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Fort Worth Flashback: Early power brokers flocked to Elizabeth Boulevard

Posted Dec. 16, 2011

elizabeth blvd

photo courtesy of the Fort Worth Library.

Elizabeth Boulevard on Fort Worth’s near south side was the first restricted residential development in Fort Worth. Today, the neighborhood is intact and free from demolition or commercial development.

John C. Ryan Sr., the developer, envisioned Fort Worth as “the oil center of the Southwest” and sought to make Elizabeth Boulevard “the residence section of oil men located here.”

Construction on the first house, the W. T. Fry home at 1112 Elizabeth, began in May, 1911. The entrance gates were erected about the same time. By July 1912, two houses were completed and a third was under construction.

The area was the first development in Fort Worth to employ landscape architects, to place utilities in the alleys and to include plantings, entrance gates and façade lines in the master plan.

The homes on Elizabeth Boulevard are impressive examples of eclectic and Revival architectural styles. Revival styles represented are Classical, Spanish Colonial, Mission and Georgian. Although several of the homes have been renovated, most have not been altered and appear today much as they did when they were constructed. Elizabeth Boulevard remains a sought-after residential section and has recently become the focus of active preservation efforts.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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