Fairmount-Southside Historic District – Fort Worth, Texas

The Fairmount–Southside Historic District is a 340-acre (140 ha) historic district (United States) that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1990. Structures in the district represent Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movement architecture, Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals architecture, and Late Victorian architecture.

It includes the Meredith Benton House, the Johnson-Elliott House, and the South Side Masonic Lodge No. 1114 which were previously listed on the NRHP. The Benton House and Masonic Lodge are Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks along with the Grammer-Pierce House, the Gunhild Weber House, and the William Reeves House.

The listing includes 1,013 contributing buildings and one other contributing structure. It is asserted to be the largest historic district designated in the southwestern United States.

The Fairmount/Southside Historic District is representative of the early 20th-century streetcar suburb, with a diversity of house forms, and related institutional and commercial properties. Fairmount/Southside is situated on the near south side of Fort Worth, approximately two miles south of downtown. Boundaries of the area form a rectangle of about 375 acres (or 0.6 square miles) Fairmount was developed as a middle-class residential area between 1890 and 1938, with the largest concentration of houses dating from 1905 to 1920.

The predominant building is the single-family residence, with wood frame bungalows being the most common configuration. Variations on the Four Square form are scattered throughout the District. Fairmount/Southside’s grandest homes are concentrated in the eastern sections of the Districts and reflect a variety of stylistic influences. In the survey made as part of the nomination for National Register of Historic Places status, there were found to be 1,016 Contributing buildings, one Contributing structure, and 425 Non-contributing buildings.

About one-third of the houses were occupied by business executives who managed their own firms. Professions were represented by many doctors, lawyers, and educators. It was a diverse neighborhood, where craftsmen, including brick and stone masons, lived next door to railroad workers. As Fort Worth’s suburbs grew following World War II, the neighborhood fell into disrepair.

The district grew rapidly in its formative years, as many middle-income workers moved to Fort Worth for various employment opportunities. Within the first two decades of the 20th Century, streetcar lines ran down major district thoroughfares, including College and Fairmount Avenues, carrying railroad employees, doctors, lawyers, salesmen, and merchants to and from their homes built on the Southside to their areas of employment. Beginning with Queen Anne and ending in the Craftsman style, the homes built by the original residents now showcase the evolution of domestic architecture of early 20th-century suburban America.


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