Architecture in Fort Worth

St. Stephen Presbyterian Church

2700 McPherson Ave. - 1950; 1953; 1959-1969

In 1944, the Broadway Presbyterian Church purchased a 25 acre commanding hilltop site overlooking Forest Park and downtown Fort Worth.  In 1945, the church hired Fort Worth architect C.O. Chromaster to plan and design a new church complex on the site.  The Master Plan called for a large sanctuary on the northernmost part of the hill with a large area of lawn to the south.  On the east side of the lawn, were to be a long education and office wing, with a chapel to the south of this building, fronting on McPherson.  Work started on the chapel in 1948, and it was completed in 1950.  The congregation moved to its new home and changed its name to St. Stephen Presbyterian Church.  The education and office wing was completed in 1953.  Both buildings are sandstone with shell stone trim.  In 1955, a Building Fund Campaign was organized to construct the main sanctuary, but Chromaster had passed away.  He did produce schematic drawings for a large cruciform Gothic Revival  sanctuary with a massive crossing bell tower over 200 feet high.  The church hired Wilson, Patterson, & Associates to prepare the final plans.  They did differ somewhat from Chromaster's schematic designs.  Large Gothic windows were added and more trim and ornament were applied to the building.  The sanctuary was approved in late 1955, but excavation for the sub-basement and foundations did not begin until 1959.  By 1965, the sanctuary was still not to ground level and much money had already been spent.  The congregation then hired Albert S. Komatsu & Associates to keep the sanctuary in budget.  Komatsu kept the floor plan due to the foundations that had already been constructed, but the nave and the tower were scaled down.  All ornament was stripped off the building and artificial sandstone with concrete trim was used instead of the original materials.  The church bells were placed on the roof of the truncated crossing tower.  The first service was held in the large sanctuary in 1969.

Education Wing & Chapel
St. Stephen Presbyterian Church Chapel

St. Stephen Presbyterian Church