Mrs. Linda Barton Smith, Great Steward – 2601 Hartwood Dr.

2601 Hartwood Drive, c.1955

2601 Hartwood is virtually untouched since it was constructed in 1955. The original owner is Mrs. Linda Barton Smith, who commissioned architect Jay Floore to design her family’s new home in the mid-1950s and passionately loved his custom design for her family. I love it because it’s well situated on the lot and much more to scale than many of today’s newer homes.

Not everyone in the 1950s embraced the mid-century design movement. Although Mr. and Mrs. Smith were traditionalists, they were progressive. They were close friends of Jay Floore and had seen some of the mid-century projects he designed. Floore designed two homes – one contemporary and one more traditional – and presented them to the Smiths. He first showed then the “traditionally designed” house and said, “We can certainly do this.” And then then he presented the contemporary design and said, “But we can really do this!”

They went with a beautiful example of what we now know (and love) as mid-century modern design. Floor-to-ceiling windows, a brick hearth and flooring, and a flowing floor plan – each room is gorgeous. And, because the Smiths loved their home so much, we have a rare historical record of the origin of 2601 Hartwood Drive, in the Tanglewood neighborhood.

This home was the first, or one of the first, on Hartwood Drive. The Colonial golf course was separated from the neighborhood by a barbed-wire fence. South and west of this home was nothing but the Edwards Ranch. Cullen Davis’ expansive property sat to the north, where the current Stonegate neighborhood is.

John W. Floore – known by his friends and around town as Jay Floore – was a notable architect in North Texas. He designed M.L. Kirkpatrick Elementary School, a mid-century modern school for Fort Worth ISD. He is mentioned in part of the collection entitled, “Dallas Museum of Art Exhibition Records” at the Dallas Museum of Art. Floore designed some well-known homes on the Rivercrest Golf Course on Hazelwood Drive. Several prominent Fort Worth families and executives have owned these homes over the years, and they were the site of many gatherings. Since he was friends with the owners of 2601 Hartwood Drive, Floore and his wife, Louise, spent many happy times there.
The Smiths have been meticulous record keepers over the years, keeping everything from the original blueprints and construction contract showing the home was completed for $44,800, to a list of all the subcontractors who worked on the home, to receipts from the “Contemporary Interiors” store on Camp Bowie Boulevard, where the furnishings were ordered.

HFW 2016 Preservation Awards and Cantey Lecture Series photographed Thursday, Sept 22, 2016. Photography by Bruce E. Maxwell.

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