Our first stop was the Chisholm Trail marker, very important in this region formerly known for its cattle drives.
|The Chisholm Trail mural, downtown Ft. Worth.|
Cattle drives (info is from a historical marker in downtown Fort Worth):
After the Civil War, people in Texas realized that an estimated 3.5 million free-roaming cattle scattered throughout the state were a valuable asset. Between 1886 and 1887, over five million were rounded up to make the five-month, 800-mile trip through Texas to railheads in Kansas.
Fort Worth, the last "civilized" stop before Indian territory, became an important supply center. Driven by 10 to 12 cowboys, or vaqueros, herds forded the Trinity River and bedded down for a few days north of the river. in 1871, a reported 360,000(!) "beeves" were driven through Fort Worth along the Chisholm Trail (today's Commerce, Calhoun, Jones, and Grove Streets).
The invention of barbed wire and the advancing railroad brought an end to the cattle drives, but with the stockyards and the growing number of area ranches in need of supplies, Fort Worth remained a "Cowtown."
Today we had a guided walk led by Helen Hull. Since we had never been to Fort Worth before, we enjoyed having a knowledgeable local take us to the downtown points of interest where we learned factoids we probably wouldn't have found on our own.
First, we once again enjoyed the Water Gardens, heading down into the Quiet Pool.
|Our group going to the Quiet Pool.|
|Quiet Pool. See how high the walls are?|
That's to keep the city noise out.
|This imposing building dominates the skyline here.|
|The U.S. Post Office in downtown Fort Worth.|
|Spring Palace Monument|
to Alfred S. Hayne.
|The detail on the base of the monument.|
|Art Deco designs over the street-side door.|
We walked next door to the U.S. Post Office building (which was open) so we walked through the lobby to see the historic interior. The detailing features marble, bronze, and gold leaf.
|Post office lobby.|
|I LOVE this table!|
|The intricate design above the clerk's windows.|
|St. Patrick Cathedral.|
|St. Patrick's Church|
|A. D. Marshall Public Safety & Courts Building|
|Close-up of the facade of the above building.|
The Flatiron Building was designed by the distinguished firm of Fort Worth architects, Sanguinet and Staats, of reinforced concrete over a steel frame. This Renaissance Revival structure was inspired by the wedge-shaped Flatiron Building in New York.
|Flatiron Building in Fort Worth.|
A newspaper story reported that Fort Worth was such a dull and drowsy place that a panther was seen sleeping in the city on the steps by the courthouse. In their initial endeavors at establishing this city's identity, the nickname of Panther City was adopted for Fort Worth. The name was catchy and the local newspaper, the Fort Worth Democrat, added a drawing of a panther to its masthead.
In addition, live cubs were housed at the City Fire Hall and at many of the local businesses. At one of the community parades in Dallas (at that time a small town east of Fort Worth), the representatives of Fort Worth carried panther cubs on their floats in representation of "The city where the West begins."
|The Panther City Fountain (2002).|
|Another walker and another view of the panther.|
|Up-close view of panthers (?) on Flatiron Building.|
|Cool old hat store sign.|
|I love these old clocks.|
|Concrete owl detail on a building.|
At the north end of downtown is the Tarrant County Courthouse. We could not look inside because it's closed on Sunday. It sits atop a hill overlooking the Trinity River.
|Tarrant County Courthouse.|
|The courthouse pediment and clock tower.|
|Suit of armor atop Haltom's jewelry store.|
|The city's Christmas tree.|
|Haltom's jewelry store.|
|Topiary horse and rider.|
|Fort Worth Convention Center|
|John F. Kennedy Memorial.|
|Bass Performance Hall with its |
bas relief angels. Gorgeous.
|Front view of an angel.|
|Fire Station No. 1.|
|Police cars carry the theme,|
"Where the West Begins."
|There's a panther on the building.|
|Intermodal Transportation Center.|
|A restored streetcar on display.|
The Santa Fe Depot below was built in 1899 in the Beaux Arts style, featuring native stone banding. When intact, the north windows of painted glass depicted travel from Pony Express to steam locomotives. Visitors here included Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Depot was used by six railroad companies. As of 1970, Santa Fe served Texas with greater trackage than any other railroad, 5,102 miles. It is now a Texas Historic Landmark. The building now houses an events center. A wedding was taking place there today so we couldn't go inside.
|Santa Fe Depot.|
|Santa Fe Depot (street side).|