Fort Worth Information
Fort Worth is the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas and the 19th-largest in the United States. The city is also large in geographic area as it covers almost 300 square miles and is the county seat of Tarrant County—the 18th most populous county in the country.
As of the 2000 U.S. Census, Fort Worth population was 534,694 (though a 2005 Census estimate placed the population at 624,067). The city is the second-largest cultural and economic center of the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area (colloquially referred to as Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex), the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 5.7 million in 12 counties.
Fort Worth was founded as a military camp in 1849, named after General William Jenkins Worth. Today, the city is portrayed as more old-fashioned and laid-back than its neighbor, Dallas. Known as “Cowtown” for its rough-and-rowdy roots, Fort Worth still celebrates its colorful Western heritage today and bills itself as “Where the West begins.”
In 1849, during the closure of the Mexican-American War, Major Ripley Arnold established a fort, named in honor of General William Jenkins Worth near a high bluff where the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River merge together. The fort was flooded the first year and was moved to the top of the bluff where the courthouse sits now. The fort was established to protect 19th century settlers from Indian attacks. It grew into a bustling town when it became a stop along the legendary Chisholm Trail, the dusty path where millions of cattle were driven North to market. Fort Worth became the center of the cattle drives, and later, the ranching industry. The heyday of the cattle drives was the wild era of “Hell’s Half Acre,” an area of town filled with gambling parlors, saloons and dance halls. In 1876, the Texas & Pacific Railway connected to Fort Worth and transformed the Fort Worth Stockyards into a premier livestock center. When oil began to gush in West Texas, Fort Worth was at the center of the wheeling and dealing. In 2000, a tornado of F-3 classification smashed through downtown, tearing many buildings, including the Bank One tower, into shreds and scrap metal. The Bank One tower has been renovated and sold, most of which sold as condominiums.
Sundance Square – Fort Worth’s downtown has the Sundance Square, named after the infamous Sundance Kid. The Sundance Square is a 16 block entertainment center for the city. The Square has buildings with tall windows, as well as brick-paved streets and sidewalks, and landscaping that many consider to be very delightful. Many restaurants, nightclubs, boutiques, museums, live theatres, and art galleries are in the Square.
Fort Worth Water Gardens – A 4.3 acre/1.74 ha contemporary park that features three unique pools of water offering a calming and cooling oasis for downtown patrons.
Fort Worth Convention Center – Includes a 11,200 seat multi-purpose arena.
Bass Performance Hall – Bass Hall is the permanent home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Cliburn Concerts.
Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District
The stockyards offer a taste of the old west and the Chisholm Trail at the site of the historic cattle drives and rail access. The District is filled with restaurants, clubs, gift shops and attractions such as daily longhorn cattle drives through the streets, historic reenactments, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and Billy Bob’s, the world’s largest country and western music venue.
The Modern (formerly the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth), founded in 1892, is the oldest art museum in Texas. Its permanent collection consists of some 2,600 works of post-war art. In 2002, the museum moved into a new home designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
The Kimbell Art Museum houses works from antiquity to the 20th century. Artists represented in its holdings include Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, El Greco, and Rembrandt. The museum’s home was designed by American architect Louis Kahn.
The Amon Carter Museum focuses on 19th and 20th century American artists. It houses an extensive collection of works by Western artists Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, as well as an impressive collection of 30,000 exhibition-quality photographs. It also includes works by Alexander Calder, Thomas Cole, Stuart Davis, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, and Alfred Stieglitz. American architect Philip Johnson designed the museum’s home, including its expansion.
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is the only museum in the world that is solely dedicated to honoring women of the American West who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and pioneer spirit in their trail blazing efforts.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History – One of the largest Science and History Museums in the Southwest. It includes the Noble Planetarium and the Omni Theater.
Will Rogers Memorial Center – a multi-purpose entertainment complex and world-class equestrian center housed under 45 acres of roof spread over 85 acres in the heart of the Fort Worth Cultural District. Each year approximately 800,000 people attend the three week event known as the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, formerly called the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and Rodeo.
Casa Manana – The nation’s first theater designed for musicals “in the round.”
Fort Worth Zoo – Ranked one of the top 10 best zoos in the United States.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden – The oldest botanic garden in Texas, with 21 specialty gardens and over 2,500 species of plants. Log Cabin Village – A collection of authentic Texas log cabins dating from the 1850s.
East Fort Worth
In more recent years, east Fort Worth has been referred to as “Funkytown” rather than “Cowtown,” mainly by urbanites. In the last two decades of the 20th century, when the Blood and Crip gangs started migrating from California, east Fort Worth was often referred to as “Murder Worth” or “Little Chicago”, as hundreds of bodies started showing up with insufficient amounts of evidence required to bring those responsible to justice, thus increasing the murder rate. East Fort Worth has since then changed, as the size and skill of the police force has rapidly increased.
Uptown / Trinity
The Tarrant Regional Water District, City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Streams & Valleys Inc, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are cooperating in an effort to develop an area north of “downtown” as “uptown” along the Trinity River. This plan promotes a large mixed use development adjacent to the central city area of Fort Worth, with a goal to prevent urban sprawl by promoting the growth of a healthy, vibrant urban core. The Trinity River Vision lays the groundwork to enable Fort Worth’s central business district to double in size over the next 40 years.