Westchester Plaza and the Landmark Tower were both imploded on March 18th, twelve years apart.
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JBB, thanks for posting the video. I was there on the south side and I had two tasks. The first was to take photographs of the implosion for Architecture in Fort Worth, and the second was to serve as Historic Fort Worth's representative at Thistle Hill. I only had a few minutes between jobs, and I didn't get a chance to get my video up here. However, it will be coming. I did get it posted immediately to my personal Facebook page, and shortly thereafter to this site's Facebook page. I will upload it soon, now that I'm home.
Bryan, I'm glad that Bud Kennedy contacted you and put your quotes in the article.
In the next block to the east was a mansion that was replaced by the current gas station in the early 1960's. Directly to the east of that, which I think is the building that you are referring, was the Lucerne Apartments. It was demolished in the 1970's. Next door to the east of the Lucerne Apartments was Doctor's General Hospital. It was a small private one that was demolished in the 1980's. Then there is Ballinger Street. To the east of that is the Woman's Club.
Here are a couple of parting views of the Westchester House Apartments. These photographs are from the W.D. Smith Photography Collection from the UTA Library Special Collections, Digital Galleries.
1952 Photograph: https://library.uta....d7038f34656.jpg
1957 Photograph: https://library.uta....16bfbeb3865.jpg
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that the removal and replacement of the facade of Sundance West has started. Scaffolding has started going up on 2nd Street. According to the article everything will be removed and replaced on the exterior. Here's a link to the article by Sandra Baker:
To upload photos, they have to be hosted at a website or photo hosting service. You basically provide a link to the photo.
I don't live very far away, and I'm usually on Magnolia at least once every week. However, I have not been on the street in a little over a week, when a bunch of us did a restaurant crawl.
More work is being done on the interior, now. Every time that I pass by there during the day, there are construction workers present. I will be on the lookout this week to see if anything has changed and I will report back, once I drive by the site. Of course, if anyone passes by the place, take a look to observe if work is still progressing.
To get the absolute answer, you would have to ask the architects. However, from my four tours of the building, I have learned part of the reason. The developers are providing parking for their building, Morningstar Oil & Gas, and some spaces for the Fort Worth Club. They also wanted secure parking for their companies, Anthracite, Jetta, and probably for their hospitality staff at the restaurant and meeting spaces. I believe the parking in the basement levels are for the developers and their uses. The parking above grade is for the public and remainder of the building tenants and the parking provided for their neighbors. The program put forth by the developers necessitated separation of the parking. The easiest way to do this was put one entrance/exit into the basement and another entrance/exit into the parking above grade. The geotechnical report may also have had some determination in this, as well. It may have indicated that it was relatively easy to dig down at this location, as compared to other locations in downtown. As far as I know, this was the deepest excavation to date. The Omni Hotel has three levels of parking below grade, this is four levels.
Maybe it is just the architect in me, but I can tell the difference in different buildings heights that are close. Frost looks about the same height as the old Landmark Tower, but it also seems like it is a little shorter. The old Landmark Tower also "appeared" quite a bit taller when it had the clock on top of it. That was a large box revolving sign that was about 40' x 40' square and raised the "apparent" top of the building by 40 feet.
Also, as I have begun to discover the actual heights of these buildings, I began to realize that the reported height of the buildings were incorrect. For many years, 500 W. 7th and Tandy Towers were reported to be 300' tall. However, looking at them next to other buildings, I realized that they were actually shorter. When the contractors started work on the Frost Tower, they surveyed the heights of all the surrounding buildings and found that the biggest error was on 500 W. 7th. It is actually 273 feet in height.