Architecture in Fort Worth

I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA

1411 I.M. Terrell Circle S. - 1910; 1937; 1956; 1959; 2017 (RTHL)

I.M. Terrell Elementary School
I.M. Terrell High School
East 18th Street Colored School No. K
Andrew J. Chambers School

The portion of this building that directly faces south is the T-shaped 1910 Andrew J. Chambers School.  It served the Fort Worth Independent School District's Third Ward.  It was designed by Marion L. Waller and was built by the Innis-Graham Construction Company.  During the late 1920's, the neighborhood became primarily African-American and in 1931, it was renamed the East Eighteenth Street Colored School No. K.  In 1936, the Fort Worth School Board voted to convert the building into a high school.  This new high school was to be moved from its old location on East 13th Street.  The new high school carried the name of the old building of I.M. Terrell High School.  Isaiah Milligan Terrell (1859-1931) came to Fort Worth to head the first public school for African-Americans. 

Clyde Woodruff designed the 1937 addition, and it was constructed by Harry B. Friedman.  It was also a Works Progress Administration project.  The addition matched the original building in detailing and expanded the building to the north.  This new configuration oriented the building with its long facade on Cypress Street (renamed I.M. Terrell Way in 2004).  Both buildings feature yellow brick with cast stone trim.  In 1956, fourteen classrooms, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria were added to the north of the building.  This addition was designed by Hedrick and Stanley.  The styling of this addition was more of a modern style, but the yellow brick was still carried on as the dominant building material.  The extent of this addition allowed the building to travel down the hillside two levels below the main entry of the building.  The enlargement allowed the school to become a combination junior and senior high school.  In 1959, a technical shop building was constructed behind the 1937 addition.  The school was closed in 1973, but use continued for a few years as a continuing education center.  In 1998, the building was reopened as an elementary school and in 2004, E. 18th was renamed I.M. Terrell Circle S.

In 2013, Fort Worth voters approved the creation of both the Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math Academy (STEM) and the Visual & Performing Arts Academy (VPA). The School Board chose the site of the I.M. Terrell Elementary School as the location for the conversion of the existing building and construction of an addition. This will return the facility back into a high school. Corrigan Associates of Dallas was chosen to design the project. The addition will have a high canopy that will be above the 1910 original building that will signify the main entrance to the school. Over the years, with the various additions, it was not clear where the front entry to the building actually was located. The address was on the south (1910 portion), yet the grandest entrance was in the center of the 1937 addition. The 1956 addition had several entrances that could be perceived as main entrances to the school. The new building will utilize the same color brick as the larger portion of the campus. It will be 65,000 square feet on two levels. Inside will be a new main auditorium that will seat 600 on the main floor and 300 in the balcony. The main stage is a full fly loft proscenium stage, with full rigging capacity.  The existing auditorium will have upgrades to the lighting and sound system, and will be used as another flexible performance/presentation space. Part of the 1910 building will be converted into a museum and meeting space for the alumni.







1910 Building

1937 Addition