History

The Berkeley Place neighborhood, which commonly includes the Cheltenham subdivision, is located approximately two miles southwest of the Fort Worth Central Business District. Its borders are Park Place on the north, the railroad track on the east, Ward Parkway on the south and Rockridge Terrace on the west. (Editor's Note - Note that Kensington Drive actually marks the western edge of Berkeley.)

Initially part of the 1850 Mexican Government's Peters Colony, Adolph Gouhenant obtained a grant to the land in 1860 and surveyed it in 1886. The Gouhenant grant was often recorded as the Goughenant and Gunah survey because of the verbal nature of many business transactions during the period. Part of the survey description includes: "...from whence a Pecan tree 15 inches in diameter bears North 40.5 degrees East, three Pecans from the same root bears South..."

In 1901 William Joseph Rogers purchased about 137 acres of this land for a grain and dairy farm. The farm house still exists at 2230 Warner Road. The original farm house was altered in the 1920's by "Pappy" Lee O'Daniel, who lived in the house and later became Governor of Texas.

Originally, this house was a two-and-a half story frame-turreted Queen Anne mansion. But because deed restrictions in the Berkeley Place development forbade wood exteriors, a brick exterior was added. Currently, this square two story brick structure is entered into the National Register of Historic Places, and bears the proper historical markers.

Development around the Rogers farm began in 1906, when the Fort Worth Development Company acquired the land, in turn selling a portion of the eastern border to the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad.

In October 1907, a "ravine" on the west side of this land, described as "a wild and worthless area" was bought for $17,000 by the City of Fort Worth and turned into the present day Forest Park. In 1910 the Fort Worth Zoo was created on part of this land.

The stone gates at the entrance of Forest Park were built by the city in 1917, and were restored by the Berkeley Place Association in 1980. The Forest Park Apartments, the first "skyscraper" apartments in Fort Worth were built in 1928.

Berkeley Place, a planned professionals neighborhood, expanded greatly when the area was annexed by the City of Fort Worth in 1922.  By 1924 the Rogers farm was the last remaining farm in the Fort Worth city limits.  In that same year the farm was sold, and subsequently divided into residential lots.
 
In 1922, Mistletoe Heights Elementary opened on Park Place.  It was later renamed to Lily B. Clayton elementary school.
 
In 1927, Harry's Place opened at 1633 Park Place.  It's the current home of the Old Neighborhood Grill

In the Tarrant County Historic Resources Survey, published by the Historic Preservation Council of Tarrant County, twenty-seven Berkeley Place homes, and five other structures are listed as being historically significant.

NEIGHBORHOOD DESCRIPTION

Most of the houses in Berkeley Place are very distinct brick and stucco houses with pointed arches and multiple roofs. Both one and two story houses can be found and many have basements. Everything from anti-bellum design to bungalow and streamline modern are in the area, usually with detached garages and often with guest cottages originally built as servants quarters in the rear. Sidewalks and ornamental streetlights add to the ambiance of this stately neighborhood.

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS

The Berkeley Place Association was founded in 1976 and continues to be one of the most active associations in Fort Worth. It is governed by a board consisting of officers elected from the membership, and a representative from each street. Street meetings are held and a newsletter, the "Berkeley Place Poobah" comes out monthly.

SCHOOLS

Elementary
Lily B. Clayton, 2000 Park Place, 817-814-5400 
Middle
McLean 6th Grade Center, 3201 South Hills Ave., 817-814-5700
W.P. McLean Middle School, 3816 Stadium Dr., 817-814-5300 
High School
R. L. Paschal, 3001 Forest Park Blvd., 817-814-5000

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, 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.

© 1999, Wini Klein