The Burnett Foundation is giving Downtown Fort Worth Inc. a $4.5 million grant  as a permanent endowment for the maintenance, repair and improvement of Burnett Park in downtown Fort Worth. 

The foundation presented the check to Downtown Fort Worth Inc. on Wednesday during Downtown Fort Worth Inc.’s Strategic Action Plan meeting. 

“It’s fitting it was presented there as the 2033 strategic plan includes a focus on the creation and maintenance of downtown parks,” said Andy Taft, executive director of DFWI. 

Taft said more improvements to the park are coming. 

“We’re about to upgrade the play area for children,” he said. “This endowment is the second of what we hope will be a series of endowments for downtown parks.” 

DFWI is also working on the renovation of Heritage Park and Paddock Park on the north edge of downtown. 

Burnett Park, located on three acres at 501 W. 7th St,  opened in 1917, a gift of Samuel Burk Burnett in honor of his two children. Under its original design, by George Kessler, it was the site of presidential visits and the annual city Christmas tree. 

“Man With Briefcase” sculpture in Burnette Park. (Sandra Sadek | Fort Worth Report)

The current park was designed by Peter Walker with SWA Group in 1982 and updated in 2010. DFWI managed that park improvement project with a $1.7 million grant from The Burnett Foundation. DFWI has maintained the park through a contract with the city of Fort Worth since 2002. Also in 2002, Jonathon Borofsky’s iconic, 50-foot tall sculpture, “Man With Briefcase was installed on the north end of the park near West 7th Street. 

“The Burnett Foundation’s generous gift will allow DFWI to continue maintaining and operating Burnett Park for future generations,” said Larry Anfin, DFWI chairman. “The endowment is a lasting legacy that pays honor to the original donation and construction of the park 105 years ago. 

In July, the late Anne Marion and The Burnett Foundation made a $25 million gift to establish The Anne W. Marion Endowment in support of the operations of the TCU School of Medicine. Marion was the great-great granddaughter of Samuel Burk Burnett, founder of the Four Sixes Ranch and a Fort Worth businessman. 

Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Bob FrancisBusiness Editor

Robert Francis is a Fort Worth native and journalist who has extensive experience covering business and technology locally, nationally and internationally. He is also a former president of the local Society...