A public plaza was on the Downtown Fort Worth Master Plan since the early 1980's and it took until 2010 to acquire the last piece of property to build it. The plaza straddles the 400 block of Main Street, which has now been closed. Two bookend buildings were consructed along with the plaza. They are The Westbrook and The Commerce. Construction started on May 9, 2012 and the plaza opened on November 1, 2013. The buildings and the plaza concept were designed by David M. Schwarz Architectural Services. The Landscape Architect for the plaza was Michael Vergason Landscape Architects. Even though this space serves as a public plaza, it is owned by Sundance Square.
A 2,000 square foot special events pavilion was constructed in the plaza. It sits at the intersection of 3rd and Main and is directly across the street from the Knights of Pythias Castle Hall. This pavilion also has public restrooms, which are needed in the area. The pavilion features a vaulted roof and ceiling and has space for small meetings and gatherings. The doors and windows fold upward to convert it into an indoor/outdoor space.
Immediately to the south of the pavilion is a 65 foot long cascading wave feature. To the south of that, are four 32 foot tall umbrellas. They measure 40 x 40 feet square. They were manufactured in Germany and they are the first of their kind in the United States. At night, the umbrellas are illuminated with multi-colored LED lights. To the south of the umbrellas, along 4th Street are a row of trees and seating. The Commerce anchors the east side of this plaza.
On the west side, The Westbrook has a permanent stage built into the facade of the building. The stage is two tiered and the upper portion is 17 x 28 feet. It can be expanded for larger performances or concerts with movable platforms. The stage can also be adapted for the erection of a movie screen. Lighting for the stage and for the plaza is achieved by two rows of large poles running east and west through the plaza. This lighting is also achieved by multi-colored LEDs. Audio equipment is also located on the poles. Acoustics within the plaza are excellent.
Between the stage and the old Main Street right-of-way is a 216 jett fountain that is at the level of the pavement and is programmable. The fountain can spray up to 12 feet, or it can become a reflecting pool. LED lighting is installed beneath to illuminate the water. When events are held on the stage, the water is turned off and the fountain can become a seating area. To the south of the fountain is another row of trees that is similar to the east side of the plaza.
David M. Schwarz Architectural Services
Bennett Benner Partners