The Fort Worth, Texas Dream Home returns to one of the city’s older neighborhoods in 2013 as the second in-fill project in the town’s near Westside.
The home will be built on a now-vacant lot at 4010 W. 4th St. in the picturesque Monticello Addition near River Crest Country Club and the bustling development along the 7th Street corridor. The original structure has been removed.
“The neighborhood provides us with a great setting to continue the historical presence of traditional architectural styles,” says Scott Watson of Flynn+Watson Architects who is designing the home along with Lyn Flynn. “Because of the historical nature and variety of styles in the neighborhood, we've chosen to go with a French Eclectic-style home.”
French Eclectic came into vogue in the United States after American soldiers returning from France brought home a familiarity with French homes they had seen in the areas of Normandy and Brittany.
Builder Gary Nussbaum of AG Builders brings a long history in construction to the project.
“I have been building all my life, and I have a great passion for this industry,” Nussbaum said. “I followed my father to work from the age of 11 years old until he handed the business over to me at age 30 in 1989. I can't think of a time in my life that I have not enjoyed being outdoors and creating with my hands.”
Lyn and Watson — it is the fourth Dream Home for Watson — visualize a 5,600-square-foot home with four bedrooms and a media/game room. That continues the Dream Home trend away from the more than 10,000-square-foot homes of the 1990s and early 2000s.
It is Nussbaum’s first Dream Home project.
“I believe the challenge with this project is to make sure that the design of the home is in keeping with what the original developers of the surrounding area intended and to have the home reflect current trends that buyers are seeking in new home construction and efficiency,” Nussbaum said.
He wants it to be grand and elegant but also comfortable and inviting with no wasted space and ample yard for outdoor living.
“That can be a challenge for the Westside lots in River Crest and Monticello,” he said.
The land in the area was owned by Wm. J. Bailey in 1901, writes Realtor Wini Kline in The Book of Neighborhoods. Bailey formed the Monticello Land Co. in 1928 with the assistance of V. P. Guthrie, the developer of the Park Hill neighborhood on the southwest side of Fort Worth. “The neighborhood included 160 acres, and home sites were required to be 50 to 150 feet wide, more than 100 feet deep and constructed of brick, stone, stucco or a combination of any of the three.”
Nussbaum says past projects have ranged in size from 1,200 square feet to 56,000 square feet and include more than 600 restaurants nationwide. He’s just recently concluded a remodeling project in Pebble Beach, Calif.
“I hold fast to the belief that I was taught by my grandfather and father that size has no bearing on the quality,” he says. “I build with the same mindset regardless of the size.”
He’s also committed to one anonymous pro bono project each year.
“Those are always the most rewarding,” he says.
Dream Home projects draw together top-of-the line vendors that result in better than normal equipment and material than generally are used in even high-end construction, such as the appliances. Venders who wish to participate are welcome to contact Owner/Publisher Hal Brown at Fort Worth, Texas magazine.
Although in this case Nussbaum is not working for a specific owner, he’ll apply his underlying building philosophy to the best of his ability.
“I have come to realize that how individuals behave in their environment is in direct proportion to the design of their homes; therefore, I am attentive in listening to their expectations and desires. I want to build homes that will grow with the client through the various phases of their life,” he said.
A home should last through children and into old age.
“I know that may seem daunting, but I really believe that with well-thought-out planning and design, it is possible to build a home that will last a family for generations to come,” Nussbaum said.
He says he’s a hands-on builder, who is both general contractor and project supervisor, and is on-site daily.
“Also, while I am a general contractor, I consider myself to be an artist/craftsman as well,” he says. “I still drill piers for the foundation, frame the structure, mill the cabinets and finish carpentry-trim on site, and lay custom wood flooring. I like being hands on,” Nussbaum said.
He’s even built furniture in his cabinet shop for many clients upon request.