Tax Credit Program Highlight: Wharton-Scott House/Thistle Hill

Fort Worth, Tarrant County



Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Historic Use

Private residence

Current Use

House museum, events venue

Date Certified

July 11, 2018


Certified for state tax credits only.

Project Contact

Historic Fort Worth, Inc, Volz and Associates


Thistle Hill, as the 11,000 square foot, 18-room, Greek Revival mansion was named, was built by Albert Wharton for his new wife Electra Waggoner, for whom the city of Electra in Wichita County was named. The house was designed by noted Fort Worth architects Sanguinet and Staats, who also oversaw a remodel undertaken just a few years later, when the house was sold to local cattle baron Winfield Scott and his wife Elizabeth. The house was later used as a boarding home and then abandoned before being saved by a grassroots preservation organization. The house has the distinction of being the first building in Fort Worth given the local designation as a Historic and Cultural Landmark in 1978.

Rehabilitation Project

The rehabilitation project consists of upgrades to meet accessibility requirements in order to provide better services to guests, and structural repairs. A new access ramp was built along one side of the house, connected to the front porch. The ramp has a simple design with features that relate to, but do not copy, historic features of the house, such as the handrail. A new sidewalk connects the ramp to the parking lot and outdoor terrace. Inside the house, an original pantry was converted into an accessible restroom. This required raising the floor of the pantry and the rear porch to meet the floor height of the rest of the house. Finally, a large beam was installed in the attic ballroom to help address long-term structural problems related to the roof.

As a large historic home, Thistle Hill requires regular upkeep and occasional costly maintenance and repairs. The state historic tax credit program is an important tool to aid in the preservation of properties like this one.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The new ramp is accessed from around the back of the house, where all visitors enter the site, and runs along the side of the house to the front porch. The ramp's railings are designed with the character of the house in mind, but do not match any existing historic elements.