Historic Hillcrest

Tremont Avenue, Twelfth & Eighteenth Blocks

[2100s-2300s]

 

Tremont Avenue’s Twelfth and Eighteenth blocks stand within the Hillcrest Addition to the City of Fort Worth, part of the larger Arlington Heights neighborhood. This pair of facing blocks is bounded on the north by Bryce Avenue and on the south by El Campo Avenue. Anchored by a classic Arts and Crafts bungalow, it is unified by the English Cottage style of the majority of its houses.

This document addresses preservation and protection of the block’s architectural and aesthetic integrity, and provides direction regarding future use of properties within its boundaries. With these guidelines, the Tremont project could link with neighboring blocks to form a larger historic and cultural landmark district or district.

Context:

The deep history of land ownership and development reaches back to the 1850s. In 1906, a suburban developer from Denver began platting a neighborhood and created a boulevard linking it to the downtown area. “Chamberlin Arlington Heights” was launched, but no houses were built on what is now the Tremont block. World War I proved to be a blessing for the next developers. Robert McCart bought up acreage and donated it to the U.S. Army for troop training. With the construction of Camp Bowie, the Army contracted for installation of water, sewer, electric power, and telephone lines in 1917. The camp closed at war’s end, leaving those elements of infrastructure. This led to the second, and successful, development era of the 1920s and 1930s. The block became part of the Hill Crest Addition to the City of Fort Worth; construction of homes finally began in 1925 and continued into the late 1930s. World War II halted the process, but postwar homebuilding filled all but one of the few remaining lots by 1947.

PURPOSE OF THESE GUIDELINES:

The primary concern of the historic district is to preserve the overall character, identity, and presence of this block of Tremont Avenue. Buildings, sites, and landscapes help create the identity and character of a neighborhood; therefore, the following actions shall require review by the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission and must receive a certificate of appropriateness prior to the issuance of any permits:

•Demolition or relocation of existing structures found to be original to the site or considered contributing to the overall character of the block;

•Construction or relocation of a new primary structure on any site;

•Construction of an accessory structure or addition to an existing structure visible from the public right of way or which may be considered by the Historic Preservation Officer to significantly alter the character of the structure or site; and

•Alterations to the secondary or tertiary facades of a contributing structure considered by the Historic Preservation Officer to significantly alter the character of the structure or site.

All other alterations, constructions, or actions which may be taken to the exterior of a site, contributing structure, or non-contributing structure within the block shall be reviewed for their appropriateness to these guidelines and may be approved, denied, or referred to the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission for further review by the Historic Preservation Officer prior to the issuance of any permits that may be required. Where an application is denied by the Historic Preservation Officer, the applicant may request review of the application by the Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission.

DESIGN GUIDELINES:

These guidelines apply to all properties beginning the day of adoption. However, they are not retroactive for changes made prior to the adoption.

Driveways and Parking

The block was created in the early years of automobile use, and therefore the presence of driveways and parking areas should be minimal and shall not overwhelm the architecture of buildings and the green space of lawns. It is most appropriate for parking areas to be located in rear yards, behind buildings, and out of view of the public right of way. The paving of historically landscaped areas of the yard for parking is not appropriate.

•With the exception of driveways, the paving or graveling of front-yard areas to allow for parking shall not be allowed.

Fences

All fences shall strictly comply with the applicable ordinances of the City of Fort Worth.

•Fences in front yards shall be permitted and shall be reviewed.

•Fences in front yards shall be architecturally compatible with the style and period of the primary building and adjacent buildings.

•Fences in the back and side yards that do not require a variance do not need to be reviewed.

•All fences requiring a variance shall be reviewed.

Materials

Original materials shall be maintained, retained, repaired and/or reused when possible. When necessary, original materials shall be replaced with same or similar materials that convey the same visual appearance.

Painting

•Historically unpainted/unsealed masonry shall not be painted or otherwise sealed with a coating.

•Fluorescent, luminescent, iridescent, prismatic, opalescent, incandescent, metallic, or like paint shall not be used to paint the exterior of any new construction.

Roofs

In general, the roof pitch of historic buildings is an important architectural feature. When designing and building new construction, the character of roof types and pitches on existing buildings on the block shall be respected.

•The existing roof line and the architectural features that give the roof its essential character shall be preserved.

•Roof design, materials, textures, and orientation shall be consistent with existing buildings on the block.

•Roofing materials shall be visually compatible with those used on other buildings on the block.

•Fireplace chimneys, skylights, and other elements that contribute to the style or character of the primary building shall be retained.

•Existing roofing materials shall be replaced with the same type of roofing materials (for example, composition to composition).

•Any change in roofing materials (for example, tile to composition) shall be reviewed by the Landmarks Commission.

•Attic space may be ventilated to prevent condensation. Attic fans or turbines shall be positioned on a side or rear roof away from the main façade of the primary building.

Rhythm of Setback

Setback is defined generally as the area between the front wall of the primary building and the property line at the street. An overall rhythm is established along a street if the primary buildings have similar setbacks. That line shall be respected. All setbacks shall be consistent with the patterns prevailing amongst contributing structures.

•Relocations and new construction of primary buildings shall have the same setback as the front setback distance from the street established by the existing buildings on the block.

Rhythm of Side-Yard Distances

Consistent side-yard distances between buildings helps to establish an overall rhythm along a street. This pattern shall likewise be respected on all relocations, additions, and new construction, and shall be the same as that between existing contributing buildings on the block.

Site Orientation Of Other Structures

The site orientation for garages and storage buildings on the block has historically been at the rear and to the side of the property at the lot lines. This configuration shall continue to be appropriate for such buildings in the block.

Height and Width

Height and width also create scale. Relocations, additions, and new construction shall respect the average height and width of existing contributing buildings on the block and adjacent blocks.

New Construction

New construction within an historic district need not emulate an historic building, but it should reflect the contributing elements and patterns found within the block and appropriate to the mid-20th-century design of the block. New construction shall be compatible [in pattern and style] to existing contributing structures on the block.

Since the first house on the block was built in 1925, the block has been single-family residential, with a few duplex houses. Therefore, the most appropriate type of new construction within the block is for single-family uses. The intent of these guidelines is not to limit creativity, but to encourage compatible design and construction. The overall appearance of new construction shall be that of a single-family-style dwelling.

Appropriate new construction shall:

•follow existing contributing patterns of spacing, mass, and orientation for construction and alterations;

•use compatible size, shape, pattern, and proportion for windows, doors, and garages;

•use roof form, pitch, and overhang depth compatible to the prevailing patterns of existing contributing structures within the streetscape and block; and

•use materials consistent with the finish, texture, scale, and reflectivity to materials used within the block.

Design of new construction

•New construction shall be compatible with existing buildings, if any, on the construction site and existing contributing structures on the block.

•New construction shall be of the appropriate style and period of existing contributing structures on the block.

•New construction shall not detract from the character or appearance of the block and shall respect the site orientation of existing buildings on the block.

•New construction shall orient its façade in the same direction as existing buildings on the block.

Materials for new construction

•The primary building material for new construction and additions on the block shall be masonry–specifically, mortared brick.

Demolition and Relocation

When a building is demolished, it is gone forever. The purpose of historic zoning is to protect historic properties. The intent of the historic district is to preserve historic buildings, materials, and features. The demolition of a building that contributes historically and/or architecturally to the character of the block shall be avoided.

Demolition of a building considered as contributing to the historic character of the district shall be avoided unless a preponderance of evidence can prove that the structure is a threat to the safety of the public or could not reasonably be rehabilitated, either structurally or economically. It is not considered reasonable to rehabilitate a structure where the rehabilitation shall leave it devoid of all original materials or features.

Criteria for relocation

  • The relocation of buildings from inside the district to localities outside the district shall be considered in the same manner as demolition for the purposes of considering the appropriateness of the action.
  • Relocation of buildings from outside the district to a location within the district shall be considered appropriate only when the structure to be moved is architecturally, materially, and dimensionally compatible with the contributing structures of the surrounding district.
  • The demolition and relocation of buildings considered to be non-contributing to the character of the district shall be allowed with the appropriate approvals.