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The Worth Hotel


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#1 Austin55

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 10:43 PM

I don't know much about this demolished building. It's the 4th tallest building in Fort Worth to have been demolished, and seems to have been replaced by the Fort Worth Club Tower 2 years later. I've searched this site a bit and there's really not a lot. I've only seen a few pictures of the building and it seems absolutely beautiful. 

Worth%20Hotel%20Postcard.jpg

 

U220Miw.jpg

http://www.pinterest...48005466566606/

 

Maybe John or others knows a bit more? Was the building in bad shape when demolished? Was it demolished for the FW Club tower? Can we demolish the FW Club tower and rebuild the Worth Hotel? (not serious... sorta)



#2 cberen1

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:38 AM

Wow.  I'm glad you posted the second photo.  That first one had me concerned about an infestation of giants in FW.  ;)

 

I'm not sure that hotel added much to the architectural fabric of downtown, although it's clearly better than what replaced it (yuck).  It looks very similar to the FWC building, the Petroleum building and the Electirc Building all very close by.

 

I kind of wonder, though, if losing a hotel right there contributes to the lack of pedestrian interaction in that segment of downtown.



#3 Fort Worthology

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:17 AM

Yes, it absolutely contributed to the rather bleak stretch of blocks that part of downtown has become.  We lost an active hotel *and* the city's grandest movie theater, and they were replaced by what is basically a giant plain concrete parking garage with a few floors of private offices for a wealthy club on top, and some ground-level office space with very little street interaction.


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#4 dangr.dave

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:25 AM

I agree.  I dislike the Fort Worth Club Tower building, which isn't inviting and only holds, on street level, a bank and Downtown Fort Worth, Inc, which are neither good for very much, in my opinion.  I wouldn't be sad to see that parking garage go and something nicer be put up in that spot.



#5 Phil Phillips

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:15 AM

I worked in the circulation department across the street at the Star-Telegram in high school when the Worth was imploded.  I believe it was a Sunday morning and we got to watch.  At the time, the hotel was in bad shape and the theater was closed.  I don't remember if the Palace and Hollywood were also closed yet but if not, they would soon be.  Driving into downtown early in the morning on a weekend was depressing for the most part.  Deserted buildings and homeless everywhere.



#6 Austin55

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the story Phil, exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.

The FWC tower is horrible. Easily in the worst buildings downtown (Att, Burnett, Jails)

I really like the Worth Hotel because it isn't as intricate as some lf the other period buildings. I wish we had saved that sign. Anyone know the architect?

#7 Fort Worthology

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:45 AM

I believe the Worth was by Wyatt Hedrick, but I could be mistaken.


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#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:09 PM

I'm sorry that I didn't answer this morning, but I thought my reply would have been lengthy and I read your question just a few minutes before 8 AM.  I will have to say that I agree with all of the replies above.  The architect was Wyatt C. Hedrick in collaboration with Alfred Finn.  Finn got his start at Sanguinet & Staats, but in 1913, quit the firm to go into business for himself.  He set up his shop in Houston and designed some of the city's iconic buildings, including the Rice Hotel and the Gulf Building.  He designed many of Jesse Jones' buildings in Texas.  The information on the architects of the building is listed in the Tallest Buildings in Fort Worth. 

 

I'm pretty sure that the closure and the demolition took a lot of activity out of that part of downtown.  From the 30s until the 70's there were three big movie theaters on West 7th Street.  I think in the 60's they were in decline because my family made sure that I got to see at least one movie in each of the big theaters in downtown before they closed.  The Worth, which was situated behind the tower of the Worth Hotel was the grandest of the three movie houses on 7th Street.  The big 6 1/2 story sign was for the theater.  The hotel had a rather small entrance right in the center of the building.  As I remember, the building was similar in layout to the Electric Building.  The lobby of the theater was inside the tower portion of the building.  I do remember the hotel being in rather bad shape when I was a kid and that was the reason they used to justify demolishing the building.  The Fort Worth Club bought the building and then demolished it, but I'm not sure on the exact timeline.  I do remember the implosion back in 1972.  It was the first building implosion in Fort Worth and I was a freshman in high school.  I have a brick from the building sitting just a few feet away from me right now.  I also can't remember the timeline of the theater closures.  I do know that the Hollywood was open the longest.  Even though the Worth was the grandest on 7th, supposedly the Majestic was the grandest theater in the city.  Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see a movie in the Majestic because it was either closed, or a place a kid wasn't allowed inside when I was old enough to go to the movies.  I do remember its demolition back in 1965, or so. 

 

I do agree that the Worth Hotel was a better building than the Fort Worth Club Tower that replaced it.  If you look at the list of tallest buildings, you see that the Fort Worth Club replaced the hotel with a building of almost exactly the same height.



#9 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 11:16 AM

Thanks for the overview and history, John.

 

That period (which saw the wholesale demolition of so much of downtown and its replacement with very little that was in any way architecturally endearing - if anything more than a parking lot was built, that is) is such a sad and unfortunate chapter in Fort Worth's history. But perhaps equally as unfortunate is how little people in Fort Worth (particularly in various positions of leadership and, generally, of a certain generation) seem to be aware of just how destructive that chapter was, how much was lost and, crucially, how important it is to discuss it and guard against similar chapters in the future.



#10 Austin55

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 12:40 AM

The UTA collections has some really great photos of the building posted these days. '

 

94e33fce25754d73903527fee3b98160.jpg

library.uta.edu/digitalgallery/items/show/55729

 

 

32a6223dc5df66234b7cdfc5d9c95bea.jpg

 

http://library.uta.e...tems/show/38634

 

There's also 2 angles of the implosion

 

5a85ad91e4dd34b565791726bdb5d5a0.jpg

 

ad075813dd0fde82eabcaf5aa3a0e8fc.jpg

http://library.uta.e...items/show/9953

 

 



#11 austlar1

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 05:30 PM

The Worth Hotel was an interesting place. It was built in the style of many apartment hotels that went up, mostly in larger cities, in the late 1920s. There were lots of suites with kitchenettes as well as regular hotel rooms. Regular rooms could be combined with suites to make a somewhat larger apartment. The place grew shabby by the late 1950s. I had distant family members, a childless couple in their 50s, who lived there for a few years around that time. They liked the convenience of the place, but they eventually gave up on the Worth and moved into an apartment in another part of town.  I don't think there were very many transient guests or full time resident guests patronizing The Worth by the time it was torn down. Actually, it may have gone out of business as a hotel by that time. The real loss to street level activity stems from the loss of the Worth Theater. It was a real beauty and a place everybody liked to go back in its heyday. Probably the proliferation of multiplex theaters around town meant the end of the WorthTheater too. It was pretty hard to fill the Worth with 2,000 plus paying customers by the time it was shuttered.






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