Art History students took a special field trip on January 24: They toured the home of Brent Hyder ’69. The historic home, called Fairview, is located on Bryce Avenue. Hyder purchased the property and has been lovingly restoring Fairview since 2014. Fairview was built in 1893 by William J. Bryce, who served as the Mayor of Fort Worth from 1927 to 1933, and who desired to build “a fair home with a fair view for his fair wife,” Hyder shared on the field trip.
Hyder has put a significant amount of work into Fairview. He has removed things that were not original to the house and were added later, such as the pink paint and multiple bathrooms. (The house is back to having just one bathroom!) He has also repaired and replaced things that were original to the house but had either been damaged or destroyed, such as the walk-through windows.
“I learned a lot about what it takes to restore a building,” said Campbell Robinson ’19. “It was interesting to hear about the labor-intensive process, including stripping all of the paint from the exterior. I also learned how much building codes have changed over the years.”
Before leading the students on a tour of Fairview, Hyder came to FWCD to talk about Fort Worth’s history as well as to share some old pictures of the city. Following the presentation, Xitlali Castaneda ’19 said, “I learned a lot of Fort Worth history, like how Como was once a hot spot, and how Fort Worth began.” Adriana Barker ’19, added, “I learned about the trenches that were dug in the Heights area, and why Arlington Heights has its name.”
Upper School Art Teacher Lauren Cunningham is continuously searching for ways to make her Art History class relevant to students’ lives. At the beginning of this semester, the students learned about the buildings that ISIS has been blowing up and destroying in Palmyra, the ancient, ruined city in Syria that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Students then did a project where they interviewed friends and family members about buildings they have loved and lost.
“The field trip to Fairview was a great capstone to thinking about the historical value of architecture,” Cunningham said. “Students got to see a historic building in person.”
Jessica Schaffer ’19 appreciated seeing the house in person versus looking at it on a piece of paper or a screen. Taylor Womack ’20 said, “I enjoyed learning about the importance historical buildings have and the purpose they can still hold today.”
This was Hyder's second visit to Cunningham’s Art History class. In November 2016, he invited students to see his Ottoman art collection at his former house on Greenway Road. “I am grateful for the opportunity for my students to interact with an FWCD alumnus who has a passion for art and architecture, especially one who is interested in non-Western art and historic preservation,” Cunningham shared. “Those are two pretty unique interests, and I would say important ones as far as expanding students’ appreciation for other cultures and the past.”