Ben Hogan’s childhood home added to Historic Fort Worth list of endangered places.

Posted Wednesday, May. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Historic preservationists have set their sights on a childhood home of Fort Worth golf legend Ben Hogan.

The vacant house at 1316 E. Allen Ave. is one of several Fort Worth homes where Hogan grew up, but it is the last one still standing as a vestige of his upbringing.

The Allen Avenue house in Morningside Heights was included on Historic Fort Worth’s 2013 list of Most Endangered Places, released Tuesday. Another notable addition is the city’s Tanglewood neighborhood, where many homes are being torn down and replaced with bigger ones.

“Ben Hogan’s humble, double-gabled childhood home has been vacant for years and fallen on hard times,” said John Roberts, Historic Fort Worth’s chairman. “We understand that the owners would like to see the house restored. Its primary significance is cultural, due to Ben Hogan’s national golfing stature.”

Born in Stephenville in 1912, Hogan moved to Fort Worth at age 9 and caddied as a child at Glen Garden Country Club, where he learned to play golf. He would become one of the greatest pro golfers of all time, winning 63 PGA tournaments and nine majors. Hogan died in Fort Worth in 1997 at age 84.

The Allen Avenue home is now owned by the family of A.P. and Cornelia Young. A.P. Young, a packer for Burris Feed Mill in Saginaw and a minister, raised his six children in the three-bedroom, one-bathroom house and kept the property immaculate, his children recalled Tuesday. Young bought it in 1956 from the James T. Oliver family, deed records show.

The home hasn’t been occupied since the mid-1990s, Young family members said. They’re seeking money to help save the house. The exterior is deteriorating and the floors are buckling, they said.

“If there was any help we could get in restoring it, it would be a real blessing,” said Ed Young, 54. Young was joined by his brother, Anthony, 62, and his sister, Angela Saleh, 45, as Historic Fort Worth announced its list on the steps of the historic Thistle Hill home on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“All of us have fond memories” of growing up in the home, Saleh said.

Anthony Young said, “It was my father’s request we keep it.”

The Garvey-Viehl-Kelley House, 769 Samuels Ave., built in the late 1800s for grocery store owner and real estate dealer William B. Garvey, was also added to the endangered list, as were the Tanglewood neighborhood, between Bellaire Drive West and Hulen Street; the Old Renfro Drug Store, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave.; and the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and Scott Theatre, 1300 Gendy St.

Historic Fort Worth began its Most Endangered Places list in 2004. Some properties have been saved, but others have been lost to the wrecking ball. One of its most recent successes was the Ridglea Theater on Camp Bowie Boulevard, added a few years ago and eventually restored and reopened in 2012 by a Dallas businessman.

“We have found over time, the list is a great way for buildings that matter in Fort Worth to receive interest from sources that wouldn’t know about them,” said Jerre Tracy, executive director of Historic Fort Worth. “I get calls probably every three months from a developer not living in this part of the country about a building on the list. Some good things are happening with those phone calls.”

The nonprofit has taken on a huge task in trying to save Tanglewood. The neighborhood was developed in the 1950s and ’60s by Cassco, the Cass O. Edwards family business that has overseen development of the Edwards Ranch. Tanglewood is popular for its schools and its location off Hulen Street in southwest Fort Worth.

But the neighborhood’s architectural integrity is eroding, the group said. “Oversized additions to existing houses and tear-downs are occurring with greater frequency,” Historic Fort Worth said.

Deed restrictions that once spelled out how the homes could be built have expired, residents say, and that’s having a negative effect. The larger homes are penetrating the tree canopy, they said.

John Kent, who has lived on Ann Arbor Court since 1998, said that the change started five or six years ago but that the rate of tear-downs and rebuilding has accelerated recently. He hopes that the Historic Fort Worth designation will raise awareness among residents that the new homes are changing the neighborhood’s character and integrity.

“The scale of the new homes is quite large,” Kent said. “If the builders and homeowners would consider scaling back a little bit, that might be all you needed. That would be for the better. There have been some exceptional homes taken down.”

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Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST

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