Architecture in Fort Worth

Montgomery Ward Retail Store & Warehouse

2600 W. 7th - 1928; 1936; 1937; 1940; 1957; 1961; 1963; 2005; 2009

 

In 1928, Montgomery Ward located their regional retail and mail order warehouse to this location on West 7th Street, just across the Trinity River from Downtown Fort Worth.  This was one of nine regional centers constructed in the U.S. between 1926 and 1929.  Since 1924, they had been previously occupying an old Chevrolet Assembly Plan (now demolished) across the street.  The General Contractor for the massive structure was Thos. S. Byrne of Fort Worth.  In 1937, the building was nearly doubled in size by expanding northward.  The eight story, "U" shaped warehouse structure, constructed of reinforced concrete, originally featured a segmental arched arcade on the first floor that was replicated on the seventh floor.  A central projecting portico with a Missionesque parapet marked the main entrance on 7th Street.  The eighth floor has arched windows on three sides with balconies on the front facade only.  The remainder of the floors feature large square openings with metal windows.  The stairwells in the structure are accentuated on the corners and in the center of the south facade with smaller windows and Missionesque parpets.  The overall design of the warehouse is Mission Revival.  A smaller automobile service station building was constructed on the corner of the site with the same Mission Revival style of architecture in 1936.  In 1937, an eight story addition was constructed at the rear of the east wing of the building, and a connecting corridor was constructed across the rear of the original structure.  In 1940, another addition expanded the east wing, but was only constructed three stories.  However, this wing was designed to have five more floors added at a future date.  In 1949, the building was inundated with flood waters to the second floor from the Trinity River.  In 1957 and in 1962, additions were made to the service station.  In 1961, a large distribution center was constructed on the rear of the property.  This facility was one story and was attached to the main structure.  In 1963, a two story wing on the west side was constructed and the store was remodeled.  All of the first floor arcade was covered over and replaced with blue tile and glazed brick.  At the same time, two large neon signs were erected on the roof of the building.  Ornate light fixtures that were once located on the entrance of the building are now located at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens on University Drive.   In March 0f 2000, the Distribution Center building took a direct hit from the Fort Worth Tornado, killing one person on the site.  In early 2001, Montgomery Ward went out of business, closing this store and leaving the property vacant.   Weber & Co. purchased the property, and demolished the distribution center in the rear of the property, and built a Super Target on the distribution center site.  The smaller auto service station was also demolished.  Ground was broken for the project on July 29, 2004 and the new name for the overall project is Montgomery Plaza.  The 1928 store/warehouse now has specialty retail on the ground floor and apartments are slated for the upper floors.  A 6 story hole was carved out thru the center of the building to serve as the main drive to the center behind.    The Super Target opened on October 5, 2005.  The retail renovations on the ground floor of the 1928 store/warehouse opened in early 2006, with construction on the condominiums on the upper floors following in 2009.



Before Renovation


After Renovation