See inside this Fort
Worth Historical Preservation Award Winning home
By Tori Couch
Photos by Olaf Growald
Growing up in New Orleans, Marilyn Englander fell in love with old, historic homes.
She always wanted to renovate an older home and “bring it back to its original charm,” Englander said.
That opportunity presented itself in 2022, when Englander and her husband, Marty, purchased a home in Fort Worth’s historic Ryan Place. The home on Elizabeth Boulevard is less than two miles from The Magnolia Wine Bar, which the Englanders have owned since 2019. Their home also is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a Fort Worth Historical Preservation Award Winner.
“At first we were like, ‘No, we’re not going to do this,’” Marilyn Englander said. “Then all of a sudden your wheels start turning. Our kids were grown, so it was a good time to have another project to do.”
The couple began renovations last November and moved in July. Before the remodel was complete, the Englanders were offered an opportunity to participate in the neighborhood’s annual A Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place.
The newly renovated home will be one of five on the 2023 tour, Dec. 2-3. Tour proceeds support historic preservation, neighborhood infrastructure and fellowship initiatives.
Nearly every room in the 1916 Tudor-style home underwent some sort of change, but preserving as much of the original home as possible was a priority. The Englanders added a butler’s pantry, laundry room and bedroom to the back of the house on the first floor. Other upgrades included new plumbing, electricity and insulation throughout the home, Englander said. The two-story carriage house had structural damage and is being rebuilt to replicate the original design. It will serve as a garage with attic space.
The original wood floors were sanded and stained, and the Englanders changed the upstairs den from parquet floors to wood. One of the upstairs bedrooms received new glass closet doors that were removed from another room in the house during the remodel.
An iron and brick column fence put in on the east side matches the style of the original iron railing on the front porch. The front hall chandelier came with the house, too.
“Anything we could keep — original sink, lights, doors — we tried to save,” Englander said. Brightening up the house with colors and light was also a common theme. Kitchen cupboards, countertops and walls are now white, as are the walls of the dining and breakfast rooms. The brick fireplace was covered in white plaster to match the rest of the woodwork.
An unexpected chance to marry light and the home’s old charm came during work on the living room. Standing on the front porch, the Englanders noticed the curve of a window in the brick. The floor-to-ceiling, arching window had been closed off years earlier. When they found out the window could be rebuilt, it felt like the perfect addition.
“I think the whole neighborhood kind of had fun, because all of a sudden they could see this window here again,” Englander said. “It’s been great because it lightened the room up and it’s such a pretty shape. It was a nice touch to bring it back to the original and make it match on the outside and inside.”
A wine cellar, something Marty always wanted, was added upstairs inside a U-shaped room. In one corner of the room, a full bathroom was converted to a half bathroom and the corner that previously housed a washer and dryer became the wine cellar.
The wine cellar is behind glass doors. Each wall behind the glass door has a wine rack, and the area underneath the bar offers more room for wine.
“That’s kind of like his man cave,” Englander said.
Marilyn has added several personal touches throughout the home, such as MacKenzie Childs decor in the kitchen, a new, round dining room table that can seat up to 12 and a cabinet with antiques from her family’s store in New Orleans.
That’s not the only piece of New Orleans that can be found in the new home.
In the butler’s pantry, a wall of more than two dozen ceramic plaques representing New Orleans landmarks and family favorites catches the eye. Cafe Du Monde and Tulane University are there,along with Englander’s high school, her family’s store and favorite restaurants.
The nostalgic feel fits right into a home that is part modern, part historic and completely unique.
“You’ve got a lot of antiques and modern stuff all mixed in together,” Englander said. “I like that feel. I’m not 100% modern and I’m not old- fashioned. It’s a good, eclectic blend.”