Architecture in Fort Worth

Victory Arts Center

801 W. Shaw St. - 1910; adaptive reuse 2003 (NR, FWHSE)

Fisher More College
Victory Arts Center
Our Lady of Victory


Our Lady of Victory Academy was established as the home for the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur in 1910.  Its purpose was also to give girls a Christian education with dorm facilities for up to 150 students.  Our Lady of Victory was designed by Sanguinet & Staats.  The school grew until it offered education up to the junior college level.  In 1953, on the same property, a new elementary school building was constructed.  It was designed by Joseph R. Pelich.  In 1956, the junior college moved to the University of Dallas.  In the 1960's the high school moved and became Nolan High School.   In 1988, the upkeep of the building was too costly, so the convent was closed.  In 2002, renovation began to convert the 65,000 square foot building into the Victory Arts Center, a residential and studio apartment building designed specifically for Fort Worth's creative community.  The building had 46 apartments, each with a different floor plan.  Most of them featured original hardwood floors that were restored.  In 2013, the property was purchased by Fisher More College, a private Catholic liberal arts school.  In September of that year, the first classes were held with the students living in the converted lofts.  In 2014, the college was evicted and the building has returned to residential use.

The building itself is of a Gothic Revival style and features red brick with limestone trim.  The shape of the plan is an irregular "E" in five floors with a two story chapel in the center of the south facade.  The chapel will serve the apartments as a community room.  The upper floor units are tucked under the roof and offer sloped ceilings and loft space toward the center.  Many of the units have small terraces located on top of the projecting bays or porches of the building.