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Travis Avenue Baptist Church


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#1 WileyClarkson

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 02:54 PM

I would like to know if any forum members can help me with an architectural project my grandfather has listed in his Professional Record of W. G. Clarkson & Company, Architects.  The record covers 1927 thru 1947.  In 1947, he lists "Preliminary, Travis Ave. Baptist Church   $350,000.00.  Would this be the 1952 addition to the north wing of the 1924 building and for architects in\ 1947, what would the word preliminary encompass?  I am still identifying, and locating my grandfather's projects.  I am photographing them for my web site and I am definitely still learning architectural terms/applications. 



#2 McHand

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:19 PM

Travis has a library and I'm sure you could get access to archives.  Just call the front office Monday-Thursday during the day and ask for the librarian.  The Central Library downtown also has city archives.  

 

 

Good luck with your search! And please post back.  I've been involved as either a member or employee of Travis for some years.  They are a great neighbor on the South Side.


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#3 John T Roberts

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:53 PM

Preliminary drawings are usually the drawings we architects produce to show the client the basic design and plan of the building.  They don't contain enough information to build it, just enough to convey the design intent.  I'm not sure what building these drawings depict.  According to my records, the current sanctuary was designed by Preston Geren.



#4 WileyClarkson

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 12:16 PM

John, thanks for the information on what/how the preliminary drawings are used.  I'm still learning this stuff.  I have found a number of instances of preliminary drawings on several of FW's buildings with no reference to full sets of plans.  I wish I had more detailed information on his projects.  I get surprised every so often by a project that isn't even listed in my grandfather's surviving files.  Since my mother passed away on April 1, I haven't had much time to chase out his projects and I am just now starting to see daylight.



#5 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 02:56 PM

I'm sorry to hear of your mother's passing.  Over time, things will get better.

 

One of the reasons that you have preliminary drawings and no reference to full sets of plans may possibly be that the drawings never went any further than the "Preliminary" stage.  Many times, we will do a review set and label them as "Preliminary" and the project dies with that set of drawings.  The building also could have changed names between the preliminary drawings and the final construction documents.



#6 McHand

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 11:31 AM

Travis' Mercy Clinic is moving into a new building:

 

Mercy-Clinic-FINAL-500.jpg

 

It is well-designed and will enhance the intersection, but for one flaw - the solid wall facing the street. 

 

If they insist on the north-facing entrance, could there not be a side entrance, for at least the facade of urbanism?


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#7 rriojas71

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 06:44 PM

Travis' Mercy Clinic is moving into a new building:
 
Mercy-Clinic-FINAL-500.jpg
 
It is well-designed and will enhance the intersection, but for one flaw - the solid wall facing the street. 
 
If they insist on the north-facing entrance, could there not be a side entrance, for at least the facade of urbanism?


I agree with you about the entrance. I sometimes get the feeling that entrances not facing the street discourage pedestrian activity. I mean the building is nicely done and is better than what was there before, but it also has a design that you could find at any suburban intersection in the mid-cities.

#8 Austin55

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 07:01 PM

Two things really bother me about that. 1- it does look really suburban. Like a house or something. The sloped roof does'nt fit in at all. 2- it's facing the wrong way, and the parking lot is where future buildings should be. Rotate the whole thing 90 degrees so the door is on the street and move parking behind it and it's a significant improvement. 



#9 Zetna

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 12:43 PM

It's awful....details are horrible when compared to the Georgian styled church....yes, very suburban....gotta love the shutter detail on the paired windows (like if they actually worked, which window half would that center shutter cover? )



#10 ramjet

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 07:51 AM

Travis Avenue Baptist Church has a new pastor.  This is a really exciting development for this great historic Fort Worth institution.  Very happy for that congregation.  Welcome to Fort Worth Mr. Erickson.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=J8jTCVvggM0



#11 Urbndwlr

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 01:33 PM

I think part of the problem with the designs posted above from 2016 are the size of windows, doors, to wall space and overall floor heights.  

I'm not an architect so cannot cite what ratios of sizes/heights work however I can tell when they are wrong, and this is one of those examples.  Adjusting window/door sizes, and probably floor to floor heights as well as floor to roof elevation would probably do a LOT of good to make this a decent or even good design.    (and having windows/doors facing Hemphill)



#12 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 July 2021 - 08:40 PM

I was at Berry and Hemphill this afternoon, and I noticed that asbestos removal has started on the two buildings on the Travis Ave. Baptist Church Campus.  I believe these are the two oldest buildings on their site, and the one at Travis and Berry was built as their first sanctuary in 1924.  I took this photograph.

 

51336160914_2bc0a82dbe_h.jpgtravis-demolition by jtrobert, on Flickr



#13 Nitixope

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 03:06 PM

Razing Permits filed 9/15/21 for Travis Ave Baptist Buildings A and B:

 

https://accela.fortw...ShowInspection=

 
Project Description:
Building A
Demolish and haul away noted 5 story building and foundation 2' below grade.

 

 

https://accela.fortw...ShowInspection=

 

Project Description:

Building B
Demolish and haul away noted 2 story building and foundation 2' below adjacent grade.


#14 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 05:12 PM

It will be interesting to watch this demolition to see how that building was designed on the inside.  It's close to my house, so I can easily monitor the work.



#15 Austin55

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 05:56 PM

Pretty sad. Thats a nice looking structure.

#16 Randall

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 07:09 PM

Here’s a little unknown fact about the building. Back in the late 70’s the building was almost demolished by a very large water heater that built up a very high pressure and blew the place up. At that time I was working at the local Safeway store across the street. Several people were injured in the blast, but the building was able to withstand the blast.

#17 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 08:13 PM

It appears that the original sanctuary was on the west side of the building and the portion to the east had classrooms.  It also appears that the top floor on the east side was added later.  However, when you look at the roof, the east side has a hipped roof.



#18 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 07:46 AM

I made a detour and went by there on my way to work. They are still only doing interior demolition on the building closest to W. Berry St.  I will see if I can get some new pictures looking through the windows over the weekend.



#19 Nitixope

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 08:07 AM

What the are they planning to build on this site in place of these buildings? 



#20 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 08:15 AM

As far as I know, they are not planning to build anything where these two buildings are located.  By removing them, it expands the visibility of the beautiful Preston Geren designed sanctuary.  I could see them constructing a parking lot that connects into the existing that is set back from the street.



#21 Nitixope

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 10:11 AM

As far as I know, they are not planning to build anything where these two buildings are located.  By removing them, it expands the visibility of the beautiful Preston Geren designed sanctuary.  I could see them constructing a parking lot that connects into the existing that is set back from the street.

 

I did a cursory search last night and did not find any mention of a new project either.  Unfortunately, some of these old buildings can be a big liability.



#22 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 10:23 AM

The two buildings that are to be demolished are the two oldest buildings on the church's campus.  The one to the rear, was built in 1937, and the one at the intersection of Travis Ave. and W. Berry St., was built in 1924.  That building is almost 100 years old.  Older buildings can be a liability, but they can also add to the fabric of neighborhoods. 



#23 Nitixope

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 11:42 AM

Looking a little closer on Streetviews, the condition doesn't appear as bad as I had imagined but I'm sure there's more to the story. That is an awful lot of real estate to get rid of as far as useful space for classrooms, offices not to mention the historical value as you pointed out, John.  It would be interesting to know the process used for evaluating space or not needing space, operational costs of keeping those buildings going vs tearing them down.  



#24 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 12:46 PM

For the record, I am not a member of the church.  I do know several people who are members, but I have not visited with them about this project.  However, from what I have picked up from various sources is that the church has built 3 major additions over the last few years.  These additions were large enough to meet the requirements of the church.  They even sold off some property in the block to the southeast.  This sale involved the old Safeway store site to Walmart.  What I have also learned is that all of the additions housed enough classroom space to allow them to totally vacate their two older buildings.  With that said, those buildings had not been occupied for a few years, so I could see why the church would want to demolish them.  Those two buildings were not designated on the local level, so there would be nothing to stand in the way of demolition.  I would guess that the operational costs of keeping those buildings open played a significant role in determining if they should remain or be torn down.



#25 Nitixope

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 02:16 PM

I talked to a friend who works within the greater Baptist organization in the area and he had heard parking lot too.  

 

In my research last night, I saw Lincoln Builders had done some of those phases you mentioned above John and I added a link below to their website of projects.  A few years back I was involved on a fellowship hall expansion project at White's Chapel UMC in Southlake where Lincoln was the GC.  They added an impressive commercial kitchen and dining space with the capacity to cook and serve 700-800 guests at one time.

 

https://www.lincolnb...h-West-Building

 

https://www.lincolnb...dren-s-Building



#26 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 12:54 PM

Before it comes down, I thought I would post a historic photograph from the UTA Library Digital Galleries.

 

20042211.jpg

 

I walked by the building today and more windows have been removed.  I looked inside one of the windows into the basement (1/2 floor down).  Most of the interior has been removed.  However, there are a lot of original tin ceilings inside the building.  The structure of the building is a concrete frame with wood floor joists.  It also appears that the roof structure above the original sanctuary is also wood.  What I didn't realize and what has escaped me in my research is that the church has a State Historical Marker on it.  I read the text and the church was established on the site in 1908 before that area was annexed by the City of Fort Worth.  I will update the website tonight to indicate it is designated at the State level.  Also, I don't think it will be long before major demolition begins.  There aren't any construction fences around it right now, so I'm wondering if they are thinking about dismantling the building by hand, or small machinery.



#27 Nitixope

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 03:08 PM

Some other items found:
https://www.digitalc...ealth:zk51vv122
h4gT9QB.png
 
 
Here's an architect's rendering preconstruction of their current building.  Interesting to note the proposed budget of only $500,000.
(FW Archives)
06tJS0y.png
 
TravisAve_Picture-_1-300x201.jpg

#28 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 04:29 PM

I went into the Star-Telegram archives from 1925 and I have found that my assumptions on the doomed building were correct.  The western portion was the sanctuary and the eastern portion had classrooms and a gymnasium.  I think the gym was on the upper two floors of the eastern portion.  The building also had a swimming pool.  I would guess that  it would been placed in the basement.



#29 Nitixope

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:48 AM

I went into the Star-Telegram archives from 1925 and I have found that my assumptions on the doomed building were correct.  The western portion was the sanctuary and the eastern portion had classrooms and a gymnasium.  I think the gym was on the upper two floors of the eastern portion.  The building also had a swimming pool.  I would guess that  it would been placed in the basement.


I am struggling to understand the necessity of a pool at a church other than for maybe submersion baptisms. It just seems awfully far down the wish list for most any building committee.

#30 JBB

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 07:44 AM

Up until maybe the 1990's, churches, especially Baptist churches, were often the center of social activity for their members and sometimes the neighborhood. They were there twice on Sundays, on Wednesday nights, and other times of the week for activities.  They often hosted dinner on Wednesday nights.  Many churches had gyms.  I've never heard of another having an indoor swimming pool, but I bet it was more common than we realize.



#31 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 09:09 AM

Mt. Gilead Baptist Church in Downtown had one, and the pool and space is still present in the basement of that building.  It was the only place black children could go to swim when that building was built in the early 1900s.

 

As for Travis Ave., I don't know if the pool still exists.  I guess we will find out when the building is demolished.  The basement slab is usually the last thing removed.



#32 Nitixope

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 02:54 PM

What about the Rec Center pools?  From 1927 COFW annual report.  (terminology redacted)

Looks like Mt. Gilead pre-dated the rec center by about 15-years. 

 

qW1HI8H.png



#33 John T Roberts

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 09:56 PM

Here's a little more trivia about the larger building that is being demolished at Travis Avenue Baptist Church.  Construction started on that building in 1921 and only the 1/2 level down basement was constructed at that time.  The cornerstone states 1921 and it is located on that level.  The remainder of the building was completed in 1925.  Abandoned_ftworth has some interior photographs on Instagram.  The link to that account is below:

 

https://www.instagra...ndoned_ftworth/



#34 Nitixope

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 10:20 PM

Those are some nice photos. I noticed many are not labeled by location. Is that done intentionally to avoid liability or prosecution?

#35 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 07:45 AM

If I had to guess, I would say that is probably correct.



#36 John T Roberts

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Posted 05 October 2021 - 05:19 PM

Construction fencing is going up around the two buildings on their campus and more windows have been removed from both buildings.  It also appears there is now a lot of demolition debris in the alley between the two.  It won't be long before they will be coming down.  I will try to swing by there after work every day to take pictures.



#37 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 05:15 PM

There hasn't been much progress on the site, or the building demolition in several days.






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