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Can You Believe We Demolished This for our City Hall?


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#1 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 10:45 AM

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The two photographs above show the 1896 U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. It was demolished to build the current City Hall. It was constructed out of sandstone and is a shame that we tore it down to build the city building now in its place. What do you think?

#2 cbellomy

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 01:13 PM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ May 26 2007, 11:45 AM) View Post

IPB Image

IPB Image

The two photographs above show the 1896 U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. It was demolished to build the current City Hall. It was constructed out of sandstone and is a shame that we tore it down to build the city building now in its place. What do you think?


I'm already on record in this thread lamenting this loss of this beauty. If I were to pick five demolitions that hurt DTFW the most, they would be

1. Medical Arts
2. Old Post Office / Federal building
3. Aviation Building
4. Continental National Bank rotating clock (don't care much about the building underneath, the clock made the building important)
5. Worth Hotel

Otherwise, I think that losing the M&O Subway was unbelievably tragic. When we lose the confluence of the West and Clear Forks of the Trinity below the bluff, that will pretty much cement our municipal disrespect for our own history, won't it? Does it get any more fundamental than that?


#3 JBB

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 01:53 PM

That a gorgeous building. It reminds me a little of the Old Red Courthouse in Dallas. Any chance they were designed by the same architect? Was it supposed to be topped with a tower of some type?

#4 Lonn Taylor

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE(John T Roberts @ May 26 2007, 11:45 AM) View Post

IPB Image

IPB Image

The two photographs above show the 1896 U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. It was demolished to build the current City Hall. It was constructed out of sandstone and is a shame that we tore it down to build the city building now in its place. What do you think?



In the 1920s this building not only housed the post office and the Federal court but all of the U.S. Government offices in Fort Worth. When my father went to work for the U.S. Public Roads Administration (now the Federal Highway Authority) in 1925 his office was in this building - I recall his showing it to me when we moved back to Fort Worth in 1956. It says something about the growth of the Federal government since then, doesn't it?

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#5 safly

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:04 PM

Gorgeous just doesn't do it justice. It looks like one of those buildings you could extract from the YALE campus in CT. What a loss. I had no idea. Thanks for the added pain in my heart.

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#6 rantanamo

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:33 PM

really does look like Old Red from the brick to the turrets and arches. I'm wondering if the roof has a similar striped pattern as well. Has to be the same architect. Is there any listing of the architect?

#7 Fort Worthology

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:45 PM

Yeah...this was not a good trade for the soul-sucking Soviet bunker of City Hall.

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#8 krob

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 06:52 AM

QUOTE(Atomic Glee @ Aug 13 2007, 02:45 PM) View Post

Yeah...this was not a good trade for the soul-sucking Soviet bunker of City Hall.


yeah. . .well put!

#9 David Love

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 10:52 AM

Does anyone have a close up of that trefoil looking feature?


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#10 Miss E

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 01:13 PM

I have probably annoyed many of my friends by expressing how much it upsets me that this building was torn down for what is now there. This and comparison of the building/current day kinko's probably anger me the most of any before/after... well, with the obvious exception of the Medical Arts Building for the Burnett Building. Such a shame.

#11 FortWorthLowrider

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 07:46 AM

Very nice building.
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#12 hinzdl

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 06:33 AM

In the mid 1950s until the 1960s, the Fort Worth Police School was on the second floor of this building.The first four black officers hired by Fort Worth, other than special officers who had been hired throughout the early years, graduated in this building.

#13 David Love

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 08:50 PM

Still trying to find out the meaning or significance of the trefoil / pyramid at the top, you'd think it would be mentioned in our history somewhere, it's the largest feature on the entire building.

...may have to just make something up, would make a good ghost story if nothing else.

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#14 hinzdl

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:38 AM

David, if you are talking about the trianglar object just to the left of the flag, that is probably part of the weather equipment. The top of the building was the weather station for Fort WOrth during the time the building stood. I don't know when it went out of operation....

#15 pdlstl

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:26 PM

Got my first dental retainer in the old Medical Arts building. Sad, so sad to see these buildings go.

#16 Austin55

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:16 AM

Oh ouch. It seems most cities in NTX have a pact to try and build the worst city halls. Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, Plano, go have a look at Garland's, I seriously chuckled when I saw it. Southlake's is nice (Duh, Schwarz) and Mansfield's is ok.

On old Fort Worth demolished building, does anyone know where I can find some pictures of the Aviation building? It's history interests me greatly. I've only seen the ones on it's page here.

#17 ramjet

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:04 PM

But if Fort Worth's current City Hall was torn down, do you think 100 years from now others would mourn the loss of the structure as a fine example of 20th century architecture? It seems like major buildings that last have to go through a period of derision and scorn over a generation or two after they're built to be later appreciated by those that did not live in the era. I think of the recently refurbished 714 Main, which in midlife was horribly disfigured to reflect the aesthetic tastes of the day, only to be completely restored by the current generation who appreciated its fine original detail. Just random thoughts...

#18 John T Roberts

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:41 PM

You raise a good point.

#19 austlar1

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

I was a young man when this building was pulled down.  I remember feeling nothing in particular about the building.  It never made much of an impression on me for some reason. Obviously it was pretty grand.  I do remember feeling almost outraged when they pulled down all of the old buildings on Main St. to build the convention center.  I felt that a big part of Fort Worth's history was being ignored and dismissed. I still feel that way.  I kind of liked the new City Hall. Maybe that is because I have never used the building or even been inside. I just thought it looked pleasant from the outside.  I did not have very refined tastes in those days, but I am the guy who thinks the giant building that replaced the Medical Arts building is not all that bad.  The Medical Arts building could not have survived as an office building. It was completely obsolete, lovely to look at but obsolete and mostly devoid of tenants.  It would have made a great apartment or condo conversion, but FW was not ready for that kind of thing at the time.



#20 John T Roberts

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

Austlar1, I agree with you in that the Medical Arts Building would have made a great residential conversion.  I doubt that it would have ever happened before the building would have been torn down.  The reason why I say this is that downtown was dying in the 1970's.  It was nearly 30 years later before any new residential projects were open; therefore, if First National Bank and their investors had not purchased the building and demolished it to build Burnett Plaza, someone else probably would have torn it down in the latter years of the 1970's or during the 1980's.



#21 lcbrownz

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

As a child in 1950s while traveling with my parents, we would drive by this building and it always reminded me of an European castle.



#22 Zetna

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:45 PM

A beautiful old building yet I'm sure it was scorned as most Victorian architecture was by the 1930's. I doubt that it was the same architect as Old Red in Dallas, but a possibility. This style was Romanesque Revival; one of the many revival styles in Victorian architecture. It was made popular by architect, H.H. Richardson, who used it first on his Trinity Church in Boston in 1872. The style is nicknamed Richardsonian Romanesque after him and it was a very popular in the 1880's and 1890's. Many of Texas' courthouses and and commercial structures were done in this style. Fort Worth's old Board of Trade Building and the Original T & P station were also done in this style.






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