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Old Posted Nov 4, 2013, 4:49 AM
John R John R is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 2,167
Fort Worth, Texas Puts the Square into Sundance Square

For over 30 years, the Master Plan for Downtown Fort Worth and Sundance Square included a public plaza on the two blocks that were on each side of Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. These two blocks included two historic buildings and the remainder was surface parking lots. This thread has a mix of old and new photographs, and the older ones are smaller in size.

The first historic building was the Land Title Block, built in 1889. It has shades of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and has served as a restaurant for many years.

The other building was the Jett Building, built around 1902.

This building was most famous for the Chisholm Trail Mural that faced into the parking lot. The photo below shows the mural and how the lot was next to the building.

Here’s another view of the parking lot showing the mural, Sundance Square, and the two City Center towers in the background.

The concept of this plaza was to build one building on the western half of the blocks and another building on the eastern half of the other, which left one full block centered on Main Street. The two historic buildings would remain and they were designated as City of Fort Worth Historic and Cultural Landmarks by the City of Fort Worth as a part of this project.

The westernmost building is called The Westbrook, which takes its name from the old Westbrook Hotel, which sat on this block until it was demolished in 1978. The Westbrook Hotel was 7 stories. This new building is 6 stories. Here is the view of the building taken at approximately the same location as the previous photograph from the intersection of 4th and Houston Streets.

The easternmost building is called The Commerce Building and it is 5 stories and it was built behind the Land Title Block. Here is the Commerce Street façade.

A sort of short canyon is now developing along Commerce Street with several new mid-rise buildings constructed on the street within the last few years.

A third building along 3rd Street is also being constructed. It is called The Cassidy, and its basement was built in 1991 as underground parking for Sundance West and the Sanger Lofts. The structure was designed to support a 22 story residential building, but the project was scaled down and it will have 6 floors of retail, office, and residential within the building. Here is a view looking down Throckmorton Street. The Sanger Lofts are in the foreground and in the background are Sundance West and the Renaissance Worthington Hotel.

A new pavilion for the plaza was built along 3rd Street and across Main Street from the Jett Building. This pavilion has an indoor/outdoor room that can be rented for meetings, weddings, receptions, and special events. Public Restrooms are also located within this building.

Here’s a view looking across the plaza to the Knights of Pythias Castle Hall and the pavilion.

Immediately south of the pavilion and directly behind the Commerce Building are four umbrellas to provide shade in the plaza.

This is a view across the plaza looking north toward the Tarrant County Courthouse.

The Westbrook has a built-in stage facing the plaza and here is a view from the lowest part of the stage looking at the Chisholm Trail Mural.

The place really comes alive at night. All of the lighting is LED and all of the Sundance Square buildings are outlined in them. The signature piece of The Westbrook is the built-in stage and clock tower above it that faces the plaza. The clock is an LED screen, not a real clock. During the opening festivities the clock had the image of an analog clock on it. Unfortunately, it is too bright to pick up in a photograph. This is a view looking across the plaza.

The umbrellas have lights shining up on them and they can change colors, as well.

In front of The Westbrook is a fountain that dances, stays at the same level, can become a reflecting pool, or can be turned off to house spectators for concerts.

There is also a wave wall between the Pavilion and the umbrellas.

This space is a big improvement over the two surface parking lots. A RadioShack Flagship Store and a Del Frisco's Grille has opened in the Commerce Building. Starbucks Coffee, Taco Diner, Bird Café, and the Silver Leaf Cigar Bar are scheduled to open soon. This still leaves some retail space available within the two buildings. However, I do have some bad news Barnes & Noble Booksellers is closing their downtown location, along with another location in Central Fort Worth. There will be an announcement within the next 10 days of the replacement tenant or tenants. I hope you enjoyed the new Sundance Square Plaza.
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