For 40 years, the Fort Worth Stockyards has officially been called “historic.”
But not every building in the 40-plus city blocks between Northwest 23rd and 28th streets is a precious early-century keepsake, and that is what City Hall now must sort out.
As developers work to bring new development and jobs to vacant or abandoned portions of the old cattle stockyard and packinghouses, city officials are deciding where to draw the line and preserve cherished landmarks.
A pending city proposal would protect buildings along Exchange Avenue for seven blocks from North Houston Street to Niles City Boulevard, plus the Rodeo Plaza area and Billy Bob’s Texas.
Preservationists would like that expanded to the original 40-block National Register district. But the Stockyards’ independent frontier spirit also means commercial landowners are fractious, inherently defensive of property and resistant to restrictions.
Behind every door is history worth preserving, but also a landowner and stakeholder whose rights deserve respect.
It will be up to the council to carefully decide which properties must be preserved, and that may vary block-by-block.
When it comes to historic districts, one size does not fit all.