Where? (The City)

Fort Worth was established at the confluence of the upper two of four branches of the Trinity River. That confluence—that blending of elements—has served as a metaphor for the city ever since. Fort Worth is a blending of heifers and Heifetz, of pickups and pearls. It is rodeo and Radio Shack, low-riders and high-rollers, sweet tea and tequila, and a museum district where the cowboys of Remington tip their hats to the bare-breasted women of Degas.

Settled in the nineteenth century by men on horseback who fought hostile Indians, Fort Worth is powered in the twenty-first century by businessmen and women on smartphones who fight hostile takeovers. In between were booms driven by the railroads, cattle, oil, and national defense.

Audially Fort Worth is four orchestras, three secular choirs, and one Delbert McClinton. Visually it is art deco, glass-skinned skyscrapers, and cowboy kitsch. As many bricks lie horizontally on its streets and Stockyards as stand vertically on its buildings.

Economically there are neighborhoods of new money, old money, and no money at all, shotgun houses on the East Side and citadels of conspicuous consumption on the West Side.

Fort Worth is 531 Baptist churches, 593 bars, and 741,206 people (2010 census) searching to find the meaning of life or at least a parking space downtown.

Fort Worth is the gateway to the West, the sister city to Budapest, and the antidote to Dallas.

12 Responses to Where? (The City)

  1. Kelly Lawrence says:

    Hi there,

    I’m wondering if you have any pictures or any information about some apartments that were at Rosedale and Jennings in 1967. They were used by the musicians and waitstaff that worked at the Cellar.

    Many thanks in advance!

    • hometown says:

      Kelly Lawence:
      Not much I can tell you about the building in 1967. According to the 1968 city directory, there were several apartment buildings within a block north and south of the intersection of Rosedale and Jennings. But the only apartments on that corner were the Evans Apartments at 1025 South Jennings. That building was built in 1909 to house Bell Telephone’s Rosedale telephone exchange. The building is just south of Ernest Parker Junior High School (1911). Both buildings are still there.
      In 1939 Bell transferred the Rosedale exchange to a different location. After that time, according to the website Architecture in Fort Worth, the building was used for offices, a warehouse, and a “hotel for gypsies.” In 1970 the building, with fifteen units, was for sale for $50,000. In 1983 the building was converted back to offices. The building currently houses the Finance Department of John Peter Smith Hospital.
      A search of Star-Telegram archives for that address turns up only “furnished apartments” classified ads (rent in 1966 was $50 and up, all bills paid, children accepted) and one police story about the arrest of a burglary suspect living at that address.
      I have e-mailed you the 1968 city directory listing for the apartments.
      Mike Nichols

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