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3 Campus Historic building poised for return

The Rambler |

Jonathan Resendez

Plans are in the works for the historic Dillow House to make a comeback after a decade in disrepair. Wesleyan President Dr. Harold Jeffcoat said the university intends to renovate the dilapidated house, located near the intersection of Vaughn and Collard streets, for use by the community as a business incubation center. Incubation centers serve to grow start-up businesses. “It will be staffed by the university,” Jeffcoat said. “Hopefully we will be able to place students in our business school to do something in the order of paid internships in the business incubation center so they can have some hands-on experience and also work with members of the community.” Jeffcoat said the incubation center will establish itself on the first floor, reserving the second story for offices of community development businesses he hopes will come to southeast Fort Worth. Site preparation is currently underway, he said, and modifications will be made to install an elevator. “We’re really looking forward to it,” Jeffcoat said. “It’s a


January 20, 2010

beautiful facility. It’s a throwback to the kind of architecture that was, if not prevalent, certainly was available to families at the turn of the century.” Innovative Developers Inc., a commercial development and construction firm, will donate its services to help rebuild the Wesleyan landmark as part of celebrating more than 40 years in business. “We are fortunate to be in a position to offer this gift,” said Glen Hahn, president of IDI, to the Fort Worth StarTelegram. “We are a small business, too, and applaud Wesleyan’s desire to use the property as a business center.” The original Dillow House was constructed in 1912 by early settlers of the Polytechnic Community back before it was officially considered a part of Fort Worth. “Upon its founding, the community’s growth was centered around Texas Wesleyan University,” said Louis Sherwood, university archivist and cataloguing librarian, in a 2008 Rambler article. Samuel Selkirk Dillow established Polytechnic’s first grocery store in 1892, one year after the creation of Texas Wesleyan University (known as Polytechnic College at the time), and built his first house about a year later. According

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an exists or they confuse it for Texas Woman’s. The signs that MSS Media currently has placed in their two slots are temporary. “Those [the current signs] were placed by MSS Media as just fillers. They place those

whenever they install kiosks. So after they install them MSS Media puts those up as just general information posters,” Gonzales said. Gonzales said that the current signs will be replaced next week by a company that


John Liontos | Rambler Staff Wesleyan is partnering with Innovative Developers Inc. to renovate the historic Dillow House. Inset: The back porch will be torn down to make room for an elevator.

to Quentin McGown, past president of the Wesleyan alumni association and Fort Worth historian, the Dillows were one of the more affluent families of the community, as well as the biggest-hearted. “Mr. Dillow was known to loan his delivery mules and

horses to the volunteer fire department when they were needed,” he said. Ironically, in 1911 Dillow’s first house burned down and he rebuilt what is now the Dillow House. The Dillow House was donated to Wesleyan by Samuel’s

daughter, Audrey Dillow, in 1979. The university renovated the building in 1982 and was sometimes used by the alumni association. In the ‘90s, the house became a popular alumni headquarters but as other facilities

became available, the house’s popularity faded.

bought all of the available slots. The other slots will still belong to Texas Wesleyan and will be used for updates about campus activities, directional arrows to buildings and possibly campus maps at the beginning of each semester as new students learn their way around.

Gonzales said that MSS Media solicits the ads but TWU has “first right of refusal.” “If it’s something that we feel as a university, that’s controversial or just something we don’t think is appropriate, we have the right to say, ‘No, thank you. We don’t want that advertised on our campus,’”

Gonzales said. Some students expressed displeasure with some of the current signs because of their content. “We will not put the ones about STD or rape back up after an ad has been taken down,” Gonzales said. When a company chooses to advertise with those kiosks their signs

will be in place for a predetermined time through contract. If there is a break between ad contracts, fillers will be used. Gonzales said that Alexander and Heath Scott, president of the Student Government Association, chose the current spot of the kiosks. Some students complained of the amount of kiosks visible from the mall, but the four kiosks that surround the mall were placed there so the directional arrows could be used. “I like them. I think they’re pretty cool. I think it’s useful and helpful, especially with the map because a lot of people aren’t familiar with the campus,” said Thomas Vasquez, junior finance major. Esther Kautai, sophomore accounting major, said, “They’re kind of helpful because the ones at the dorm have the basketball game schedules.” One student wasn’t sure what to think the first time she saw the kiosks. “I thought they were porta-potties,” said Chelsay Blake, freshman theater major. “I’d like to see information about the different organizations and about the campus itself, not stuff that’s going on in the college world but stuff that’s actually happening here on campus.” Other students aren’t enthused with the amount of kiosks. “I think they’re beneficial but I think that so many of them aren’t necessary. The advertisements are perfectly fine but they don’t have to take up the entire thing,” said Trent Sandles, freshman English major. The kiosks will remain on campus for the duration of a 10-year contract with MSS Media. After that, Gonzales said they have the option to buy the kiosks, re-up with MSS Media or move to a different company.


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