The South Side’s Fairmount addition opened for development in the spring of 1890—129 years ago.
Arlington Heights had opened to development on the prairie west of town.
And, more quietly, Fairmount (“one of the finest residence portions of Fort Worth”) had opened to development south of town. These Gazette ads are from March 1890. An ad on March 2 said Fairmount was west of E. E. Chase’s new residence. On March 27 the Gazette predicted that lots in Fairmount, boasting graveled streets and a newly electrified streetcar line a half-mile from Fort Worth University, would appreciate in value.
But the Gazette of the late nineteenth century could not have predicted that the Fairmount of the early twenty-first century would remain “one of the finest residence portions of Fort Worth.”
This 1907 map shows Fairmount addition and Bellevue Hill addition.
Bellevue Hill dates back to 1883, but Fairmount is the largest addition in the 375-acre Fairmount Southside Historic Distruct, bounded by Magnolia and Jessamine streets on the north and south and by Hemphill Street and 8th Avenue on the east and west. Most of the Fairmount addition had been platted, most of those graveled streets were in by 1907. Since 1907 many of the street names have changed. Potter Avenue, for example, became 6th Avenue. (Map detail from Pete Charlton’s “1000+ Lost Antique Maps of Texas & the Southwest on DVD-ROM.”)
In a way it’s a shame that Fairmount has all those streets. Because when you drive through Fairmount in a car you cannot notice, much less linger over, architectural details in the way you can when you walk or pedal. Fairmount is meant for moseying, not motoring:
Picket fence and dormer windows on Lipscomb Street.
Steps with rusticated stone columns on Lipscomb Street.
Wooden columns on stone bases and a hitching post on 5th Avenue.
A half-moon mellow-yellow gable window on Fairmount Avenue.
More mellow yellow on Hurley Avenue.
The entrance of Chase Court.
And more columns: composite capitals and rusticated stone bases.
And still more columns.
Chimney on Alston Street.
Fairmount was developed during an era when front porches were eminently sittable. Here are a few that would tickle the fancy of the most fastidious fanny:
On South Adams Street.
On 6th Avenue.
Balcony and horseshoe gable on College Avenue.
Full porch and balcony of the house of blacksmith Michael Eitelman on College Avenue. What appears to be rusticated stone is actually a concrete product made by Eitelman’s son-in-law, stone mason Andrew Gilchrist.
Gambrel roof on Lipscomb Street.
The Stearns house (1909) on Lipscomb Street, another planbook house, has a half-moon gable window with single keystone and a dormer with finial.
Oculus with four keystones and square shingles on South Adams Street.
Gable brace, square, round, and octagonal shingles, and an oculus with four keystones on Lipscomb Street.
Five-sided dormer with latticed window, a gable brace, and round shingles on Washington Avenue.
Sawtooth, square, and octagonal shingles on College Avenue.
Gable brace and half-cove shingles on the Benton house on 6th Avenue.
The rest of the Benton house (1898), one of the fairest of the fair in Fairmount.
More porches of Fairmount.