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Fort Worth Helium Plant


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#1 dangr.dave

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:21 PM

I happened to be driving by the old helium plant the other day and took some photos, which I posted on my blog (http://fortworthstoc...h-helium-plant/). Usually, the place is locked up pretty tightly, but I saw some folks working on something so I drove on in; I met the guy in charge and was allowed to take some photos. Apparently, the place is being used for "air-soft" pellet gun tournaments and SWAT training. The place is in total disrepair; I was shocked to see that nothing has been done to keep the old facility up. Does anyone have a good place to find information about the helium plant and the FAA, including dates, photos and other useful information? I've looked a bit online and the information seems to be pretty sparse.

Gracias,

Dave

#2 Bill Sievers

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 12:28 PM

I happened to be driving by the old helium plant the other day and took some photos, which I posted on my blog (http://fortworthstoc...h-helium-plant/). Usually, the place is locked up pretty tightly, but I saw some folks working on something so I drove on in; I met the guy in charge and was allowed to take some photos. Apparently, the place is being used for "air-soft" pellet gun tournaments and SWAT training. The place is in total disrepair; I was shocked to see that nothing has been done to keep the old facility up. Does anyone have a good place to find information about the helium plant and the FAA, including dates, photos and other useful information? I've looked a bit online and the information seems to be pretty sparse.

Gracias,

Dave


Where exactly is/was the Helium plant located?

Bill Sievers

#3 gaspergou

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:09 PM

I was just this last week describing the huge u shaped pipe that used to loop out of the ground at the north west corner of the property there. I saw it all through my childhood and reliazed years later it was a helium pipe. My dad worked there for 35 years or more for the FAA. I have many memories of going there, picking him up or dropping him off with my mom in the 1950's. I even fished in the pond a time or two. The old radio men there believed there was a certain drain pipe they could hold their ear to and hear radio transmissions some how received and amplified through the pipe. Directly to the north in a vacant field there were always a bunch of swaybacked old horses. They were used to make serum or some type of medical use by I guess the government. Many memories there, I am sorry it has fallen to disrepair.

#4 RD Milhollin

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 03:22 PM

Where exactly is/was the Helium plant located?


Look to the southeast of Blue Mound Road and Meacham Blvd. There are some metal warehouse buildings facing Meacham, but behind them, on the other side of the railroad spur, and accessible from Blue Mound Road was the helium plant. I would love to see a photo of the Zeppelin (or perhaps more properly dirigible) mast that was once in place on that site.

#5 Bill Sievers

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 05:49 PM

Thanks Prairie Pup! I will check this out and also see if Google Street View shows anything.

I also would be interested to see what the area looks like where the dirigible mast was located.

Thanks,
Bill Sievers
Natick, Mass.

#6 Bill Sievers

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:14 PM

I just checked out the Helium plant location on Google Street View, and you can see the property and entrance to the facility from Blue Mound Road. It looks like there's a flat roof guard shack at the entrance, and you can see the tops of the processing buildings themselves over the trees in the distance. Interesting! It's no wonder the dirigible base was there too, as the entire area terrain is so flat.

This link has a picture of the interior of plant when it was in operation, and also shows a dirigible at the mooring mast site too.

http://www.b-36peace...08/Default.aspx


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#7 RD Milhollin

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:14 PM

This link has a picture of the interior of plant when it was in operation, and also shows a dirigible at the mooring mast site too.

http://www.b-36peace...08/Default.aspx


WHOA! Very cool. Thanks.

#8 since63

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:50 PM

In the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Blue Mound Rd. and Meacham Blvd is what I would describe as a campus of multiple buildings;all of the same architecture.They have been vacant for as long as I have noticed them.Does anyone know what this was originally?



#9 dangr.dave

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:04 PM

It was the old helium plant, later the FAA.

 

7594310494_b1aa39cec6_z.jpg
Abandoned helium plant, Fort Worth by dangr.dave, on Flickr

 

7593561988_f54dc0aedd_z.jpg
Abandoned Helium Plant, Fort Worth by dangr.dave, on Flickr

 

7589457158_cb62068529_z.jpg
Abandoned Helium Plant, Fort Worth by dangr.dave, on Flickr

 

7593561052_6d7b8c0eb0_z.jpg
Abandoned Helium Plant, Fort Worth by dangr.dave, on Flickr



#10 Austin55

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:18 PM

Wow very cool. I'd love to shoot my car there but seems a bit trespassy.  



#11 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:27 PM

I've always thought the complex was very interesting.  Dave is still out there providing us with great photographs.



#12 dangr.dave

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:51 PM

Thanks, y'all!



#13 RD Milhollin

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:37 PM

I would be interested in hearing forum members' ideas for constructive reuse of this historic property.



#14 Austin55

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:20 PM

Damn, I would be interested in ideas to. http://goo.gl/maps/oYp7V heree's it's location on GE. It looks pretty dilapidated on the east side.

#15 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:45 PM

Somewhere online I read that some "SWAT" school was using it.



#16 txrob779

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 04:57 AM

Very cool....I too have seen this/these buildings like most of my life LOL....never knew.



#17 FortWorthLowrider

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:00 PM

Nice... Being a car Guy I see garage use...


ROCK ISLAND
Fort Worth Texas

 

#18 dangr.dave

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:53 PM

Somewhere online I read that some "SWAT" school was using it.

Yes; they play "airsoft" there and also use it for swat training.



#19 RD Milhollin

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:01 PM

Dangr.dave's second photo somehow reminded me of some Hollywood film studio, maybe MGM or UA, but like after a zombie apocalypse. Maybe that place would make a cool location for the Dream Vision Movie Studio; some cool old buildings in place with some large warehouses to the east that could be converted to large sound studios; Some of the buildings could be disguised as typical buildings in a small town like a church, a city hall, a store, etc. There are railroad tracks for old-timey chase scenes, and I bet they could rent "Puffy" the vintage Grapevine RR engine for westerns. There is a lake, some woods, a field, some buildings soon to be abandoned by the FFA close by, an airport, a huge steel building for sale where motorcycles used to be made, residential neighborhoods to the south, industrial to the north. The historic Stockyards are just down the road. There are really a variety of scenes in place that could be used in films... no mountains or beaches or deserts, although if you wait a few years we may have one a few counties to the south and another a few counties to the west. Still no mountains though. Not a bad site for making films really...



#20 dangr.dave

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:17 AM

Update on the property: it was just sold:

 

http://www.star-tele...north-fort.html



#21 Austin55

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 08:57 AM

Towing, interesting. Sounds like he's got good plans for it. 



#22 John T Roberts

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:47 PM

As the article mentioned, it does not have any official historic designation on the property, but deed restrictions on the property require renovations to be reviewed by the Texas Historical Commission. 



#23 John T Roberts

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 02:50 PM

There were two threads on this property, so I have now merged them. I also deleted one of dangr.dave's links to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article.



#24 JNB

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 05:22 PM

The two story building with the red roof was once the headquarters of the Southwest Region of the FAA.

 

The building behind it was the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZFW ARTCC). The Airways Facilities Sector (AFS), which contained the offices and facilities such as communications and radar, along with the Electronic Maintenance Technicians (EMT's) were located on the ground floor.

 

The operations of the AirTraffic Controllers (ATC's) were located on the upper floor. Most of the electronic equipment was of the vacuum tube type. Controllers used little plexiglass "shrimp boats" (they were shaped like little boats) with the aircraft identification marked with grease pencils and moved manually on a large radar plotting scope. The radar scopes used in the ATC area were of WWII Navy "VG" types which were originally used on Battleships and for Convoy Operations.

 

Control of the transmitters and receivers was by an elaborate system of toggle switches and electrical relays connected to the control equipment located in the AFS area which were in turn connected to the Remote Center AIr-to-Ground  transmitter and receiver facilities (RCAG)by telephone lines (Telco).

 

There was also a tall Microwave Tower which received Radar Information from long range radars (Air Route Surface Radars - ARSR) located at Keller, Texas; Odessa, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Texarkana, Texas. There were also several Microwave Relay Stations between these Radar sites and the ARTCC.

 

Remote Radio control facilities with transmitters and receivers (RCAG)were connected to the center by telephone lines. There were many of these scattered about the area controlled by the ZFW ARTCC roughly in area bounded by Waco, Oklahoma City, Odessa and Texarkana.

 

ZFW ARTCC moved to its present location at  13800 FAA Road just west of Highway 360 in 1962.

 

The FAA Regional Offices have also moved to a new location at 2601 Meacham Boulevard.

 

I have heard that the facility was used for processing and shipping helium gas during WWII. This was largely used in the "blimps" which were a large factor in combatting the German U-Boat menace. Apparently the FAA (formerly CAA) took over the facility sometime after the end of WWII.



#25 Austin55

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 03:43 PM

I've heard its being used as a haunted house at the moment.



#26 John T Roberts

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 04:47 PM

Austin, as far as I know, it is being used as a haunted house.



#27 Not Sure

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 04:31 PM

That is correct. It is the new location of Hangman's House of Horrors.






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