Lake Worth area home gets historic designation

Photo courtesy of Quentin McGown

The Foster House is the first mid-century modern residential structure in Tarrant County to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

A Fort Worth home designed by a protege of architect Frank Lloyd Wright now has a historic designation.

The Fort Worth City Council voted Feb. 2 to designate the Eldred W. Foster House as a Historic and Cultural Landmark. The house is located on Heron Drive on the southwest shore of Lake Worth. Quentin and Laurie McGown are the house’s current owners.

The house is named after engineer Eldred W. Foster, who built it in 1951. The house was designed by the architectural firm Raymond and Rado; architect Antonin Raymond had previously worked as the chief designer for Wright during construction of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in 1921.

The Foster house is Fort Worth’s first documented example of a residence built in the “expandable house” style of mid-century modern architecture, according to a city staff report. That architectural style is characterized by flat or slightly pitched roofs, open living areas with large hearths and large sheets of glass. An “expandable house” had a floor plan that included a main house plus room for additional space, such as an extra bedroom that could be built in the future.

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The house received a historic designation from the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. Quentin McGown, a former chairman of Fort Worth’s Historic and Cultural Landmarks Commission, said he and his wife wanted the house to have a local designation as well.

“Preserving what we can is important,” he said. “It’s fun for my wife and I to be able to do something that we’ve certainly encouraged lots of other people to do over the years.”