Historic Sites Tax Exemption Saves Last Bowie Building From WWI – Welcome to the City of Fort Worth

Posted on December 20, 2021

Historic Preservation Tax Incentives continue to be one of the most effective ways to encourage investments in historic preservation and the revitalization of Fort Worth neighborhoods.

An example of a recent successful preservation tax incentive project in Fort Worth is the rehabilitation of the WWI Camp Bowie hospital ward in Arlington Heights.

Fort Worth resident Gail Landreth purchased the property at 4730 Pershing Ave. in 2018 with the vision of saving the structure from negligent demolition. Landreth researched a highly significant / endangered local historic designation for the property before starting work, with the goal of participating in the city’s historic sites tax exemption program.

Watch a video about the preservation project.

The WWI Camp Bowie hospital ward is the last building at Camp Bowie, a US War Department military training center for members of the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division after the declaration of war from the United States to Germany in April 1917. After the camp closed in 1919, the camp’s infrastructure spurred development in the western part of town after the war ended and the camp was dismantled. This structure appears to be the only surviving building from Camp Bowie remaining in Fort Worth.

Landreth managed to save and adaptively reuse the hospital ward at Camp Bowie from World War I for residential purposes. The original materials were kept and repaired, such as the wooden windows, which kept them out of the landfill and created a positive environmental impact. Modern features, such as new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, have been added to make the structure habitable and comfortable.

The historic sites tax exemption encourages substantial rehabilitation of designated properties, such as the WWI Camp Bowie Hospital Quarter. The HSTE freezes the assessed value of a property at the level before renovation for 10 years. The local HSTE can be combined with federal and state tax incentives for preservation to provide a substantial financial incentive for the safeguard and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

To learn more about how to apply for a Historic Sites Tax Exemption or if your rehabilitation project qualifies, contact the City of Fort Worth Preservation Staff at 817-392-8000.

Pictures: Before and after the rehabilitation of the WWI Camp Bowie hospital ward.

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