Historic Fort Worth ‘Queen of the Trinity’ home gets a new lease on life

Share this Article

Culture Map Fort Worth | John Egan

A historic house that once was on Fort Worth’s endangered list has a new lease on life, and its savior has been honored for undertaking the home’s restoration.

San Antonio-based real estate investment company Embrey Partners Ltd. was recognized October 30 by the Texas Historical Commission and Historic Fort Worth for rescuing the Garvey-Veihl-Kelley House, known simply as the Garvey House and nicknamed “Queen of the Trinity.” The home, which sits on Samuels Avenue, dates back to the late 1800s.

Embrey Partners built a 353-unit apartment complex, Kelley at Samuels Avenue, with the Garvey House as the centerpiece; the house now serves as the leasing office for the community. John Kirk, executive vice president of development at Embrey Partners, said the house had been vacant for more than 20 years and was in a state of serious 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,” Kirk said in a release.

Embrey tapped Fort Worth’s Fender-Andrade Architects to guide design and renovation work for the Queen Anne-style structure. Over the course of about 18 months, craftsmen salvaged as many of the original materials as possible while outfitting the 130-year-old home with modern necessities. Embrey Partners added 1,500 square feet to the house to create more office space and a second-floor guest suite.

“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,” Jerre Tracy, executive director of Historic Fort Worth, said in the release.

“Samuels Street was the location of the city’s first high-style neighborhood,” Tracy added. “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.”

Highlights of the revitalization project included:

  • Removal of asbestos and lead.
  • Repairing or replacing elements such as columns, porch rails, siding, windows, and trim.
  • Installation of a synthetic slate roof.
  • Stabilization of the structure and foundation.
  • Salvaging of doors, trim, and hardware for reuse.
  • Extensive repainting.

Construction of the Garvey House began in 1884 and wrapped up several years later. Notable features of the home include a bell-shaped turret and a wraparound porch.

The residence was built in stages for grocer William B. Garvey and his wife, Lucy, granddaughter of Baldwin L. Samuel, the namesake of the street where the house is located. The house was sold in 1918 to merchant Robert Veihl and his wife, Lena, and then to the G.S. Kelley family in 1972.

Today, the home is a Fort Worth and Texas historic landmark.