Urban Legends – Fort Worth Magazine
One is a website. The other is a Twitter account. One is almost two years old; the other, 20. But both eagerly follow every construction project, every groundbreaking and every whisper of a new building in the direction of Fort Worth – so much so that they have become contact points for developers and architecture enthusiasts alike.
They are FortWorthArchitecture.com and Twitter account @UrbanFortWorth or Fort Worth Urban. Fort Worth Architecture provides a comprehensive guide to all of the city’s major buildings. This is also home to the Fort Worth Forum, an online message board where developers – and those just interested in development – actively discuss projects in the city. Fort Worth Urban has updates and commentary on local projects, as well as an urban development map of more than 200 projects in the city.
So it’s no wonder the people who run it – John Roberts (FortWorthArchitecture.com) and Austin James (Fort Worth Urban) – are friends. James himself has a report on the Fort Worth Forum, whose members meet regularly for lunch once a month, usually at Benito on Magnolia Avenue.
Roberts originally started Fort Worth Architecture in 1997 as a “poor man” to write a book, he says. It started by listing downtown buildings, as well as information about their history and architecture, and has expanded since then. The forum was founded three years after the website was launched in 2000. Since the launch of FortWorthArchitecture.com, the website has had more than 1.5 million visits. The forum currently has more than 2,400 registered members.
James, who happens to live in Arlington (but hopes to move to Fort Worth as soon as possible), founded Fort Worth Urban simply with an interest in Fort Worth architecture, which fascinated him as a child when his family traveled downtown to Catch Fort Worth Brahmas Games at the Convention Center. Fort Worth Urban has more than 1,800 supporters – a list that includes names like Mayor Betsy Price and TCU chief football coach Gary Patterson, as well as other key players like Near Southside Inc. and Trinity River Vision. Roberts and James operate their respective websites for free and intend to continue to do so.
“It was a lot of fun,” says Roberts. “I really enjoyed it. I certainly haven’t regretted it.”
John Roberts, Fort Worth Architecture
Day job: Senior Associate at Halbach-Dietz Architects
Favorite building: Kimbell Art Museum
Why? “The Kimbell Art Museum is my favorite building because it’s timeless. [Louis] Kahn designed a simple but elegant building that seems to fit into the cultural district. I really like his use of materials, barrel vaults, and light in the building to highlight the art without damaging it. “
Austin James, @UrbanFortWorth
Day job: Assistant Manager in the downtown Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau
Favorite building: T&P station
Why? “I love the decorative architecture, the beautiful lobby and the trains. The trains are cool.”
Samantha Calimbahin is the Editor-in-Chief of Fort Worth Magazine. When she’s not editing or creating to-do lists for the magazine’s million dollar projects, she’s jamming on her guitar and planning her next trip to a Disney theme park.
Read more from Samantha Calimbahin
15th November 2017