In case you have missed the recent news, the D.E. Box Addition neighborhood near downtown Grapevine will soon be named Grapevine’s 5th historic district. There is some good information on the announcement here in the Fort Worth Star Telegram .
We at GTO have wrestled over the last few weeks whether this is a good or bad thing.
Historic Give and Take
The good news is that being classified a historic neighborhood comes with some benefits. Property owners have access to a panel of experts on architecture and history should you need to rebuild or remodel your home in that neighborhood. You also have some protection over the value of your home should someone want to buy the home next to you, tear it down and then build something bigger and nicer.
There are negatives too. Property owners have to give up certain assumed personal freedoms with home ownership. If you want to make exterior changes to your home or add additional buildings to your lot, you now have to go through an approval process that may involve committees and other sorts of hurdles that slow down normal building or repair. You also give up the ability to tear down your home and build something new that might not be considered a good fit in the neighborhood.
As you can see, the historical district designation is somewhat of a give and take.
According to City of Grapevine documents, the D.E. Box Addition was Grapevine’s first subdivision. Homes were built in this neighborhood from 1948 to 1962. The documents also state that “many of today’s city and civic leaders, at one time or another, lived in the D.E. Box Addition.”
The architecture in the neighborhood is of ranch style homes. Architectural beauty is often times in the eye of the beholder. If you take a look at some of the neighborhood photos below, we ask you are these the types of homes / neighborhoods that in your mind should be considered historical?
One thing we always look for is do things pass the eyeball test? And when you drive through D.E. Box Addition, we wonder if it passes the eyeball test for what people expect a historic district to look like.
Grapevine has made a priority of preserving its history and that theme has served the downtown area very well. At the same time, we are not sure how we would feel about living in a neighborhood where we have to get permission to change the color of our roof.
We are definitely on the fence on this one.