JKC, one of these days, you and I should get together and I can tell you about how downtown was when I was a kid.
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There have been 805 items by John T Roberts (Search limited from 17-January 17)
Austin, I do agree with you in that the Tandy Center has been full of a lot of disappointments. I also wanted to say that I agree with you in that it was a shame that the center demolished several blocks of urban downtown buildings in order to build the complex. Another thing to bring up is that the original street grid was in place in all of that area of downtown. The Tandy Center created several superblocks that still have not been fixed. In my comments about demolishing the old Leonard's Department Store, that was meant to indicate that if you sacrificed either Stripling's or Leonard's to build the hotel, I would have preferred to keep Stripling's, and I have always considered it to be a better example of that period of architecture. I am glad that you found a photograph of how the Tandy Center originally looked. Although I do agree with you in that the 2004 proposal was much better than what was actually rebuilt, I do think that each time the center has been remodeled and rebuilt, they have been better than the previous version.
Even though the mall was not pedestrian friendly, it actually had two nice interior spaces. The most dramatic was the ice skating rink connected to the subway entry point in the basement. I remember when I was in college riding the subway and the going skating on the rink. Back in the day, I thought the rink was one of my favorite places in downtown. Even before the rink was built, I still liked riding the subway into Leonard's. The store was like its own shopping mall. You could buy everything there.
I will have more later.
The reporter is standing on the roof of the Criminal Courts Building, which is the white county structure that sits at the end of Throckmorton Street. The Tandy Center was actually built more or less to the master plan, at least when it comes to building locations. More on that later.
I do remember Leonard's and I also remember when the subway opened. One of you wished that Leonard's had remained. That was where the hotel was slated to be built in the Master Plan. It actually was built in that location, but the Tandy Corp. partnered with the Bass Family and what was a 2 block hotel project, became a 3 block hotel project. The Americana Hotel, now the Renaissance Worthington was built on the main store locations of Leonard's and Stripling's. If you ask me from a teenage and early 20's future architect's point of view, Stripling's was a much better example of Art Deco and Early 20th Century Architecture than Leonard's. Even back then, I would have preferred to demolish Leonard's and keep Stripling's. The mall section and the two Tandy Towers were built where smaller Leonard buildings were located and where their latest construction was completed in 1963. That was the Home Store across Throckmorton Street.
If you look at the video, you can see the AT&T Building and the Fort Worth National Bank (The Tower) were under construction.
Finally, on to the Master Plan. The 50 story building had been planned for the westernmost property, and actually the Technology Center was built on that site. Therefore, all of the master planned buildings were actually constructed in the locations scheduled in the plan. Finally, those renderings of the Tandy Center are actually located on this site in the Jack White Collection. Here are two views:
I was there when they opened the building, but since it was a bank, I never took pictures inside. The bank lobby was one floor below grade and the four entrances led to sky bridges where you caught an escalator or elevator into the main banking floor. The sloped base was completely open except for the elevator, escalator, and stair core going through the center. I have also looked at UTA Library's photos, and I could not find any interior pictures.
John Portman, the Atlanta based architect who designed the Fort Worth National Bank Building (now The Tower) passed away today at 93. He was the "Father of the Modern Atrium" and he designed many hotels and buildings. The Hyatt Regency in Atlanta was his first modern atrium. When he designed the Fort Worth National Bank, he turned the atrium inside out by dropping the building's core through the center of the atrium and the it completely surrounded the core with the office building above. Later on, at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, and the Renaissance Center in Detroit, he dropped the cores of five buildings through a huge atrium lobby.
Below is a downtown aerial of the building and the construction of the Tandy Center taken in 1978. The photo is from the Tarrant County Archives.
Austin, the Metropolitan Hotel opened in 1898 on the east side of Main Street between 8th and 9th. It was expanded in 1905 to include the entire city block bounded by 8th, Main, 9th, & Commerce, where the east side of General Worth Square and the Moncrief Building are located. After the expansion, it had 178 rooms. JFK gave his final speech to the public on this site and the Kennedy Memorial is also located very close to the exact spot where he spoke. In 1938, the hotel was sold to the Milner Hotel Corporation and operated as the Milner Hotel from 1938 until 1959. It was demolished later in 1959. Historicaerials.com support the demolition date. The building was present in 1956, but demolished by 1963.
The Sheraton opened in 1974, and was expanded to the south tower in 1980.
The Fortune Arms opened in 1951, not 1954. There has been some debate on it, but I believe the National Register Nomination has it listed correctly.
Johnfwd, your assumptions may be correct. However, a new for lease sign was posted on the building since the information about the existing tenants are being forced to move out was placed here on the forum. A hotel company owns the building, so it does look as if the project may happen. The project has not gone before the DDRB, so it won't be built until after that happens. The next DDRB meeting is the first Thursday of January, and the agenda has not been posted, so I can't tell you if that project will be on the January agenda. I'm sure Austin55 will be on the lookout, and I receive notification of the docket as soon as the city puts out the public notice. I will be on the lookout, as well.
Thank you for bumping this up, Andy. I have read all of the recent posts lately that seem to have leaned toward being personal. I thought about asking those posters to refrain, but I decided that I would let these go for the time being. Even though I may have slacked off on some of the policing here, I want the remind the forum members that I do read every post. I also will not hesitate to ask some members to quiet down, not post, or to think about what they write. I also will not hesitate to shut down threads, if they get out of hand. I want to keep the discussion open, but there may come a time when I change the rules and guidelines.
Thank you, Austin. I have relatives who live there and I get down to see them every so often on weekends. My mother actually graduated high school from the building that has now been converted into a Justice Center. I normally don't down there on weekdays when everything is open.
Cleburne has a relatively large downtown for a city of its size. Even though it may be underutilized, I noticed that there weren't a lot of vacancies, which is good.
They are doing the finish out now. From Channel 5's tower cam on the Stayton, you could see the Frost floors with lights on inside the tower. Jetta and Anthracite's floors will be finished out about two months after Frost's, so it won't be long before we will see lights on inside the upper three floors of the building.
On Friday, I had a chance to venture down to Cleburne. I took a few photographs. My two favorites are of the Johnson County Courthouse. The first is an elevation view, taken from an alley on axis with the Courthouse.
I also had a chance to go inside and take a shot of the center of the building. Unfortunately, they have placed the Christmas Tree in the exact center and they have the area barricaded. I could not take a direct photo looking up. However, I will say one thing, the center of the building is absolutely fantastic.
A couple of blocks south of the Courthouse is the restored Liberty Hotel. They have a nice neon sign on the corner of the building.
Finally, the old Cleburne High School was converted into a courthouse annex. The building was designed by Sanguinet & Staats and it opened in 1918. Does this sound familiar? It was the same architect and year as Trimble Technical High School was built in Fort Worth.
IMO, it's having about the same impact on the skyline as did the old Landmark Tower, even though it is in a slightly different location. The Frost Tower is 12 feet shorter than the roof of the old Landmark Tower/Continental National Bank. I feel the Landmark Tower lost a lot of its apparent height when the clock was removed in 2000. Because of its size, the clock read as a part of the building.
As for the lighting, we will have to wait to see how that appears. If approved, the Frost logo will affect the building's appearance on the skyline at night. It will also be interesting to see if the logo will be allowed on the east and west sides of the top of the building. It is against the Downtown Design Standards and Guidelines to install a corporate logo above the 10th floor (120 feet) on a building.
Yes, there are several skyline photos that I need to retake, soon. I took yesterday off, and I chose to sneak out of town for an afternoon in Cleburne, instead of taking pictures here in Fort Worth. It was nice to get away. I'm going to be off between Christmas and New Years, so I probably will be out taking pictures in town. However, the weather is supposed to turn cold. This is always my luck. Every time I take a week of vacation and I stay here, the weather is bad.
I have seen the building from a distance at the intersection of Lancaster and Throckmorton since they installed the lexan. However, I was a little far off to really tell what work was done. From the photograph, it looks as if the lexan sheets were installed behind the windows from the inside. Therefore, the frames would be in front of the lexan, and would read as the actual windows.