While building out our MetroDemic game in Fort Worth, we came across several historic plaques that provide insight into Fort Worth’s history. Enjoy this virtual tour of some of the historic signs we came across in Fort Worth, their locations, and a typed out inscription in case the photos are hard to read.
Be sure to check out our game page if you’re looking for a fun way to explore downtown Fort Worth.
For information on playing our game in downtown Fort Worth
City National Bank Building
Find this sign at GPS coordinates 32.754988, -97.332444. This is on Houston Street between 2nd and 3rd .
Built in the early 1870’s this building’s original tenant was John S. Andrews Loan, Land & Livestock Company. In the 1880’s it became Fort Worth’s first bank, City National Bank, which was forced to liquidate ten years later during the 1890’s depression. Originally a four story structure, the mansard roof was at one time removed. During the complete renovation in 1980, the original architectural plans were discovered and the building again received its intended fourth floor.
Burk Burnett Building
Find this historical sign at GPS coordinates 32.754386, -97.331195. This is near the intersection of 4th and Main.
Built in 1914, this building was designed for banker, Earl Baldridge, to house the State National Bank. One year later in 1915 it was sold to legendary cattleman Samuel Burk Burnett, whose 6666 Ranches are famous in Texas history for cattle, oil, scientific breeding and thorough-bred horses. Known as Fort Worth’s first “Skyscraper”, it was built with cattle money in the heyday of Fort Worth as a cowtown.
Knights of Pythias Hall
Find this historical marker at GPS coordinates 32.755239, -97.331568. This is near the intersection of Main and 3rd Street.
The first Knights of Pythian Castle was erected here in 1881 and rebuilt after a fire in 1901. A replica of the original Knight of Armor was installed during the Sundance Square renovation. The first rotary offset printing press was installed in this building in the early 1950’s.
Find this marker at GPS coordinates 32.755423, -97.331676. This is on Main between 2nd and 3rd Street.
Originally Buck’s Domino Parlor Gaming House. This location was known as “The Casino of the Wild West” where fortunes were won and lost. Such famous personalities as Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and Luke Short, who was the kingpin of honest high stakes gambling in Fort Worth, frequented this area in the late 1880’s.
Morris and Conn Buildings
Find this historical marker at GPS coordinates 32.75543, -97.331912. Find this sign on Main Street between 2nd and 3rd.
Originally the notorious Wild West watering hole known as the “White Elephant Saloon”. Long-Hair Jim Courtwright who had been both Federal and City Marshall here was shot and killed by Gambler – King Luke Short, February 8, 1887 at the doorway to Miss Ella Blackwell’s Shooting Gallery just north of the White Elephant Saloon. Some said Short was faster than the usually quick-draw Courtwright. Police reported a jammed cylinder on Courtwright’s pistol.
Plaza Hotel Building
Find this sign at GPS coordinates 32.755573, -97.331762. The Plaza hotel plaque can be found near the intersection of Main Street and 3rd Street.
This building was constructed in 1908 as a saloon with “guest” rooms on the top floors. It belonged to Winfield Scott, one of Fort Worth’s most prominent citizens who amassed a small fortune in the cattle business. A popular lodging place for cattlemen marketing their herds at Fort Worth stockyards, this building is the best example remaining in Fort Worth of a small “cattle-era” hotel.
Land Title Building
Find this sign at GPS coordinates 32.7548081,-97.330692. You can find this sign near the intersection of Commerce Street and E. 4th Street.
Pioneer architect Haggart and Sanguinet designed this brick, sandstone and cast iron building with rounded arched windows and other ornate details. It featured the first known stone carving in Fort Worth, the figure of an owl, and displayed the initials of lawyers Ross, Herd, and Ross, who occupied the second floor, above the title firm. The structure is architecturally important because its style was rare in this region when it was built in 1889.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1977.
Western Union Building
Find this sign at GPS coordinates 32.755222 -97.331748, which is currently where Razoos restaurant is located.
The first telegraphed communication to Fort Worth came via a private line rigged to Eagle Ford in 1874. The Western Union Telegraph Company moved offices to this location with a moments interruption in service, in August 1931. The telegraph company played an integral part in the city’s growth, linking Fort Worth to the world’s leading cattle, grain and oil markets. The building’s flashy, progressive Zigzag Art Deco style, by architect James B. Davies, Sr., was a great association with the company’s modern technology.
Fort Worth has a very colorful history and has done a great job with people who are willing to take a short walk around town. We hope you’ll get out soon to enjoy historic Fort Worth!