Homes, sweet homes
Now four decades strong, the Fairmount Historic District Tour of Homes has become a beloved Mother's Day weekend tradition in Fort Worth.
For the 2023 edition, four bungalow-style homes and two historic businesses will open their doors to visitors, May 13-14.
"Most of the locations on the tour were originally built between 1890-1930, 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," a release says.
There are also some new, related events this year, including a fair in Fairmount Park and a pop-up art show at Arts 5th Avenue. The fair will take place 12-4 pm Saturday, March 13 at Fairmount Park, and will feature food trucks, local artists, kids' activities, and more. The fair follows the traditional kick-off parade through the neighborhood at 10 am Saturday.
The tour itself takes place (rain or shine) 12-5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the days of the event. Proceeds benefit neighborhood improvement projects.
Tour-goers should check in at the Welcome Pavilion located at SiNaCa Studios at 1013 W. Magnolia Ave. Tickets may be purchased or picked up there both days, a map and information will be provided, and T-shirts and posters will be for sale. For more information about the event and tickets, visit the district's website.
Here's a closer look at homes on the 2023 tour, with descriptions provided by the district.
Mattie Foster House
As pictured in the photo at the top of the story, the century-old home was built in 1915 and turned into a duplex in the early 1950's so that the newly widowed Mattie Foster could stay in her home. Foster's home was sold to Joe Johnson, a Fort Worth attorney and bail Bondsman in 1962. It fell into disrepair in recent decades, but was eventually rehabbed (back into a single family home) and sold in 2021. Original tulip-stained glass, exposed wood beams, wainscotting, and built-in cabinetry have been restored.
The Edgar-Tanner HousePhoto by Stacy Luecker
The Edgar-Tanner House
This large imposing corner foursquare home (above), with huge wrap-around porch and massive concrete columns on stone bases, was built about 1911. While the Prairie-style inspired its horizontal rooflines, the columns are a nod to the classical revival style, which was gaining popularity. The the first residents in 1912 were Dr. & Mrs. Charles Leslie Edgar. Edgar was an early ear, nose and throat specialist in Fort Worth. The current owners moved from Dallas and purchased the home at the height of the pandemic in 2020. They have filled their home with wonderful art, including a few well-know local artists, family heirlooms, and a signed pochoir by Pablo Picasso.
The Medley-Tucker HousePhoto by Stacy Luecker
The Medley-Tucker House
This beautifully restored example of a foursquare-type house (above) was built by its first owner and resident, carpenter-builder Charles A. Medley, for his wife, Lynette, and their two young sons, beginning in 1908 and finished in 1909. The nickname for this style of foursquare home in historic architectural terms is “shirtwaist style,” so called for the material on the upper half to the middle or ‘waist’ of the house being of one kind — usually wood shingles as this home has — and a different kind of covering on the bottom half. After a series of owners, the home fell into ruin in the 1990s. The current owners purchased it less than a year ago. A complete restoration of the interior has been accomplished. Fun fact: It's one of the only houses in Fairmount with a basement.
Former Edna Gladney Home on HemphillPhoto by Stacy Luecker
The Jacob Tanner House, The Edna Gladney Home (& Adoption Agency), The Bastion
Few Fairmount houses have more important stories to tell this one. Built in 1925 for Jacob Franklin Tanner, owner of a local fish market, it was originally a unique kind of duplex built as two residences side to back. One of the first residentswas Glen “Buck” Smith, who married Minnie Meacham, daughter of department store owner and former Fort Worth mayor, Henry C. Meacham. (The Smiths eventually divorced, and Minnie became Mrs. Amon G. Carter, the famous Fort Worth promoter and philanthropist’s third wife.) More importantly, the home was as The Edna Gladney Home, 1959-1970s, a charitable institution and adoption agency named for early Fort Worth women’s and children’s rights activist Edna Browning Gladney. Current owners, Richard and Chandra Ricetti, purchased it in 2008 and Chandra, a master chef, set up her catering business, The Bastion, in a separate building behind the apartments. The Ricettis have been restoring The Manor House and will soon move in.