In June 2023, a city-appointed task force will announce their game plan for 1300 Gendy Street. The task force was originally formed earlier in 2023 to ensure the highest and best use of the property. The city-owned building, which is currently used as the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the W.E. Scott Theater, owes its striking curb appeal to a number of significant architects who contributed to the facilities.
The architectural history of the building is as follows:
- 1954: Main Art Gallery designed by Herbert Bayer
- 1966: W.E. Scott Theater and Solarium designed by Joseph R. Pelich
- 1976: Art Museum and Porte Cochere designed by O'Neil Ford Associates
While those may not be household names (everyone knows a Jeopardy! architecture response is always "who is Frank Lloyd Wright"), the stunning design of the asset speaks for itself.
Architecture firm Bennett Partners estimated the combined cost of repairing the facilities to be around $26mm. While this is a hefty burden, especially if taxpayers are expected to shoulder it, the preservation of historical architecture such as this stunning example of midcentury style is an investment for the sake of posterity.
Fort Worth residents and all those who appreciate historical architecture should be glad 1300 Gendy Street is not going the way of NYC's historical Penn Station. As much as I love Madison Square Garden, there certainly were other buildings it could have replaced: