Before and after: Downtown

February 2023 

By: Now.Town

Downtown Fort Worth serves as the city's central hub, featuring a blend of old and new. As the oldest neighborhood, it boasts towering commercial skyscrapers alongside historic landmarks, offering a mix of residential, commercial, and cultural opportunities for residents, workers and visitors. In the last 20 years, downtown has undergone a continual process of growth, change, and overcoming challenges.

Use the arrow keys on the images or on your keyboard to see the before and after of each area. 

Lancaster & main

One of the most radical changes to happen downtown was the re-routing of I-30. The highway's original alignment was on an elevated viaduct over Lancaster Ave, severing the southern blocks of downtown. The scars of this are still visible, with plans to develop much of the land vacated by the overpass. The first among these developments is Pinnacle Bank Place, a mixed-use project on the mid-left of the after image. 

Lancaster & Henderson

In the "before" image, the new highway alignment can be seen alongside the old one as it crosses Henderson. Many of the highway ramps were recycled when and leftover during the move. The Public Market Building can be seen. 

fort worth's new city hall

What is now the site of the future Fort Worth City Hall was previously home to the Calvary Cathedral. The church building was destroyed in the 2000 tornado and abandoned. The site was purchased by Pier 1 Imports, who built the now-iconic 20-story headquarters on the property. The building changed hands a couple of times, including to Chesapeake Energy in 2008. In 2020 the city bought the building and began work to convert the tower into the new City Hall. A new 345-unit multifamily development, The Braden, opened adjacent to the tower in 2018. 

TCC Trinty River Campus

Where the two forks of the Trinity River meet has also seen dramatic change. In 2001, the area along the waterfront was a large parking lot which served the Tandy Subway, while higher up the bluff was the Ripley Arnold Housing Project. The site was purchased by RadioShack, who built a new headquarters at the location in 2004, demolishing both the subway and housing project. As RadioShack floundered due to financial difficulties the campus was purchased by Tarrant County College in 2008. The building is now the TCC Trinity River Campus

Fort Worth convention center

The Fort Worth Convention Center underwent a drastic expansion in the early 2000s, including a new southern entrance, ballroom, and atrium/entryway along Houston street. The expansion spurred the development of the Omni Hotel, which was built on a former surface parking lot. The new Hampton Inn Hotel is also visible.

Incidentally, both the Omni and Convention Center are preparing to expand again in the coming years. 

fort worth central station

Fort Worth Central Station, known previously as the Intermodal Transportation Center, was built in 2002. The station is the city's main hub and transfer point for buses. Central Station also hosts Trinity Metro's TEXRail service to DFW Airport, the TRE to Dallas as well as regional Amtrak trains and bus services.

Samuels avenue

Samuels Avenue is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Fort Worth, with several homes dating to the 1880s. Due to its proximity to downtown and abundant land, the area saw significant multifamily development in the 2000s. These large developments added a significant amount of density to the neighborhood, but also displaced many lower-income residents and led to the demolition of several historic homes. 

hyde park

Sometimes, you put up paradise in what was a parking lot. What is now Hyde Park was once an awkward intersection and surface parking lot. Hyde Park is home to the Sleeping Panther fountain. 

sundance square plaza

Though not as large as many of the other changes in footprint, these two blocks are perhaps the most impactful. Work began in 2012 on putting a proper square in Sundance Square, turning two parking lots into a gathering space and plaza. 

All images via Google Earth.