Architecture in Fort Worth

Heritage Plaza

Houston & Bluff Streets - 1980

 

Heritage Plaza, the developed portion of the park was designed by Landscape Architect Lawrence Halprin, this park sits on the natural bluff of the Trinity River.  The plaza features a series of terraced walkways that are accompanied by a stream of water.  The water starts at the high point of the site flowing over two walls of water.  The wall on the south side of the plaza is a sheer concrete wall with the water flowing over an inscription on the inside of the park.  The wall on the west side has the water flowing over a diagram of the layout of the original fort, which occupied the land just to the west of the plaza on top of the bluff.  From the water walls, there are a series of troughs where water flows along side the walkways.  As the walkways traverse down the hillside, the water follows them.  Sometimes the water is at the pedestrians feet, while others the water flows at eye level.  The lowest part of the park, near the Paddock Viaduct (Main Street Bridge), has the water flowing in two large waterfalls over the concrete.  When the walkways reach the steepest part of the Trinity Bluff, there is an overlook, cantilevered and perched over the bluff itself.  The overlook offers an excellent view of the convergence of the Clear and West Forks of the Trinity River, the Paddock Viaduct, and the historic power plat situated across the river.  The Paddock Viaduct (NR, RTHL) allows North Main Street to cross over the Trinity and was an engineering feat when it was completed in 1914.  It was the first reinforced concrete arch bridge completed in the United States.

Leading away from the west side of the developed section of the park is a brick trail that allows a pedestrian to access the river and the lower levels of the park.  Along the trail are several ruins of stone buildings.  These are some of the early buildings of the city and were a part of the La Corte Barrio.  They were constructed in the early days of the 20th Century.

Heritage Plaza was closed by the City of Fort Worth in the fall of 2007.  Since its closing, the plaza has made several endangered lists, including Historic Fort Worth's 2008 Most Endangered List, The Cultural Landscape Foundation's 2008 Landslide: Marvels of Modernism, and the 2009 Texas' Most Endangered List.

 

 

 


2002 Photograph

Waterway

2002 Photograph
Old Fort Worth Ruins