Preserving Fort Worth history

6 historic Fairmount homes roll out welcome mat for 40th annual Fort Worth tour


1812 Chris and Barry
Photo by Stacy Luecker
MA Benton House
Photo by Stacy Luecker
1717 Hurley
Photo by Stacy Luecker
2215 6th Avenue, Fort Worth
Photo by Stacy Luecker
1309 Chelsie S Reuse
Photo by Stacy Luecker

After two years of remote and virtual viewing, visitors once again will get to step inside some of the oldest and grandest homes in Fort Worth on the Fairmount National Historic District's 40th Annual Tour of Historic Homes.

Taking place, per tradition, on Mother’s Day weekend, May 7-8 (12-5 pm both days), the tour will welcome guests inside four bungalow-style homes, a work-in-progress renovation of the Naylor-Moses House, and a beautifully restored bungalow currently housing the headquarters of Fort Worth Focused Real Estate.

"A special treat this year is the M. A. Benton House, a Victorian-style house and Registered Texas Historic Landmark built in 1898 and one of the oldest houses in Fort Worth," organizers say in a release. "Most of the houses on the tour were originally built between 1890 and 1930, and characteristics include beamed interior ceilings, colonnades, pocket doors, antique hardware, prominent wide front porches, overhanging eaves, as well as exposed rafters and beams — to name a few."

The tour is meant to shine a spotlight on the nationally acclaimed historic neighborhood and highlight the benefits of preservation, they add.

A parade will kick things off at 10 am Saturday. Then attendees can check in at the Welcome Pavilion at SiNaCa Studios, 1013 W. Magnolia Ave., to pick up or purchase tickets; a map of homes will be provided. Tickets are $15 presale and $20 tour weekend.

Home Tour is Fairmount’s largest fundraiser of the year, and proceeds benefit neighborhood improvement projects, infrastructure, parks, schools, arts programs, and more.

As a fun way to navigate the weekend, Pedego will provide guided electric bike tours in association with Fairmount’s event. For more information and tickets, visit historicfairmount.com/home-tour.

Click through the photos to read more about some of the properties on the tour, with abbreviated descriptions provided by organizers.

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1812 5th Ave., Home of Barry Diehl and Chris Mosley, c. 1915

This large, recently renovated home is typical of the style known as American Foursquare, with its wide boxed eaves, hipped roof with dormer, and four principal front openings - three sets of windows and a front door.

Other highlights include original woodwork; renovated black & white kitchen and upstairs sunroom; and reconditioned historic period light fixtures in every room, including the magnificent early Vaudeville theatre lobby light in the dining room.

The Historic Benton House, 1730 6th Ave., The Bluntzer Family Home, 1898

Newlyweds Meredith Azro Benton and Ella Belle Mook were among the first to purchase land in the Fairmount Addition, buying four lots, and built the first new home in it in 1898 at what was then the corner of Potter and Morgan streets, now 6th Avenue and Park Place.

They constructed the home from centuries old East Texas yellow pine, long leaf pine, and Louisiana cypress, and set the house on hard as rock bois d’arc foundation posts. The finished product was a picturesque vernacular late Queen Anne style house.

Inside the house, most all of the original layout remains, featuring pocket doors, corner fireplaces and their original mantles, and a long central hallway fronted by a pair of hand cut decorative corbels.

The house is such a step back in time that famous local singer-songwriter and musician Leon Bridges recently filmed one of his latest videos at the home, and Sherwin-Williams has done numerous photo shoots here, as well.

Naylor-Moses House, 1717 Hurley, owned by John Ladd

Built in 1910 by wealthy ranchman John Naylor, this unique Fairmount house sports large ionic squat columns, wide eaves with notched rafter-tails, wavy knee braces, and half-timbering.

It was purchased by Russian immigrant Wolff Moses and his wife, Rachel, in 1919, suffered a fire, and was remodeled to resemble a New York apartment house.

The house is currently undergoing renovation, and it will remain an apartment house as it has been for more than 100 years. The work on the house includes repairing the original diamond-paned windows, opening up the front porch to release the columns, and removing the added porch coverings.

The Slocum House, 2215 6th Ave., Home of Peter & Jan Dawes, c. 1919

This A-frame style Craftsman bungalow exhibits wonderfully unique details. The Asian-influenced three tiered design running the length of the porch, just under the eaves, is also seen in the raised panel design of the dining room frieze at the famous Gamble House in Pasadena, California.

The railing of this home is of the “X” design, also popular in Craftsman homes and furniture but somewhat rare in Fairmount.

Current owners bought the house in 2018. The house had been lovingly cared for by previous owners who’d preserved classic bungalow interior features like the beautiful unpainted brick fireplace — with unusual tiny knick knack shelves flanking either side and hearth tile salvaged from the 1918 Tastee Bread factory on Henderson.

Fort Worth Focused Real Estate Office, 1309 Fairmount Ave., Owned by Joe & Chelsie Synatschk, c. 1906

The earliest homes of Fairmount were often these simple post-Victorian vernacular cottages, mostly built by early investors as rentals. This home was no exception.

The present owners bought this commercially zoned property in 2020 and rehabbed it for the office of their realty business, Fort Worth Focused. They added back some character and stylish decor to honor the fact that it had stood the test of time and almost two dozen different renters for over 115 years.