The “Other” Main Streets: From Pep Boys to Doughboys (Part 1)

For the next four days Main Street downtown will host the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival. The street will be packed with folks standing elbow to easel. So, now is a good time to sneak off and explore Fort Worth’s “other” Main streets: Cowtown’s main drag north of the courthouse and south of the Water Gardens.

Downtown Main Street is only one mile long—one-twelfth of the total length of Main Street. Main Street begins at the Fort Worth-Saginaw city limit and stretches southward (with some gaps in commercial zones between Morningside Drive and Seminary Drive) to just past La Gran Plaza (formerly Seminary South). And North and South Main provide plenty of contrast to downtown Main. If downtown Main is MasterCards and manicures, North and South Main are payday loans and calluses. If downtown Main is wingtip shoes, North and South Main are steel-toed boots: metal-recycling plants, rail yards, grain elevators. North Main also has century-old brick architecture, the Stockyards, and general aviation. South Main also has hospitals, light industry, even a few middle-class homes.

Let’s start our tour of the “other” Main Streets at the southern end and mosey our way twelve miles north.

Main Street dead-ends in its 4300 block at Thornhill Drive at the home of Manny, Moe, and Jack. As long as we’re here, anyone need spark plugs?

Two miles north at Morningside Drive, South Main has one of Fort Worth’s few traffic circles.

train mkt badgeAt the circle is the 1931 underpass of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) railroad.

South Main even has a few residential blocks. This stone house, with checkered-brick arches and window frames, beaded mortar joints, and a star over the center arch, was built in 1948.

The Vandervoort’s dairy plant is now owned by Kroger.

This grain silo looms at Texsand Distributors across the street from the old Kimbell grain elevators.

bricks south main with truckIn places the brick paving of Main Street can still be seen, as on the railroad overpass at the grain elevators.

bricks south main overpass plaqueThe 1937 overpass was built to carry South Main over the tracks of the Texas & New Orleans railroad and the Santa Fe railroad.

jpr surviving wingJohn Peter Smith Hospital opened in 1939 as City-County Hospital. This photo shows part of the original building at the corner of Main and Feliks Gwozdz Place. The 1939 building is now almost totally engulfed by additions.

Just to the north, Hebrew Rest Cemetery was established on 1879 on land donated by John Peter Smith.

Tomorrow: The “Other” Main Streets: From Pep Boys to Doughboys (Part 2)

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3 Responses to The “Other” Main Streets: From Pep Boys to Doughboys (Part 1)

  1. earl belcher says:

    On South Main. This time of year will be lined with grain trucks from custom harvester outfits. Bringing in winter wheat. I wonder how much the tax value is on some of these places? The fascist tax overlords probably really hit the owners hard.

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