Historic Fort Worth, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Fort Worth landmarks, has taken an interest in Texas Wesleyan property.
On Feb. 14, the organization filed a lawsuit against the City of Fort Worth for removing historic designation on the Dillow House, a property located across the historic campus, without going through an appeal process.
According to the minutes from a city council meeting on Feb. 5, council member Joel Burns requested the Historic Preservation Ordinance to be reviewed and in a 6-2 vote, the city council approved Wesleyan’s request to remove historic designation of the Dillow House, moving a step closer to demolishing the building.
As stated in the Historic Fort Worth, Inc.’s website, www.historicfortworth.org, the nonprofit organization filed a lawsuit against the City of Fort Worth because they did not give applicants against the removal of historic designation on the Dillow House a chance to appeal their decision, but rather went straight to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Jerre Tracy, executive director for Historic Fort Worth, Inc., said preservation is a complicated process but allows for appeals. Tracy said this is the first time the process of appeals has been skipped.
“Everything in preservation is complicated. It’s not what people think,” Tracy said. “Texas Wesleyan filed an appeal then withdrew the appeal and somehow got straight to Zoning.”
In an article by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tracy said, “We are dismayed by the process being used to remove the historic designation on the Dillow House.”
Currently, only the City of Fort Worth is being sued. However, the state district judge requested Texas Wesleyan be included in the lawsuit.
John Veilluex, vice president of marketing and communications, said the judge indicated that Texas Wesleyan would be impacted by the results of the lawsuit.
“They have said they are going to look at including us in that suit, but they haven’t yet,” Veilluex said. “We are waiting to hear from them.”
Veilluex said the administration has not applied for a demolition permit but the long-term plan is that the building will come down. He said right now they are waiting to see what happens.