Architecture in Fort Worth

Washington Heights Elementary School

3214 Clinton Ave. - 2016


The first school on this site was constructed on this site in 1919 and expanded with an auditorium addition in 1937.  Population growth on the North Side created a need for a larger school building in the 1970's.  Due to energy conservation trends in that decade, the Fort Worth Independent School District decided to construct two underground school buildings.  Washington Heights was one of those schools, and the grounds were large enough to build leave the existing building and auditorium addition standing, and construct the underground school.  After the new portion of the building was completed, the original 1919 building was demolished, leaving the 1937 auditorium addition standing.  This remaining building featured a cornice below the roofline and keystones above the windows.  Unfortunately, the windows were partially infilled and the brick was been painted. This auditorium addition was demolished in 2016 after the completion of the replacement school building.

In 1979, the second school building was constructed underground to the south of the first building and auditorium addition. Although the classrooms were all underground, four portions of the building extended above grade to provide stairways and an elevator down from the ground level. The main entrance on North Houston Street featured a stair and elevator to the lower level.  Another stair connected to the auditorium, and on the west side, there was another stairway and exit to the parking lot.  All of these structures on the roof opened out to the roof of the building, which served as the paved playground for the students. 

Due to leaks and other problems with the underground structure, the 2013 FWISD Bond Election called for replacement of the entire school. The new building was constructed on the campus at the location of the original building.  This will allowed the new portion to be built, while the students were attending classes within the underground portion of the building. When the new building was completed, both of the older buildings were demolished. The new school building is two stories and is constructed out of red brick and decorative concrete block. The entrance is marked with a decorative brick pattern with three different colors of brick. The building was designed by WRA Architects from Dallas.


1979 Bldg. Entrance (left)
and 1937 Auditorium (right)
Both Demolished 2016

Washington Heights Elementary School

2016 Replacement Building