Houston Matters

Preserving History In The First Ward One Home At A Time

Houston Matters meets a couple who buys and restores historic old homes to save them from the bulldozer.

Restored Historic Home
A home in Houston’s First Ward that was restored by FW Heritage.


We all know the adage about Houston: that we're not the best at preserving buildings with history and character and that we'd rather just bulldoze them for a brand new strip mall or mid-rise apartment complex.

Well, a Houston couple originally from Malaysia is trying to do something about that phenomenon in one neighborhood.

Over the last few years, Dominic Yap and his wife, Lin Chong, have bought and restored more than a dozen different historic homes in Houston's First Ward. They even started a company, called FW Heritage, once the hobby turned into a full-time passion for them both.

Dominic oversees the structural renovation while Lin works on the interior and style elements. Plus, she's a real estate agent and handles the sale of the house once it's done.

In 2017, Michael Hagerty visited with the couple at a home whose renovation is almost complete. He learned about the challenges of trying to preserve historic homes in the Bayou City.

Houston’s First Ward is Flourishing, But Not Without Some Friction (Houston Chronicle, April 23, 2014)
Preserving the First Ward (Houston Chronicle, April 23, 2014)

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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