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Stripling's Department Store Implosion Photographs


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#1 John T Roberts

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 08:38 AM

Architect Bob Adams donated these photographs of the implosion of Stripling's Department Store from July 1979. The pictures were taken from the 23rd floor of the old Bank One Tower (now The Tower). When Stripling's was imploded, Leonard's was already mostly demolished. Also note other buildings being demolished at the time due to the new Tarrant County Administration Building and the Worthington Hotel. You can also see some of the remodeled facades on the Sundance Square buildings. Finally, note the Art Deco curved facade of the Stripling's Annex with the store's logo running along the curve. That building was demolised to construct the Wells Fargo Tower (City Center Tower I). Enjoy.

Photographs courtesy of Robert G. Adams, AIA:
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#2 WTx

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:02 AM

The Worthington is a great asset to Fort Worth IMO. Too bad the old Striplings Building had to go to build the Worthington! I can see the old Striplings Building as an asset in that area today too. Maybe something similiar to the Ashton or for housing? I guess sometimes we can't have our cake and eat it too?! Great pictures by the way! Thanks for the contribution!

#3 Now in Denton

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:39 AM

Wow thanks guys . Im in that crowd. I was ten at that time. That dust clowd came right over us. newlaugh.gif

#4 John T Roberts

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 11:24 AM

I happen to be in this picture along with the shots of the Westbrook Hotel that I posted.

The downtown Stripling's was a very nice store. I always wonder how the building could have been integrated into Sundance Square and the Worthington only constructed on the two blocks where older Leonard's building once stood. The older Leonard's store was built in 1930 with an addition spanning over 1st Street built in 1948.

I know that the modification of Stripling's might have been difficult since the block was made up of four different buildings. The northwest building was built as a 3 story in 1914. In 1916, another 3 story building was built directly to the south of it. The structure at the northeast corner of 2nd and Houston appears older than that due to the wood construction. However, it has a facade that matched the two other buildings along Houston. That facade was probably a remodel. Over the years, the store took over Victorian buildings that faced Main Street. In 1920, the two buildings on the northwest quadrant of the block were expanded by adding four more floors on top of them. Then in 1937, all of the structures along Main Street were demolished, and a new 3 story, half block building was constructed. The new building had an Art Deco facade and the entire interior was remodeled into a full block Art Deco department store. The Houston Street facades, with the white glazed brick was left alone. I do think the storefronts on that side of the building were updated with the Art Deco look. It also appears the signs on the east and west sides of the building were installed at that time, because their styling is from the same period.

In 1948, they expanded once more to build a home furnishings store across Main Street. That building more or less matched the facade of the building across the street, except that it had a curving corner at 2nd and Main with the store's logo running along and diagonally up the curve.

Getting back on how the building could have been used: Conversion into something else might have been difficult. The first 3 floors were 200' x 200' floor plates with only windows facing the streets. Maybe light wells could have been carved into the building for smaller office tenants on the 2nd and 3rd levels. As for the first floor, probably the only thing that could have been done would to have carved up smaller spaces facing Houston and Main Street. The upper levels in the tower could have been converted into residential or office space.

#5 JulieM

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 12:52 PM

How amazing. I wasn't there but remember seeing it on the news.

The courthouse looks so nice in the background. What a grand building.

#6 John T Roberts

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 08:54 AM

Julie, that was back before the courthouse was restored. In 1979, the copper dome was painted silver.

#7 Now in Denton

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 11:59 AM

Whats odd is that I remember it was torn down starting with a weacking ball. Then implosion? I agree it would of been great to restore it. We lost many handsome buildings. You can see some of them at the Barns and Nobel store Downtown.

#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 12:45 PM

The southwest building was started with the wrecking ball. They were demolishing Leonard's at the same time by wrecking ball and I thought at the time that someone just became ambitious with their work.

#9 hooked

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE(Now in Denton @ Jul 13 2006, 12:59 PM) View Post
We lost many handsome buildings. You can see some of them at the Barns and Nobel store Downtown.


There are some great old photos and drawings at Potbelly and the Corner Bakery Cafe, also.




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