Arlington Heights of Fort Worth, is a large neighborhood beginning approximately three miles west of the Fort Worth Central Business District. The area includes the smaller subdivisions of North Hi Mount and Hillcrest.
The rolling hills of Arlington Heights served as ranch land until 1890 when W. T. Ladd established a dairy farm. In 1893, Ladd’s east fence marked the western limits of the Fort Worth residential district. His west fence was present day Sanguinett Street. Ladd leased this land from an English syndicate who eventually offered to sell him the land for $100 per acre. Being unable to buy the land, Ladd eventually opened a furniture store.
One of the eleven original grantees of land in Arlington Heights in 1857 was J. P. Montgomery. Montgomery sold his land near Montgomery Street to F.M. Hammond in 1919. Residential development in parts of Arlington Heights began in 1890. Developers were D.O. Modlin, George C. Clarke, Lewis D. Fox and the Chamberlin Investment Company. The most desirable lots sold for $300. However, as development spread to the south and southwest, one discouraged owner traded his lot for a typewriter and another traded his for a set of tires. In 1892, Ye Arlington Inn was erected at the present corner of Merrick and Crestline. The inn burned down in 1894 and was not rebuilt. Twenty years after development began only a handful of homes had been built.
Initial advertisements for the lots attracted buyers with phrases such as “aristocratic and most desirable section, cool breezes, splendid views and pure water,” and “All who purchase now are sure to make money.” Around this time 3,000 trees were transplanted into the neighborhood from the Trinity River valley.
In 1916 the U.S. Army came to Fort Worth looking for a site to build a camp. Robert McCart, who had bought land when the initial Arlington Heights developers were in financial trouble, donated 1,000 lots to the army. The 1,410 acre site was named for Texas revolutionary hero James Bowie, and served as a training ground for the 36th Division of the Texas-Oklahoma National Guard. There were 1,500 buildings at Camp Bowie and most buildings and tents had electric lights. There were also water, sewer and telephone systems. Infantry Brigade commander Major General John A. Hulen reorganized the 36th Division, and after his retirement, he settled in Ryan Place, where he lived until his death in 1957.
After WWI, residential development turned west. Between 1920 and 1926, Arlington Heights became the fastest growing section of Fort Worth and was annexed by the city in 1922.
Present day Camp Bowie Blvd. was originally called Arlington Heights Blvd. and was paved with creosote soaked wooden blocks. In 1921 it was renamed Camp Bowie Blvd., and was paved with brick in 1928. Camp Bowie Blvd. was designated an historical site by the Texas Historical Commission in 1978.
Architectural styles in Arlington Heights range from one story wood-frame bungalows to two story Period Revival designs. Fifty three structures in Arlington Heights are listed in the Tarrant County Historic Resources Survey, published by the now defunct Historic Preservation Council for Tarrant County and owned by Historic Fort Worth, Inc. This neighborhood features tree lined streets with sidewalks, vintage streetlights and convenient access to the shops and restaurants along the brick paved Camp Bowie Blvd.
The area north of Camp Bowie Blvd. contains the most prestigious homes, but many parts of Arlington Heights are becoming desirable because of widespread revitalization efforts. Arlington Heights features convenient access to Fort Worth’s museums and Cultural District and the downtown business district.
This information was conceived, researched and written by Wini Klein, REALTOR®, for the Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS®, with assistance from the City of Fort Worth Planning Department, Historic Preservation Council for Tarrant County, Historic Fort Worth, Inc., Texas Christian University, Junior League, Fort Worth Independent School District, Tarrant County Tax Office, League of Neighborhoods and encouragement from the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
© 1998, 2008, Wini Klein