Architecture in Fort Worth
CIVIC BUILDING (formerly Weatherford Street Methodist Church) - 600 E. Weatherford St. - Demolished July, 10, 2007. Architect W.C. Meador designed this building for the Weatherford Street Methodist Church in 1925. The building was richly detailed with a parapet that varied in height. The main level of the structure sat on a raised basement. Declining membership forced the church to close its doors in 1957. Around 1960, the structure was renovated and converted into office use. At that time, it was renamed the Civic Building. West Texas Legal Services owned the building and demolished it to build a larger building on the same site.
SMITH-SWINNEY MOTOR CO. - 1012-20 W. 7th St. - 1927 - Demolished February 23, 2007. Until 2007, this building was one of the three surviving structures of "Automobile Row" located along West 7th Street between Henderson and Summit. It was demolished in February 2007. During the 1920's, this stretch of West 7th was the home of many of the premier auto dealerships in the city. Smith-Swinney sold Essex and Hudson Motor Cars. From 1929 until 1962, the building was home of Mastin Motor Co. When Mastin closed, the ground floor storefronts were remodeled and the building has been used by a variety of tenants since that time. In recent years, the building has been vacant and some partial demolition of the upper floor has been done recently. The facade uses Spanish Colonial Revival ornamentation and was designed by Fort Worth Architect Wyatt C. Hedrick.
BEWLEY-ELLISON HOUSE - 1301 Summit Ave. - c.1915 - Demolished March 18, 2006. This home was constructed in the Quality Hill neighborhood around 1915 for Edwin Bewley, who operated Bewley Mills. In 1929, the house was sold to Robert and Margaret Ellison. Robert Ellison was the son of T.B. Ellison, owner of Ellison's Furniture Company. Robert purchased the home to be close to his parents, who lived across the street in one the finer homes on Summit Avenue. The larger Ellison house was demolished in the 1960's to construct the Summit Office Park. From the 1940's through the 1960's, the whole neighborhood was either being torn down, or the old homes were converted into office space. In 1946, after Margaret Ellison passed away, the home was converted into an insurance company. In 1991, the home was renovated again. This time, it was painted and interior modifications were made. The house was designed in the Prairie Style and featured two Tuscan columns on the front porch.
LANDMARK TOWER (formerly Continental National Bank & The Texas Building) - 200 W. 7th St. 1952; 1957 - Imploded March 18, 2006. At the time of demolition, it was the Second Tallest Building in the World to be Imploded by Controlled Demolition, Tallest Building in the State of Texas to Be Imploded, and the Tallest Building in the State of Texas to be Demolished. It was also the first time in Fort Worth's History that a former tallest building in the city was torn down. The Landmark Tower was 30 stories and 380 feet tall. At one time, it had the World Largest Digital Clock, Revolving Clock, and 4 Sided Sign. It also had one of the longest straight run fire escapes at 31 floors from the main roof to the ground. The top of the clock was 420 feet above the first floor level.
LAWYER'S BUILDING - 113 Houston - c.1890's - Demolished August 2005. This small building, only 25 feet wide, was constructed some time in the 1890's. The exact date is not known. Over the years, the ground floor has been altered, but the second floor remains intact, other than painting the brick and altering the windows. From 1903 until 1908, National Coffee Company was located in this building. For one year, they also occupied the building next door to the north. That building has been demolished. Over the years, a furniture store, hardware company, and salvage company have occupied this address. From 1917 to 1928, Engler's operated a clothing store here until they moved into the building to the north and then later to the corner of 1st and Houston. From 1932 until 1964, Luskey's Western Store operated from this location. In 1964, they moved to the northwest corner of Houston & Weatherford Streets. The building and the adjacent, but less significant Engler's Western Wear Store was demolished in August of 2005.
RIPLEY ARNOLD HOUSING PROJECT - demolished 2003. This public housing development constructed in the 1940's and named for the founder of Fort Worth sits very close to the original town site. It was demolished to construct the new corporate campus for RadioShack. These two story, red brick apartment buildings were arranged with the fronts of the apartments facing the streets and the rears facing courtyards and playgrounds. Many old oak and pecan trees were present throughout the site and a handful of them were preserved.
811 LAMAR (formerly Equitable Savings Association) - 1962; demolished 2002. This three story building was constructed for Equitable Savings Association across from Burnett Park. It was designed to have 10 more stories added on top, but the expansion never took place. Equitable Savings eventually merged with other financial institutions. Over the years, the building has been home to other financial institutions. It was demolished for an expansion of anew parking garage constructed directly to the east of the building.
TEXAS SECURITIES BUILDING (formerly Mutual Savings & Loan) - 815 Throckmorton Street - 1958; demolished January 1998. This building was partially imploded at 6:30 P.M. on Sunday, January 11, 1998. The scheduled implosion time was 8:00 A.M. I did take photographs, but I was not prepared to take them after dark. Due to adverse weather conditions during the week, the implosion ran behind schedule. The original plan was to have 3/4 of the building fall northward and then the eastern 1/4 fall westward where the building once stood. Only the western 3/4 of the building was demolished. The remainder of the structure was imploded at 7:58 A.M. on Sunday, January 25, 1998. Over the years, the building housed Mutual Savings and Loan, United Savings, and Texas Securities. The building has been vacant for several years. The site is owned by XTO Energy and they have expanded an existing surface parking lot into this site. Over the last few years, XTO has been purchasing buildings in the area. Plans call for some type of redevelopment of the property.
800 HOUSTON - 1935; Demolished September 1997. This small, Art Deco, one story commercial building was one of the few in Fort Worth that still survived. The building was demolished for a parking lot that will serve XTO Energy. One of the interesting features of the building was the freize above the storefronts with a central dark band between courses of ornamentation. The 8 story Texas Securities Building (1958), located on the same block, has also been demolished for additional surface parking. Future plans are for an office/retail development of some type on this site.
LERNER SHOPS (originally The Scott-Harrold Building, formerly R.E. Cox & Co.) - 601 Houston - 1895, 1936, 1946; demolished September 1996. This building was probably one of the largest structures built in Fort Worth in 1895. It spanned across the entire block along 5th Street between Main and Houston. Entrances were on all three streets. Originally, the building had a brick facade with cast iron and wood columns, and was constructed for The Fair Department Store. In 1936, R.E. Cox & Co. moved in and remodeled the store by placing stucco over the brick. The stucco was scored with joints to appear like stone. In 1946, Cox's moved out and The Lerner Shops moved in and remodeled the building again -- this time with an Art Deco facade. An angled wall was constructed on Houston Street and a sun screen was placed at the roof line. All of the windows were closed, and the entire facade was stuccoed over again. The base of the building was painted black and the upper two floors were painted white. The site of the building is now a surface parking lot.