Brent Hull’s five “dream” restoration projects:
1. The White House
2. The Gamble House in Pasadena, California
3. Hampton Court in England
4. Palace of Versailles in France
5. Texas State Capitol – Actually he is working on this one right now, replacing nearly 300 windows.
Episode 101, “Romeo the Wonder Dog,” premieres on Oct. 3 on the History Channel
There’s a lot of architectural history and beauty in Texas, much of it right here in Fort Worth.
Brent Hull wants to keep it that way, and you can watch him do it starting Oct. 3 on the History Channel. His show, Lone Star Restoration, runs for eight consecutive weeks at 9 p.m.
“There’s a lot of [real estate] flipping shows on TV. This one’s about restoration,” said Hull, whose company, Hull Historical, is based in Fort Worth.
Hull said about 50 percent of the projects on his show will be based in Fort Worth. This includes a house on Willing Avenue that will be restored throughout the show’s entire run.
“In the first episode we buy it and then work on it throughout the series,” he said.
However, viewers will see Hull and his company work on a variety of projects in Fort Worth and Texas. This will include a classic red railroad caboose and a Prohibition-era subterranean liquor vault.
“This stuff is about history,” Hull said. “In our architecture our houses teach us about the way we used to live.”
From the doors to the floors, the ceilings and columns, he said, “all of these have stories.”
For example, he stumbled upon an old billiards table at the Wharton-Scott House, also known as Thistle Hill, in Fort Worth. It will be restored during one of the series’ episodes, he said.
“They had, about 70 years ago, put the pool table up and forgot where it was,” he said. “This was the sport of gentlemen. It made sense Thistle Hill had a billiards room.”
Hull studied historical preservation in Boston for two years before starting his company in Fort Worth in 1993. He said he has a different view of architecture than many others.
“We’ve lost the art of building houses,” he said. “One hundred years ago everyone understood how to build, and we’ve forgotten that.”
Hull has previously worked on such structures as the Tarrant County Courthouse, Cowtown Coliseum, a historical building/landmark at 1408 N. Main St. in Fort Worth, Fire Station No. 11, and about 150 houses in the area.
Hull will be accompanied by his faithful companion, his yellow Labrador retriever Romeo. The two became an item when Hull took him to work with him as a puppy.
“My wife was working when we got him and I didn’t want to leave him at home,” Hull said. “He loves riding in the truck, and he loves being a part of it all.”
Romeo has even been known to “share” his co-workers’ lunches on occasion, Hull said with a laugh.
Hull compared the appreciation of historic structures to liking a craft beer or coffee. There’s nothing wrong with an ordinary beverage, but there’s something unique and special about the work that goes into a well-crafted one. The same, he said, is true with houses and buildings.
“There’s an appreciation for craft and restoration that I hope this show will bring out,” he said.
“Brent not only brings his incredible acumen and expertise to Lone Star Restoration, but he reminds us of how culturally significant it is to both preserve and restore these historical structures,” said Paul Cabana, the History Channel’s executive vice president and head of programming. “Brent will share his passion and knowledge with our viewers and show all that can be learned about our nation’s history from these important landmarks.”
Along with providing entertainment, Hull said, he hopes the show will help others appreciate the history of some of the state’s greatest structures.
“If this show can help open people’s eyes to what’s around them, that would be great,” he said.