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Historic Fort Worth releasing 2010 list of endangered places

The Terrell Avenue house where revered African-American educator Hazel Harvey Peace lived as an adult, along with a circa-1900 house on the fast-redeveloping Samuels Avenue, top Historic Fort Worth's 2010 additions to its list of Most Endangered Places.

Also new to the list are the Trinity River bluffs. The preservation organization releases this year's list today at noon in front of the Ridglea Theater.

Seven places and buildings are on this year's list; the group has released lists since 2004. They are designed to draw attention to historic properties that have no protection from demolition or neglect. May is also National Historic Preservation month.

Returning to the list are two single-screen theaters -- the Ridglea on Camp Bowie Boulevard and the New Isis Theater on North Main Street; the Texas and Pacific Warehouse; Farrington Field; and the Fort Worth Power & Light/TXU Plant on North Main Street.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, owner of the Peace house, 1103 E. Terrell Ave., has been involved in a tug of war for the past several months with community leaders who want much of the house preserved. The diocese, though, plans to tear down the structure to expand the adjacent Our Mother of Mercy School.

The diocese bought the house in June 2009 from the Peace estate. Peace died in 2008 at age 101.

The diocese considered renovating the property but said it would cost more than the house is worth. It recently received permission from the city's Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission to demolish the structure, built in 1922.

African-American community leaders have accepted the diocese's offer to remove parts of the interior and rebuild them elsewhere as a memorial to Peace. Civic leader Opal Lee has also offered to donate a lot she owns nearby on Terrell Avenue, but money would need to be raised to move the house.

The diocese doesn't have a timetable for demolition but is offering the home it to anyone who wants it, diocese spokesman Pat Svacina said. "The house is very fragile," Svacina said. "It would take an extraordinary effort to move it."

Also new to the list is the two-story Getzendanner House, one of the last examples of the housing stock in the city's first neighborhood.

The house is owned by Mustafa Nadaf of Arlington, who said this week that he bought it in March to help a colleague who was facing foreclosure. Nadaf said that he did not realize that the property is considered historic and that he has no intention of renovating it. It's already for sale.

Also new to the list are the bluffs on the north end of downtown, overlooking the confluence of the West and Clear forks of the Trinity River. Fort Worth was established there in 1849 by Maj. Ripley Arnold.

Part of the bluffs was removed when Tarrant County College began building a downtown campus a couple of years ago. The bluffs qualify for the National Register of Historic Places as a traditional cultural property, Historic Fort Worth said.

SANDRA BAKER, 817-390-7727

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