Rolling Back the Years: Carriage Houses

Before the era of the automobile, carriage houses were the garages of the well-to-do. Not many carriage houses survive; those that have survived have been converted to other uses: garage, apartment, storeroom. Some have outlived the main house in whose shadow they once stood.

Here is a six-pack of carriage houses:

This carriage house sits behind a house (1910) on 8th Avenue that was converted into the Texas White House bed-and-breakfast. The carriage house has been converted to two suites.

This carriage house sits behind a house (1910) at 2800 Avenue D near Poly High School. Its three doors are gone, and it is now covered with vinyl siding and used for storage.

This carriage house on Locke Avenue north of Lake Como is part of another house that was converted into a bed-and-breakfast (Lockheart Gables).

British-born architect Arthur Albert Messer designed the house for his family in 1893, four years after he had designed the Texas Spring Palace.

A century ago the area along Summit Avenue from 7th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue was known as “Quality Hill,” a neighborhood of fine residences. On Sunset Terrace just off Summit is the carriage house of cattleman capitalist William D. Reynolds. In 1867 Reynolds (1846–1929) began working as a cowboy for Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving. According to the Handbook of Texas, he rode on the cattle drive in 1867 when Native Americans killed Loving and later was a member of the party who brought Loving’s body back to Weatherford for reburial. Reynolds and brother George would become wealthy cattlemen in their own right. William Reynolds’s carriage house was converted into a residence. The main house was demolished.

Even from the rear, this carriage house is impressive. At the south end of Quality Hill, this carriage house sits in the shadow of a cattleman capitalist mansion that did dodge the wrecking ball: Thistle Hill, designed by Sanguinet and Staats and built in 1904 by W. T. Waggoner for daughter Electra and her husband, A. B. Wharton.

carriage-fairviewThis is the carriage house of Fairview, the grand 1893 home that masonry contractor and later mayor William Bryce built for himself on the street named for him in Arlington Heights.

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