Architecture in Fort Worth

Criminal Justice Building

200 W. Belknap St. - 1918 (RTHL)

 

Fort Worth Architects Sanguinet & Staats designed this "modern and fireproof" jail building to replace a dilapidated nineteenth-century jail.  When opened, the facility housed cell space for county and federal prisoners, offices for the district attorney and sheriff, a ward to house the criminally insane, and a hospital ward with an operating room.  Taylor Building Company was the General Contractor.

The first two floors are constructed of Texas granite with the upper floors of brick and terra cotta.  Above the main entrance, the words "Criminal Courts" are inscribed.  The original windows on the lower floors were wood and the upper floors were steel casement windows for security.  The windows are deeply recessed and the bars were located behind them so they were not visible from the street.

In 1951, Architect Wyatt C. Hedrick remodeled the building and installed dropped ceilings inside the office spaces and removed some of the jail cells.  In 1970, an even greater remodeling project converted all of the old jail floors into office space, installed fixed pane windows, and the building was renamed.