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FORT WORTH Plans to demolish a historic Fort Worth mansion could be held up by legal action.

Historic Fort Worth, a local preservation group, says it will shortly file an amended lawsuit against Texas Wesleyan University. The group already sued the city in an effort to prevent the 101-year-old Dillow House from being demolished.

"We've seen other houses or structures in worse shape that have been restored," said John Roberts, the group's chairman.

The house along East Rosedale Street has fallen into disrepair in the past few years.

The windows are boarded up, and, at a cost of about $650,000, a renovation is too costly, the school says.

Razing the house would pave the way for more development, the school says.

City zoning and the City Council voted to remove the historical significance to the property so the university could move ahead with getting a demolition permit.

But now the fight is on in court, and some neighbors say the best way to restore the area is by fixing up older properties.

"It has a good, solid structure," said Melvin Harper, who is restoring a similar property across the street.

The amended lawsuit should be filed any day.

If the courts rule in the university's favor, the school will apply within 60 days for a demolition permit.

Email tunger@wfaa.com

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