National Register of Historic Places
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
City of Fort Worth Demolition Delay
Riverside Baptist Church’s facilities were constructed over a half century, but despite its piecemeal construction, the complex retains a unified Moderne appearance with Gothic detailing.
The church was organized in 1904 and met in a variety of simpler facilities until the construction of a brick basement in 1924. By 1929, with membership growing, a three-story educational wing was constructed north of that. A two-story auditorium addition followed, constructed on top of the basement in 1939.
By mid-century, the church membership had grown to almost 2,500, largely fueled by the growth of the surrounding Riverside and Oakhurst neighborhoods. Construction of a new sanctuary, the most architecturally distinct building of the complex, was completed in 1951 at a cost of $260,000. In 1958, an educational wing was constructed which connected the auditorium to the new sanctuary, and the exteriors of the auditorium and 1929 educational wing were renovated to create a cohesive appearance to the complex. A Family Life Center was constructed in 1973, housing a gym, classrooms, and offices.
The sanctuary features an entrance with stepped vertical elements and masonry courses indicative of Moderne style architecture, while the pointed arch windows on the south and west elevations reference Gothic cathedrals. Restrained masonry ornamentation on the side elevations includes quoined window surrounds, trefoil medallions, and masonry basket archways over side entrances. Brick buttresses on the west elevation span the side aisles. Fenestration is stained glass windows, which is a combination of rectangular paired windows and pointed arch windows on the south and west elevations.
In 2019, an adaptive reuse of the property began, which required adhering to many requirements to achieve historic designation and accompanying historic tax credits. The Family Life Center was not architecturally significant and was demolished. In its place is a new structure compatible with the historic elements of the campus. Creative architecture as well as careful preservation of historic details will result in 91 units of urban affordable housing, which are scheduled to be opened in late 2021.
Text provided by Daniel Haase.
Easterwood and Easterwood, Fort Worth
Former Church/Apartment Building