Hull Historical owner Brent Hull is a historian at heart, and more than a little obsessed with architecture.
Hull Historical helped maintain the integrity of this 1920s Tudor Revival.
Hull designed the millwork at this Colonial Revival.
The restored carriage house at a Park Hill historic home.
Restoration work inside a historic home in River Crest.
Brent Hull feels you cannot begin a restoration without understanding the unique character and details of the homes style, and teaches about it in his Building and Brews series.
Brent Hull found his passion 30 years ago. Now he wants to share it. The founder of Hull Historical (now called Hull Millwork) has been on an unexpected preservation journey ever since he graduated from Baylor University with a degree in History and English.
“I figured I’d probably end up teaching,” Hull tells PaperCity Fort Worth. “But then a friend of mine told me about North Bennett Street School ― a very specialized trade school in Boston. It’s the oldest trade school in the country, teaching crafts from violin making to bookbinding. Lost crafts.
“I enrolled in their preservation carpentry program and learned how to restore and match historic millwork.”
Hull enjoyed plying his meticulous trade in the historic homes of the Northeast after he completed the program. He is the exclusive licensee for the architectural interiors of the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate in Wilmington, Delaware, the original home of H.F. du Pont. Hull was like a sponge, soaking up the architectural traditions and historic details of the area.
When Brent Hull and his wife, Krissy moved back to her hometown of Fort Worth, he launched Hull Historical which later became Hull Millwork to focus on museum quality restoration. You might say his obsession has grown from there. It’s grown to include design consulting services ― instilling a sense of age to new build projects — along with high profile and under-the-radar historic preservation and restoration projects. Of course Hull Millwork is still highly sought after for its millwork and window restoration work.
Historic houses and architectural detailing is Hull’s passion, and he’s not ashamed to admit he’s kind of a nerd about it. He often gets lost in his library filled with architecture books.
Brent Hull’s 100 Year Vision
After years of painstakingly restoring old windows to last another 100 years, Brent Hull began to notice an alarming trend.
“The old ones we were restoring by hand were doing great, but on the building side, we were putting in standard production windows, with their modern insulated glass, and found they were rotting in 15 years time,” he says. “It’s the insulated glass. It only lasts about 15 years before needing to be replaced. It’s a racket.”
In response, Hull launched a new venture last November, bringing his new 100 Year Windows to the market. These historically authentic windows are built the way they used to be, with superior materials like wood, not vinyl, and craftsman construction methods. They’re built to last 100 years.
Hull garnered some national attention in 2016 when the History Channel featured him in Lone Star Restoration. The name recognition helped dedicated historic preservationists find him, but didn’t necessary grow his business. He counts the short-lived series as a great experience, but hated finding so much of the historic nuance he was dishing out simply left on the cutting room floor.
To help get those details across, Hull launched a YouTube Channel where he teaches about the architectural details of different styles. He also started hosting the first in a series of events dubbed Building & Brews, where he unfolds his encyclopedic knowledge for others. Past talks have centered on Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian architecture.
“These are studies on house styles and building methods, and a bit about design philosophy,” Hull says. “People should understand why houses look the way they do. There’s tons of great history to explore.”
Don’t get Brent Hull started on the “bad haircuts” he’s had to fix. After a series of homeowners put their own personal stamp on a historic dwelling and utterly muck it up. Before embarking on a renovation, it’s good to know a bit about the intended style first.
Hull recently hosted a Building & Brews on the Arts and Crafts style (which is common home style in Fort Worth). That was the sixth one and Hull plans to continue putting on Building & Brews about every six weeks or so. The next one is scheduled for March 31 and it will be centered around Period Revival. On May 19, another Building & Brews will delve into modern and Art Deco styles.
“The housing inventory in Fort Worth was built in stages, (Forest Park, Berkeley, Arlington Heights) so different neighborhoods have distinct styles,” Hull says. “Some of the most common styles in Fort Worth include English, Tudor, Colonial Revival and Bungalow Period homes.”
It seems that Brent Hull’s journey has come full circle. Now, he’s the teacher.