The many historical landmarks and symbols dotting the city connects the city’s past to its future. 

The Fort Worth History Center is the newest showcase of the city’s history, paying homage to the landmarks that were once on its land.

Located at 501 E Bolt St., the center opened to “maintain the municipal and local history archives for the city of Fort Worth,” according to the city. The center will have a variety of archives relating to Fort Worth historical documents. 

It’s Fort Worth’s Library of Congress, minus the grand pillars and the Italian Renaissance architecture, filled to the brim with an almost-overwhelming amount of information,  Linda Barrett, Fort Worth History Center’s manager, said.

“I think it’s something Fort Worth does really well,” said Theresa Davis, Fort Worth Public Libary’s communications manager, “remembering, and not forgetting what we came from.”

The building is filled with hundreds of yearbooks of local schools dating back to the early 1900s, marriage/genealogical records dating back to the late 1800s, and mayoral/council proceedings dating back to the same period.

“As you can tell, it’d be pretty easy to get lost in all this,” said Barrett, who is there to ensure anyone researching doesn’t find themselves endlessly flipping through pages. 

Aside from Barrett, the center has a book scanner, which allows patrons to look through documents faster. Using the scanner is far more convenient than looking through the three-thousand-page city directories, Barrett said while demonstrating. 

The center pays homage to what, and where, this building was before the Fort Worth History Center moved in. 

When patrons walk in, they’re greeted by a mural depicting the area’s landscape, and history. The images on the mural are symbolistic of what was left behind, but never forgotten, Barrett said. 

On the mural is the title “Fort Worth History Center,” surrounded by a few symbols of what was here before the center was. 

Two of the letters ‘S’ intercrossed together are on the top left corner of the mural, a symbol for the area’s former Seminary South Shopping Center which opened in 1962, and shut its doors in 2004. Images of a railroad, and trains, are spread across the right side of the mural, as Katy Railroad used the lake that was once on the land as a water source. And, a Texas Steel patch marks the bottom left corner of the mural, as Texas Steel eventually bought the land from Katy Railroad, and resided in the spot that’s now the Fort Worth History Center.

The Fort Worth History Center’s mural, showing the city’s logo surrounded by a few different symbols of the city’s past. (Oct. 28, 2022, Matthew Sgroi)

The mural is meant to remind patrons of Fort Worth’s history while they explore the city’s past. 

A past that may take a while to sift through, but one that’s maintained and archived by the new Fort Worth History Center.

Fort Worth History Center

  • Address: 501 E. Bolt St., Fort Worth, TX, 76110
  • Scour through the Center’s digital archives on their website

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Matthew Sgroi

Matthew Sgroi is the 2022-23 Fort Worth Report video fellow. He can be reached at matthew.sgroi@fortworthreport.com or (503)-828-4063.