Today, in the 109, Tudor-style homes still hold their charm.

There is a “definite demand in the TCU area for Tudor-style homes,” Ida Duwe-Olsen, with Williams Trew Sotheby's International Realty, said, “particularly, completely updated homes of character.”

Olsen recently listed a Tudor home on Wabash Drive and received several offers within a few days, she said.

“Tudor-style homes greet you with a large covered porch and exude charm the moment you walk into the front door,” she said.

An average Tudor-style home in the 109 ranges from $350K to $500K, Olsen said.

Kline said Tudor and Ranch style homes dominate the 109’s prewar neighborhoods.

“Certainly, the Bluebonnet neighborhoods are predominately Tudor,” she said, adding that University Place also has many of the homes.

Fort Worth District 9 City Councilmember Ann Zadeh said recently that the Bluebonnet Hills neighborhood is considering a conservation overlay for that area.

“There are currently no conservation districts in Fort Worth,” Kline said.

While Fort Worth’s Fairmount neighborhood has a local historical designation, no 109 neighborhoods do, Kline said. She also said a lot of people are wary of the restrictions something like that might impose.

There are a few homes in Park Hill, however, which are listed on the National Register of Historical Places, Kline said.

Most of the homes in Tanglewood are Ranch-styles from another time period, Steven Kline, a preservation architect, said. Those homes were built from the 1950s into the 1970s, although there are a few exceptions.

The Klines have lived in their Colonial Revival-style home for more than 17 years in University West.

Steven Kline said the neighborhood has a cozy feel and was built for people to walk around in. For instance, he said there are sidewalks, and most garages are detached allowing people a chance to walk outside and perhaps stop and chat with neighbors rather than drive straight into their garage, click a button and close it.

“It’s a very walkable neighborhood,” he said. “We get a lot of people from TCU. Students are out walking about.”

Steven Kline said one thing he loves about this part of the United States is that architectural styles are mixed, whereas, back east styles tend to be more pure.

“Some houses actually don’t fit into one style,” he said.

The Klines said it is hard to find an intact older house because many of them have been gutted, remodeled, expanded or torn down.

“There are very few people who would want to live with our kitchen,” Susan Kline said of their home’s original kitchen.

Olsen said the Fort Worth housing market is strong, and homes that are updated with quality craftsmanship and priced right are selling faster than ever.

The Klines said many people think older homes have bad windows or they may want an open concept or simply a larger home.

“They want the appearance of an historic neighborhood,” Susan Kline said, “but they want a new house.”

The only way someone could get a new house in their neighborhood, Steven Kline said, is to tear down an old one.

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