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Revisiting Renaissance Worthington Hotel area

Worthington Sundance Square Hotels

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#1 Jeriat

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 08:00 PM

I gave you my thoughts on a new Renaissance Worthington Hotel on this forum sometime last year or two years ago... I can't find the thread. I figure since hotels were a hot button issue again, I'd bring it back up.

But the purpose was this:

 

 - Build new R.W. hotel on ONE block as a tower with all amenities

 - Build 7-9 level garage to hold all visitor vehicles one block over, with some ground level retail.

 - Demolish current hotel to make that section of Houston Street and 1st Street open again.

 - Build low and mid rise buildings in place of where the hotel stood, adding to Sundance. 

 - Not nearly as important, but move Texas de Brazil to another building, closer to Sundance. 

 - Rebuild on the open lot directly west of the Courthouse. 

 

All of that is what I was going for, but since then, I looked at another building in that part of downtown...

 

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After thinking about it, I thought of possibly making a newer building for the Administrative Building (I'm sure that eventually, we will hear talks of them wanting more room) so I decided to add it into my master plan.

 

 

Option 1: Open 1st and Houston

 

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Originally, I had the hotel tower on the site of what is now a garage with a basketball and tennis court on top and the hotel's garage on the other side of Weatherford.. I may use that set up again later, but that was before I considered the T.C.A.B. and truth be told, I've always thought of something else to do with that building, but just didn't know what.

 

This set up:

 

 - Hotel tower is located on 1st, Main, & Houston, connected to 100 Main Place & Joe Daiches, becoming part of the new hotel.

- Garage is rebuilt over where the current garage is. Made larger with underground parking and ground level retail. 

- Low and mid rise buildings are built in place of the old R.W., Texas de Brazil and law offices are placed there.

- New Tarrant County Admin. Building is built over lot directly west of the courthouse, continuing a line of institutional buildings in between Weatherford and Belknap. 

- The current T.C.A.B. would be demolished... but I don't know what to do with that site yet. As for the Sleeping Panther statue, I don't know if I'd want to keep it there or move it closer to Sundance Square

 

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NOTE: I actually wouldn't want the tower to be that tall, but I don't know how tall I would need it to be for 600-700 rooms, so it's just an off-scale place holder.

 

OPTION 2 coming later this weekend. 
 


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#2 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:38 PM

What would be the point of this? The Worthington is a perfectly fine hotel with a unique design, and your proposal would only reduce the size of the hotel by one block.


- Dylan


#3 Jeriat

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:01 PM

What would be the point of this? The Worthington is a perfectly fine hotel with a unique design, and your proposal would only reduce the size of the hotel by one block.


- Open up Houston Street
- Add more opportunities to those two blocks (it may be a "fine" hotel with a unique design, buy it takes up 3 blocks and kills a lot of the pedestrian level around it)
- since it would be around 35 floors, it would make up for the long 13 floors that eats up 2 blocks.

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#4 Austin55

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:26 PM

The Worthington has a LOT wrong with it at street level. I a can deal with he street spanning design and dual large valet/drop off lanes. I can deal with the skybridge to Cityplace. I can even deal with it being a superblock. But I can't really deal with the 600 foot long blank walls along Throckmorton and Houston, and the 200 foot long walls along Weatherford and 1st. Ever notice how pedestrian traffic is dead north of the Worthington? And the few pedestrians that do go nearby are not enjoying it. When I walk from TCC to anywhere I'll always avoid walking on a sidwalk that shares a wall with the Worthington. As it stands it's one of the biggest blackholes in downtown. If they could find a way to put some retail perhaps along the ground level, particular around the north garage wing, or hell just put a mural on the thing. It's a really terrible building for those big dumb walls. 



#5 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 01:17 AM

Ok, I do agree that Worthington's blank walls are bad for pedestrians, but tearing down an entire hotel seems excessive. Few people walk north of the Worthington because there is little to do north of it. If there were something interesting like a department store, arcade, miniature theme park, splash park, etc., more people would probably walk north of the hotel. Adding one of those ideas would probably require something to be torn down (like that ugly building in the first picture), but nothing as big as the Worthington.


- Dylan


#6 Jeriat

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:15 AM

Ok, I do agree that Worthington's blank walls are bad for pedestrians, but tearing down an entire hotel seems excessive. Few people walk north of the Worthington because there is little to do north of it. If there were something interesting like a department store, arcade, miniature theme park, splash park, etc., more people would probably walk north of the hotel. Adding one of those ideas would probably require something to be torn down (like that ugly building in the first picture), but nothing as big as the Worthington.


Well, everything about Worthington is excessive, even down to the amount of land needed to build it.

Back then, a lot of people didn't seem to think "urbanism" and it is one of the least urban, least pedestrian friendly buildings in town. I know that it's mostly a product of its time, so I don't really fault the architect, but it's a black hole and kind of depressing walking around it.

As for what's north of the hotel, you do at least have two community colleges, with Worthington pretty much being a midway point between the two. And think towards the future with Panther Island...

You need something to transition better from the north to Sundance Square, and vice versa. That's why I have this in mind.

It adds new development opportunities to Sundance and takes away that "black hole" in downtown.

Well, half of it. There is still the 200 Taylor Street superblock...

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#7 renamerusk

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:28 AM

Instead of an expansion of the hotel, this seems a perfect spot for more residential space, maybe a second Cassidy?



#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:35 AM

I tend to agree with all of the comments above.  However, the one thing the designers of the Worthington did get right was to preserve the views of the Courthouse as much as possible from south on Main Street.  I'm afraid that a tall building within any one of those four blocks would limit the view of the Courthouse from other parts of the city and downtown.



#9 Jeriat

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:57 PM

Instead of an expansion of the hotel, this seems a perfect spot for more residential space, maybe a second Cassidy?


Oh by no means is this an expansion. It's a full replacement. The "second Cassidy" would round out the two blocks where the current hotel spans.

As for the Courthouse view, I knew about that. It's only because of the Wells Fargo Tower just two blocks south of it that I threw that out the window. Even with a setback design, it would still take some views away from the Courthouse, but the Bass Towers have already ruined that

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#10 Jeriat

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 01:53 AM

Option 2: Superblock on Houston & Throck 

 

 

 

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(BTW, the only thing I DON'T like about having all the buildings rendered is now I can't hide the buildings I want to replace... oh well. You still see what I'm doing here) 

This plan keeps part of the superblock alive, BUT still reduced to 2 blocks instead of 3. The tower faces 2nd Street and is one block AWAY from Main with low rise ("Sundance Friendly") buildings keeping in line the views of the courthouse... well, at least one side of it, anyway. The garage would be facing Weatherford again.

 

There would also be development where Joe Daiches and 100 Main stand. The difference being that they wouldn't be altered to match a hotel. Although, Joe Daiches, in my vision, would also receive a renovation/restoration. It so badly needs one. 

The current Tarrant County Admin. Building is now a 4 story Nordstrom, since someone suggested department store. As for the sleeping panther statue... I think it would look better closer to the plaza. Maybe somewhere IN the plaza, in view, but also out of the way. The new T.C.A.B. would be in the same place. 


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#11 RD Milhollin

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:32 AM

I am not a great fan of the county Admin Building but I do like the way it reflects the old courthouse. I also like the green half-block setback facing the courthouse, one of the city's most iconic buildings. IF the block bounded by Weatherford, Main, Houston, and 1st were ever razed for redevelopment I would personally like to see that same setback utilized. 



#12 Jeriat

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:38 AM

I am not a great fan of the county Admin Building but I do like the way it reflects the old courthouse. I also like the green half-block setback facing the courthouse, one of the city's most iconic buildings. IF the block bounded by Weatherford, Main, Houston, and 1st were ever razed for redevelopment I would personally like to see that same setback utilized. 

That's doable. Evening having a glass facade could happen. Maybe angle the glass curtain to the northeast... 


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#13 Jeriat

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 11:08 PM

Option 3: 200 Taylor

 

 (Before anyone says anything, I did this one just to see how it looks and... yeah, I'm not feelin' it. But just for the sake options, I'll keep going.)

 

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So, the hotel as a whole would rest on the block that Tarrant County Plaza sucks up. The purpose is to add something more to that small part of downtown which includes jails... an apartment building that I'm not to sure is being used... the bad side of City Place... and the back of the Library. 

There's more to work with, at least. MUCH more. 4 full city blocks, to be exact.

... I think I'll save the pointing out "why this works, why this WON'T work" for tomorrow. But other than where the hotel would be, everything else is in the same place, with development taking over ALL blocks in that area. 


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#14 Fort Worthology

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:35 AM

That Tarrant County block (actually FOUR blocks) is still so huge, whether there's a better building on it or not.  I'd love to see it broken back up into four normal blocks.


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#15 Jeriat

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:29 PM

Yeah, maybe it would just be better to split it up into 4 blocks again. I know it's not an actual waste since the superblock is being used for something (a building and parking), but it feels like it is. 

 

 

Pros & Cons (not including the T.C.A.B.)

 

Option 1

 

Pros

  • Opens that section of 1st Street and brings light back into that section of Houston St.
  • Creates two more blocks for development in Sundance Square
  • Gives the Joe Daiches Building and 100 Main new use, also filling in the gap between the two 

Cons

 

  • It takes away a unique building in Fort Worth 
  • Reduces the Courthouse sightline on one side

Subjective 

  • Gives downtown a new skyscraper 

 

 

Option 2

 

Pros 

  • Creates two more blocks for development in Sundance Square 
  • Preserves sightlines for the Courthouse 
  • Hotel and garage are connected, creating one whole entity 

Cons

 

  • It takes away a unique building in Fort Worth 
  • Still closes that section of 1st Street 
  • Doesn't use Joe Daiches or 100 Main

Subjective 

  • Gives downtown a new skyscraper 

 

 

Option 3

 

Pros

  • Opens that section of 1st Street and brings light back into that section of Houston St. 
  • Creates four more blocks for development in Sundance Square 
  • Reuses the entire Tarrant County Plaza Superblock
  • Preserves the sightlines of the Courthouse

Cons

 

  • Pretty much detached from Sundance Square 
  • Uses 4 full blocks
  • Surrounded by jails, library wall, garage, and empty (?) apartments

Subjective 

 

  • Does NOT give downtown a new skyscraper. But it does create more mid-risers. 

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