Architecture in Fort Worth

Mural Building

400 Main Street - c.1902; partial restoration 1985, 1990; full restoration 2013 - (CFW)

Formerly:
The Jett Building
Northern Texas Traction Co. Offices

 

The most notable feature of this Sundance Square building is the Chisholm Trail Mural painted by Richard Haas on its south side in 1985. The mural attracts many tourists into Downtown Fort Worth. The building was designed by Fort Worth Architect L.B. Weinman and it appears that the structure was modeled after some of Frank Lloyd Wright's works. The building has some Neoclassical elements such as structured piers with banded capitals that occur over the belt course.  Smaller pilasters flank the windows on the second and third floors.  The cornice features corbeled brick supporting the stone coping on the parapet. 

The Mural Building was once home of the Northern Texas Traction Co. which operated the Interurban Railway with service to Dallas and Cleburne.  The first floor was originally used for ticketing and the second floor were offices, with the top floor serving as a bunk house for conductors who needed to stay overnight.  In 1930, with buses giving the Interurban and rail travel in general stiff competition, the NTTC moved to the Sinclair Building. The company ran its last route on December 24, 1934. Upon vacation by the NTTC, the building became home to a candy factory and is rumored to have had a brothel on the top floor around this time. According to the website wayfinding.com there have been reports of ghosts in the building. In the mid-1930s, it housed a title company and in the mid-40s, the U.S. Sandwich Shop became a tenant. The building was vacant for many years during the late 1970s.

In 2013, the Sundance Square Plaza opened to the south of this building.  In addition to the plaza, a 6 story office building was constructed to the west.  As a part of this work, the mural was restored and the building was fully restored.  Bennett Benner Partners were the architects for the restoration and the plaza.  At this time, the building was renamed The Mural Building, as the former name really did not have much of a connection to the building's appearance or long term history.  It was also at this time, the building and the Land Title Block were designated as City of Fort Worth Historic & Cultural Landmarks.

Jamba Juice operates on the first floor at the corner of Main and 3rd. They serve fruit juices and smoothies.  Radio Stations KWFR-FM 95.9, "The Ranch" and KTFW-FM (HANK FM) at 92.1 also operate out of the building.  Doors were added on the south side of the building when plaza was completed.  This gives the radio stations and Jamba Juice direct access into the plaza.

Part of this text was provided by Bennett Benner Partners.

 

2007 Photo from the corner of 3rd and Main
2000 Photo of mural