Fort Worth – Sundance Square Area

Tarrant County Courthouse
Tarrant County Courthouse

On Sunday I decided to head in the other direction from the Embassy Suites.  The general area is known as Sundance Square which is an approximately 30 square block area of downtown Fort Worth.

This area has most of the shopping and eating.  There are also many historic buildings that have been restored and have plaques which describe their importance.  I think historic buildings are a matter of civic pride in Fort Worth – a lot of them and very well done.

Sanger Building
Sanger Building
Sanger Building Historic Plaque
Sanger Building Historic Plaque

I read the plaque for the Sanger Building – it is the first department store building with “manufactured weather” west of the Mississippi.  I had to take a picture of that plaque!

The Chamber of Commerce Building  - built in 1882
The Chamber of Commerce Building – built in 1882
First Christian Church of Fort Worth - established in 1855
First Christian Church of Fort Worth – established in 1855

I have included a picture of the Tarrant County Courthouse at the beginning of this post.  There are very nice individual war monuments lining the outside of the courthouse honoring the soldiers who fought in each of the wars.

I could not help but notice the variety of architecture styles in Fort Worth:  the old buildings in their brick or sandstone exteriors next to newer buildings in stucco, next to modern brick exteriors next to all glass buildings.   I debated during most of my walk whether Fort Worth is:

    • An architectural leader – blending many styles into a modern-yet-historic downtown, or…
    • A style best described as eclectic – where the Texas spirit of individualism truly shines,  or  – my favorite …
    • Very confused and wanting to be everything architecturally to all people.

I am not knowledgeable on architecture so I don’t know but all these thoughts crossed my mind.

An example of the mix of architectural styles
An example of the mix of architectural styles

Sundance Plaza just opened in 2011.  It is very nicely done.   There is actually a schedule posted of how to enjoy the plaza.

Sundance Plaza - note the mural in the background.
Sundance Plaza – note the mural in the background.
The Sundance symbol emblazons most street corners and parks

Where does “Sundance” originate?  For most of us who remember the movie, we would hope it would be a homage to the outlaws.  And apparently, we would be right!  Fort Worth likes its links to the Wild West.   There are artifacts throughout town of the Wild West.

Sculpture in Burnett Park
Sculpture in Burnett Park

This sculpture is one of my favorite Old West tributes.  I was heading back to my hotel when I came across this.  How stunning!

Sculpture from the reverse angle - with the American flag centered in the cutout.
Sculpture from the reverse angle – with the American flag centered in the cutout.

About this time, I noticed a Gothic church a few blocks in the wrong direction of my hotel.  I tried to ignore it but could not so I walked toward it.  Gothic was an architectural style heretofore unrepresented in my pictures.   A beautiful church – it was Sunday morning and as I got close, the church bells started tolling and the service let out.

First United Methodist Church - founded in 1853.  Covers a square block.
First United Methodist Church – founded in 1853. Covers a square block.

As you can see from all the pictures, it was a beautiful morning.  I walked around Fort Worth for a couple of hours.  I flagged down locals to ask questions – they were all helpful, polite and patient with me.   It is a nice downtown area – inviting to walk around and certainly a lot to see.

 

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