If you have a favorite old building in Fort Worth that you're worried about, now's the time to speak up. Historic Fort Worth Inc., a preservation group, is seeking candidates for the 2022 rendition of its annual Most Endangered Places list.

The list is a marketing overture that spotlights historic resources in peril.

That peril could be any number of circumstances such as deferred maintenance, no local landmark designation, loss of parking, or lack of awareness of economic incentives to rehab historic buildings.

They've been doing this program since at least 2004. Buildings they've spotlighted over the years include Knights of Pythias Hall, Texas & Pacific Warehouse, Fort Worth Public Market Building, and a Big Boy on Jacksboro Highway. Some have been saved, some not.

The Fort Worth Convention Center has made the list in prior years. They write:

Fort Worth's flying saucer convention center arena was designed in the 1960s as an urban renewal project for the county by a consortium of local architects that included Preston M. Geren, Herman E. Cox, Morris Parker, and the firms of Hueppelhueser & White, and Wilson, Patterson, Sowden, Dunlap, and Everly. Today, this arena that played host to everything from Elvis to the opera deserves a chance to be repurposed for a different function instead of facing demolition.

Hear hear!

There's a comprehensive summary of all the properties that have appeared on prior lists online. There's also a cool map with photos.

For the 2022 list, a wide range of sites will be considered, including commercial, residential, religious, public buildings, neighborhoods, bridges, monuments, and landscapes.

According to a release, properties that are recognized as endangered can benefit from increased public awareness and assistance from Historic Fort Worth to address issues.

They say there is a nomination form you can download, although said form is not anyplace obvious on their website, which you can send to:

Most Endangered Places, Historic Fort Worth Inc., 1110 Penn St., Fort Worth, TX 76102 or via email.

The deadline is March 11. Maybe also try emailing prc@historicfortworth.org.

An announcement of the list will be made May 8 at 12 noon at Thistle Hill, 1509 Pennsylvania Ave. The event is part of National Preservation Month in May.


Former KKK building in Fort Worth to be transformed into healing space

Urban Renewal

A Fort Worth building that was previously a monument to hate and violence will be reborn: Located at 1012 N. Main St., it's the former Ku Klux Klan Klavern No. 101 Auditorium, and it's been purchased by Transform 1012 N. Main Street (T1012), a non-profit coalition of local arts, grassroots, service organizations, plus pro bono partners.

According to a release, it'll be transformed into The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing, a space of truth, reconciliation, and liberation for the nation.

Fred Rouse was a Black butcher who was lynched by a white mob in Fort Worth in 1921. With this reparative justice project, T1012 seeks to return resources to the communities that were targeted for marginalization and violence by the KKK.

The plan is to transform the building into a vibrant cultural hub with state-of-the-art performance space, arts training and programming, services for underserved and LGBTQ+ youth, exhibit spaces dedicated to social justice and civil rights, a makerspace and tool library for local DIY classes, meeting spaces for racial equity and leadership workshops and community events, an outdoor urban agriculture and artisan marketplace, and affordable live/work spaces for artists- and entrepreneurs-in-residence.

The acquisition has been in the works since 2019 and was made possible by a grant from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and the mobilization efforts of the T1012 Founding Board, a pluri-cultural, shared leadership collective of eight local organizations:

  • Opal LeeFoundation
  • SOL Ballet Folklórico
  • Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice
  • The Welman Project
  • Window to Your World
  • 1012 Youth Council

Other project funders include Atmos Energy, the Ford Foundation, MASS Design Group, The National Endowment for the Arts, and Tecovas Foundation.

Founding members of the board include Daniel Banks (DNAWORKS), Vanessa Barker (TheWelman Project), Freddy Cantú (SOL Ballet Folklórico), Ayesha Ganguly (Window to Your World), Sharon Herrera (LGBTQ SAVES), Jacora Johnson (1012 Youth Council), Dr. Opal Lee (Dr. Opal Lee's Foundation), Adam McKinney (Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice), RománRamírez (SOL Ballet Folklórico), and Taylor Willis (The Welman Project).

In a statement, Daniel Banks, Ph.D., who is Board Chair and co-founder/co-artistic director of DNAWORKS, says he envisions "a crossroads where all of Fort Worth can gather; where every cultural group feels a sense of belonging, of being seen, represented, and listened to; where we celebrate the richness of our individual cultures freely and openly; and where repairing past harm and damage leads to greater respect and appreciation, creativity, and love — of self and one another."

Community and Juneteenth activist Dr. Opal Lee, who is a founding board member recalls that, "as a child, my family lost our home to 500+ people, and I don’t know if they were Klansmen or what they were, but they didn’t want us in the neighborhood,” said . “I want people to know that they can work together, live together, play together — and this building personifies that to me."

Additional partners include J.L. Powers & Associates, MASSDesign Group, The Projects Group, Saira Jasmine Concepts, SpawGlass, and United Way of Tarrant County.

When the Ku Klux Klan Auditorium opened in 1924, Fort Worth had one of the largest KKK memberships in the United States and the building was the KKK's headquarters in Texas. As the release puts it so well, the brick behemoth was designed and located to intimidate Northside Black, Hispanic, and immigrant residents returning home from the city center.

Photo courtesy of TransWestern

Oldest school in Fort Worth attended by Ginger Rogers is up for rent

Elementary School News

A former Fort Worth elementary school once attended by Ginger Rogers is available for rent.

The Stephen F. Austin Elementary School is now dubbed "The School at Lipscomb," and has served as an office building since it stopped being a school in 1977.

The 21,548-square-foot two-story office building is at 319 Lipscomb St., and is being leased by Transwestern Real Estate Services.

Transwestern principal Whit Kelly says in a statement that the building's rich history offers a one-of-a-kind setting.

"Opportunities for single or multi-tenant use are extraordinary, and the design of the schoolhouse only supplements the tenant experience within the unique space," Kelly says.

The school was built in 1892 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. It's the oldest standing school building in Tarrant County, and was named to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Famed golfer Ben Hogan and actress Ginger Rogers both attended the school.

Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co. purchased the building in 1980 and used as its corporate headquarters until 2020, when the company moved to its current headquarters at 509 W. Vickery Blvd.

The campus features

  • multiple expansive executive offices with private restrooms
  • conference rooms
  • catering kitchen
  • walkable outdoor green space with room for amenities
  • original chalkboards in most offices
  • ample parking

Large arches framing the recessed entries are complemented by hardwood floors, antique glass, original doors, and wainscoting.

"The Schoolhouse on Lipscomb served the needs of our employees for decades," says Philip Williamson, former CEO of Williamson-Dickie. "It is truly unique, has a fantastic feel and offers a glimpse into the past, while meeting all the needs tenants might require in today's world. We are excited for the possibility of a new tenant enjoying the space, just as we did."

Rendering courtesy of Stage West

Revered Fort Worth theater breaks ground on major renovations

Sledgehammer Time

One of Fort Worth's major theaters has broken ground — well, walls — on its upcoming renovations. Stage West executive producer and artistic director Dana Shultes and members of the board gathered to take a sledgehammer to 823 W. Vickery, where phase one will begin on March 2.

In the plans is a flexible black box theater space with state-of-the-art technology, dressing rooms, and bathrooms. A smaller rehearsal hall/performance space that can house an audience of 30 to 40 people, with minimal theatrical capabilities, is also anticipated, along with new administrative offices and a new box office located at the front of the main venue at 821 W. Vickery.

Near Southside's BASECOM Inc. Construction, which is owned by Oscar Oaxaca, has been contracted to head up the project.

The current plan is to have the new black box theater open for use during Stage West's 42nd season (October 2020-September 2021). The theater is currently gearing up to open its third production of the current season, Lucy Kirkwood's The Children, on March 12.

Stage West bought the 821-823 W. Vickery Blvd. venue in Fort Worth's historic Near Southside in January 2018. The building was originally built in 1930 as a bus garage for the city.

A $4.5 million comprehensive, three-year "Campaign for Stage West: Setting the Stage for the Future" launched publicly in February 2019. Since that date, the theater has raised over $2.7 million toward renovations and general operations over the span of the campaign, which runs through September 2022.

Over three phases of work, Stage West's renovations are designed not only to enhance the theater-going public's experience, but also to create a more efficient and effective workspace for the staff and artists creating the programming. Funding for phase one has been fully secured. Naming rights are still available for various parts of the project, including dressing rooms and kitchen.

Phase one of the renovations will include a new black box theater.

Rendering courtesy of Stage West
Phase one of the renovations will include a new black box theater.
Photo by Mike Morgan

Irving theater company brings up the curtain on new performance space

New Year, New Stage

MainStage Irving-Las Colinas, the city's main theater company since Lyric Stage moved to downtown Dallas in 2017, is growing. The nonprofit organization has leased a building at 222 E. Irving Blvd. in the Heritage District, what used to be the Texas Musicians Museum, and will rename it MainStage 222.

It will feature indoor and outdoor stages as well as rehearsal space, storage, and a scenic-building facility. MainStage 222 will also be offered as a rental facility for outside theaters, musicians, meetings, and events. The theater company will continue its traditional production series at the Irving Arts Center.

"MainStage Irving-Las Colinas' 50-plus-year success demonstrates the incredible amount of support Irving contributes to our thriving local arts scene," says Irving mayor Rick Stopfer. "I'm thrilled to see this local organization not only make use of this terrific facility, but to see how they create new performance opportunities for our residents to enjoy and participate."

If you're in the mood to celebrate with the group, a ribbon-cutting and open-house event will take place on October 3 from 5:30-9 pm, with entertainment and light bites included.

"We are so excited to move in to our new home and make it a place for which the Irving community can enjoy a variety of great performances," says Clayton Cunningham, president of the MainStage board of directors. Board member and long-time Irving resident Tom Ortiz agrees: "I've lived in Irving all my life and I can't wait to introduce our theater to more residents of our great city."

The 2019-20 season of MainStage Irving-Las Colinas at the Irving Arts Center includes Boeing, Boeing (July 19-August 3), The Royal Dilemma, a co-production with ThinkIndia Foundation (September 12-28, 2019), A Chorus Line (November 1-9, 2019, in Carpenter Hall), Have Yourself A Broadway Little Christmas (December 12-14, 2019), Pride & Prejudice (January 25-February 8, 2020), Inherit The Wind (March 20-April 4, 2020), Disaster! The Musical (May 8-23, 2020), and How The Other Half Loves (July 17-August 1, 2020).

Programming at the new MainStage 222 will be announced at a later date.

For tickets to and information about MainStage Irving-Las Colinas' productions, visit www.IrvingTheatre.com.

Photo courtesy of City of Arlington

Downtown Arlington's 'crown jewel' designated one of Texas' great places

Places to see

On your next day trip east from Fort Worth, you might want to add a stop for a show at the Levitt Pavilion, an outdoor venue in the heart of downtown Arlington recently named one of Texas' "Great Public Spaces."

The Texas chapter of the American Planning Association bestowed the honor upon the venue on April 1 through its Great Places in Texas program, which showcases areas that “exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value,” according to a statement. The Levitt Pavilioin joins five other outstanding Great Places in Texas honored in 2019.

Deemed the "crown jewel" of downtown Arlington revitalization efforts, the performing arts venue hosts musical acts across the spectrum, movie nights, and more.

"Eager to revive its downtown core, city leaders and engaged citizens came together with the national Levitt organization to bring the Levitt program to Arlington," the association says. "Since Levitt Arlington’s opening, nearly a dozen restaurants have opened in the vicinity, with more on the way. Levitt Arlington has also served as a catalyst for major investment from the University of Texas at Arlington, which shifted its $300 million expansion into the downtown area with new residences, shops, restaurants, parking and an indoor performance venue."

This is the third year of the statewide program, which is modeled from the American Planning Association’s ongoing Great Places in America program. The five other Great Places in Texas designees for 2019 are:

  • Great Neighborhood: Downtown Bastrop, Bastrop
  • Great Neighborhood: Downtown Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches
  • Great Street: Hill Country Mile, Boerne
  • Great Public Space: Discovery Green, Houston
  • Great Public Space: San Jacinto Plaza, El Paso
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Giant sea creatures made of recycled beach trash wash onto Galveston Island in must-see new exhibit

inspiring sea change

A giant great white shark, massive bald eagle, oversized octopus, and more enormous sea life have invaded Galveston Island.

"Washed Ashore," a compelling traveling art exhibit of giant sea animal sculptures made of trash collected from beaches, is now on display across 19 locations in Galveston.

The clever showcase features more than 20 pieces — most more than six feet tall and as much as 17 feet wide — such as coral reefs, jellyfish, penguins, sunfish, and more.

Sculptures can be found at museums, hotels, parks, attractions, and popular outdoor spaces. Thanks to a partnership between Oregon-based non-profit Washed Ashore and the Galveston Park Board, the exhibit, which is open though March 5, is free.

This innovative, powerful exhibit is designed to educate the public about the hazards of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways and comes at a touchstone environmental moment. Some 35 million metric tons of plastic entered the global aquatic ecosystems in 2020, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s research partners.

Similar "Washed Ashore" exhibits have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens across the nation. Notably, this Galveston debut marks the first time the exhibit will not be behind a paid gate, per press materials.

“The sculptures are impressive,” Visit Galveston Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody says. “But they’re even more impressive when you look at them closely. The artists at Washed Ashore placed recognizable objects – like buckets and shovels – at a child’s eye view. This way, hopefully, they will learn to take with them what they bring to the beach.”

For more information on the exhibit, visit the official site.

Photo courtesy of Visit Galveston

Meet Greta the great white shark.

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

It’s a frigid start to February this week, but tasty events bring opportunities to warm up once the coldest weather passes. Get cozy with hand-made pasta and wine, a dim sum cooking class, two new Sunday brunch launches, and a complimentary educational class to watch online from the warmth of your own home.

Thursday, February 2

An Evening with Batasiolo Wine Dinner
Only 11 lucky individuals get to partake in this four-course dinner set to take place in il Modo’s intimate pasta-making room. Wines from Beni Di Batasiolo Winery will be paired with each course. Reservations are $199, plus tax and gratuity, and include valet parking. Dinner begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, February 4

Who Eats Cornbread? Who Eats Biscuits? Baking and Texas Identity Webinar by the TCU Center for Texas Studies
Curl up at home with hot biscuits or cornbread while watching this tasty and educational webinar led by Rebecca Sharpless, professor of history at TCU. She’ll talk through the history of baking in Texas and the American South, speaking from research conducted for her latest book, Grain and Fire. Learn who used white cornmeal, who used yellow, who used sugar, who didn’t, flour to fat ratios, and why it all matters. The free webinar begins at 10:30 am.

Jazz Brunch Launch at The Fitzgerald
The Camp Bowie Boulevard restaurant will channel New Orleans vibes with the launch of its new jazz brunch. The live jazz pianist will provide tunes on Fitzgerald’s heated patio both Saturday and Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. Plan for brunch dishes like crab cake Benedict, shrimp and grits, crawfish omelets, and bananas Foster banana pudding.

Dim Sum Time at Indulge Cooking Studio
The downtown cooking studio located inside Third Street Market hosts an array of classes regularly. This one will feature dim sum, the traditional Chinese meal made up of small plates featuring various dumplings and snacks. The menu will include chicken shumai, Chinese greens, spring rolls, and an egg custard tart. The class is $89 and will begin at 11 am.

Sunday, February 5

New Sunday Brunch at Craft & Vine
The Roanoke restaurant, wine bar, and craft cocktail lounge will launch Sunday brunch with new buffet-style stations. Enjoy eggs Benedict, a carving station, waffle bar, and more, as well as champagne flights, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and even a bar cart for crafting Old Fashioneds. The price is $39 per person and $15 for kids 12 and under. Brunch service begins at 10 am and the live music starts at 11 am.

Luke Bryan trucks to Dallas-Fort Worth for 2 tour stops, including Dickies Arena

Country on

Luke Bryan fans, clear your calendars in late September 2023. The five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge is making not one but two stops in North Texas on his "Country On Tour."

He'll play Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on September 28, then scoot over to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena on September 29. The only other Texas stop on his 36-city tour will be in Lubbock, on July 27. (So sorry, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.)

Special guests throughout the tour will include up-and-coming country artists Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, Hailey Whitters, and DJ Rock.

According to the tour site, Beckham, Dean, Whitters, and DJ Rock will play the Dallas-Fort Worth shows.

Bryan has a history of investing in new artists by inviting them to join him on tour, a press release reminds.

“Artists get into the business to make music and perform it for the fans,” Bryan says in the release. “Leaving it all out on that stage is what it’s all about for me. I’m excited to support and have so many talented new artists along for the ride this year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.

The tour is named for Bryan's 30th No. 1 single, “Country On” - a celebration of farmers, truckers, military, first responders, and all of Americana that hit the top of the country singles charts around Christmas 2022. He has amassed a career tally of 56 total weeks at #1.

Bryan launches his 2023 headline dates at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on February 1. He's also returning as a judge on ABC's American Idol this spring.

Bryan's "Country On Tour" kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York.

Tickets go on sale on at 10 am Friday, February 3 at Lukebryan.com.

Presale for Bryan's fan club members will run 8 am Tuesday, January 31 through 5 pm Thursday, February 2. For details, go HERE.

Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets from 10 am Wednesday, February 1 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb 2 through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.