~ Chisholm Trail Mural * Sundance Square * Fort Worth, Texas
photo by Suzanne, April 22, 2017
Isn't this a fantastic wall mural! I think it stands about 3 stories high, boasting a 3-dimensional effect on a flat surface. Each time I visit downtown Fort Worth, I come to this spot and gaze fondly at it. Oh, not because I'm a trailblazer or a real Cowgirl, but it is such an awesome scene, begging to be talked about! And, here is 'yours truly', with a bit of a tale!
Paying homage to the legendary cattle drives of the late 19th century, this jaw-dropping mural was painted by Richard Haas in 1985. It is located on the south façade of the Jett Building in the heart of Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas.
*** By the way, it is said that Sundance Square was originally dubbed as "Hell's Half Acre". Well then, it seems as tho the Sundance Kid himself was known to frequent the establishments for spirits and entertainment, later deeming it to be renamed to "Sundance Square".
* Below is a picture of the Jett Building prior to the Chisholm Trail painting.
* Yahoo Images
The Jett Building, constructed in 1902, had housed the Northern Texas Traction Company years ago, as the Interurban Railway with service to Dallas and Cleburne. Ticketing was on the first floor, with offices on the second floor. If the conductors needed to spend the night, the building offered a bunk house on the top floor. Coping with the competition of the up and coming busing service, the NTTC moved to the Sinclair building in 1930, running its last route on Christmas Eve of 1934. After the move, the Jett building was host to a candy factory, and, is rumored to have had a brothel up on the top floor...hmmm! It seems also around that time, and during the late 1940's, there was a title company and the U. S. Sandwich Shop in the building. After that, the building was vacant for a long time during the late 1970's.
There were some partial restorations to the building in the late 1980's, and, eventually, in 2013, it was fully restored, becoming a welcome site to Sundance Square! To the south of the building, the area was opened up in order to add a plaza and an office building to its west. Consequently, the mural was also restored at this time, and the building was renamed The Mural Building.
But WAIT...is that all there is to this story? Just a building that got old and decrepit looking? Someone cleaned it up? And a wonderful artist just happened by and painted a beautiful mural on it? NO WAY ARE WE GOING TO GET OFF THAT EASY!!!
Legend has it that the Jett building may be haunted! (I had to brew myself a small pot of coffee at this point)! ☕
Within a six year period, several restaurants had opened up and then left the building. A former owner exclaimed, "It was the ghosts!" There were drafts reported in areas where there were no open windows, phantom sounds of someone coming up the stairs, and flickering lights.
~ from Yahoo Images
Quite a few employees have quit after seeing apparitions or experiencing odd events such as 'a feeling of being watched', machines turning on by themselves, the sounds of high heels walking across unoccupied upstairs floors, and cries of someone possibly needing help.
* A bartender, closing up on a Halloween night, saw a phantom woman in the mirror.
~from Yahoo Images
There are strange chills in the basement, and, the spirit of a cowboy dressed in black has also been reported as a presence in the basement.
~from Yahoo Images
I would say that it is 'safe to say', that this is quite an historic site! What do you think? And, by the way, I must give a commendation for the incredible vision of the Chisholm Trail cattle drive in the late 1800's, transformed by Richard Haas onto the architecture of this once forlorn, and now renowned building!
* Richard Haas is from Spring Green, WI., and, his public work spans throughout the US for at least 35 years. The only European mural by Mr. Haas has been in Munich and he is ranked among the world-best artists by the Artists Trade Union of Russia! To Richard, buildings are not just a backdrop. In his art he finds a way to bring an exterior façade to life by transforming an historical 'eyesore' into a captivating storytelling arena!
I do have one other example of Richard Haas' work to show you. It is so remarkable! Below is the Boston Architectural Center, 1977. It is the first to be 'carved' into a wall with intentions of simulating an 18th century architectural painting.
Well, my dearest readers, it is time for me to sashay on out of here, and tend to the hamburger stew I've got brewing on the stove! I hope you enjoyed our short study of one of the miracles of downtown Fort Worth! When I first moved to Texas in 1971, this downtown was in a steady decline. I love old decrepit buildings, but, I am proud to report that during my years in the area, Cowtown is doing a fantastic job of restoring the city, and keeping its history alive!
And, this little guy will vouch for it!
Oh, he's okay, just basking in the 'ambience' of the city!
* Scootie *
~photo by Suzanne * May 1, 2017 * Downtown Fort Worth,Texas
Gotta give thanks to:
Fort Worth, Texas/Sundance Square
*** Many thanks to all of you who have come by for a visit. Please step inside and say hello if you get the chance...don't be shy! You are welcome to visit anytime!
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! Have a joyful and safe celebration!
See you all next time!
I love you Mom! ♥