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Embrey Partners honored for work on preserving, restoring historic Garvey House

🕐 4 min read

The Texas Historical Commission and Historic Fort Worth (HFW) honored Embrey Partners on Oct. 25 for its complete restoration of the historic and stately Garvey- Viehl-Kelley House located on Samuels Street.

The Garvey House, as it is colloquially known, is the centerpiece around which Embrey constructed its upscale, 353-unit apartment complex called the Kelley at Samuels Avenue.

“This development has been one of Embrey Partners’ most rewarding projects because of the careful restoration and repurposing of the historic Garvey House, also known as the ‘Queen of the Trinity,’ which was located on the property when we acquired it,” said John Kirk, executive vice president of development for Embrey Partners. “It had been vacant for more than 20 years and was in great disrepair. But, we knew that this grand old house sat in an area that once was home to some of Fort Worth’s earliest community leaders. So, we decided to make the Garvey House a focal point of our own development, and to restore a part of that rich history Fort Worth is so famous for.”

Embrey hired architects Fender-Andrade to accomplish the detailed design and renovation work on the Queen Anne styled structure. Over about 18 months, craftsmen salvaged as much of the original materials as possible while adding modern building requirements to the 130-year old home. Embrey also constructed a 1,500-square foot addition to increase office space and to add a guest suite on the second floor.

The overall project included the following:

• Abatement of asbestos and lead

• Repair or replacement of exterior corbels, columns, porch rails, siding, windows, and trim

• Installation of a new synthetic slate roof

• Stabilization of the existing balloon frame structure and its foundation

• Salvaging of doors, trim, and hardware for re-use

• Refinishing existing hardwood floors on the first floor and the installation of new hardwood floors on the second floor

• Repairs to existing millwork and stained glass windows

• Installation of new air conditioning and insulation

• New paint for the entire house inside and out with the exception of salvaged doors, trim, and hardware

“Historic Fort Worth had placed the Garvey House on our endangered list, so we were extremely pleased when Embrey stepped in to save this beautiful home,” said Historic Fort Worth’s Executive Director Jerre Tracy. “Samuels Avenue was the location of the city’s first high style neighborhood. But, the location was forgotten around the 1960s and these old homes began to deteriorate. That is why we were so grateful Embrey decided to make this one of the first major redevelopments of the historic district. This exceptional partnership and the transformation of the Garvey House has raised the bar for preservation in Fort Worth as Embrey proved that preservation and new development can be mutually- beneficial.”

Construction of the original Garvey house began in 1884 and was completed in 1889. The notable residence was built in stages for grocery store owner and real estate dealer William B. Garvey and his wife Lucy, the granddaughter of Baldwin L. Samuel, the street’s namesake. Today, the Garvey House is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and an Historic & Cultural Landmark of the City of Fort Worth.

Last year Embrey Partners received an award for its role in protecting and moving the Talbott-Wall House. The 1903 Dutch Colonial Revival residence, which was also on the property that Embrey built the Kelley at Samuels Avenue, was relocated from 915 Samuels Avenue to 1102 Samuels Avenue. Together, Embrey and HFW were able to obtain funds from various entities to purchase a vacant corner lot for the house’s relocation and for the moving costs.

“When we started the Kelley at Samuels project in this historic location, we knew the challenge would be to create a modern residential community for prospective tenants while using the proper preservation principles that our neighbors would sincerely appreciate,” Kirk said. “Historic Fort Worth and the City of Fort Worth were excellent partners in this effort, and I think we can all agree that this beautiful neighborhood is ready to relive some of that past grandeur.”

Earlier this month, Embrey Partners announced the opening of the Kelley at Samuels Avenue luxury apartments property, located at 769 Samuels Avenue in the Samuels Avenue historical district. The upscale complex consists of 353 units and sits on 10 acres of land

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