Dallas Observer | Host of History Channel's Lone Star Restoration Opens Up About His Old School Craft
By Mollie Jamison
Forget cedar-smoked meats, steel-toed boots and rattlesnakes. Fort Worth’s own Brent Hull put Texas on the map for another reason, and it recently landed him his own History Channel show.
As host of Lone Star Restoration, Hull takes a closer look at the beauty and craftsmanship of historical preservation. Whether it's restoring an early 20th century wooden caboose for the Texas State Railroad or transforming an underground Prohibition-era whiskey safe into a speakeasy, Hull uses the art of architecture to bring history to life.
“I’m a huge history fan,” Hull says. “I think historic preservation and restoring buildings links us to our past. There are great lessons and amazing stories our buildings are aching to tell us. Texas buildings especially have a unique history and narrative. By carefully restoring our buildings we can learn from the past and have a better sense of who we are. This in turn guides us forward.”
In the remaining episodes of season one, Hull says viewers will see the completion of a large restoration job on a 1920s arts-and-crafts home. He says the show is helping shift the way people think about building and restoration. Final episodes are expected to air later this month.
However, Hull doesn’t do historical preservations just for airtime. When he’s not behind the camera, he’s operating his Fort Worth-based company, Hull Historical. The work of Hull Historical falls into three main categories: preservation and restoration, architectural millwork and residential projects. Through these areas of work, Hull and his team collaborate with homeowners, cities, counties and state governments around the country to build new homes, restore/remodel older homes, preserve historical properties and build cabinetry, doors, windows, moldings and more.
“The biggest thing we do here at Hull Historical is educate our clients about the lost art of building and restoring historic buildings so they can last another 100 years,” Hull says. “I think building and construction today are at historic lows in regards to quality and craft. I do what I do to encourage our clients and others. Great building is not a lost art. With dedication and hard work we can begin to build great things again.”
His journey toward becoming an expert in historical restoration and preservation began with two years of training at the North Bennet Street School in Boston.
“I learned how houses were made 200 years ago and that knowledge has influenced all my work since,” says Hull. “The school is a place for craftsmanship and I would encourage anyone who wants to get into preservation to go there. I always enjoyed working with my hands, and the NBSS help me learn a skill I could apply to historic preservation.”
As for a season two of Lone Star Restoration, Hull says he’ll know more on that this March. In the meantime, you can learn about Hull’s building philosophy in his latest book, Building a Timeless House in an Instant Age.
Watch full episodes from season one of Lone Store Restoration at history.com.