Will Rogers Memorial Center – Fort Worth TX

Description

“At the time of the Centennial Exposition held in Fort Worth in 1936, the city officials determined to erect several permanent buildings that would maintain their civic usefulness after the closing of the exposition. Among the most important of these were the Coliseum and the Memorial Tower.

The Coliseum provides an area 125 by 250 feet in which horse and stock shows can be held, as well as rodeos and athletic exhibitions. The building is 232 by 405 feet in over-all dimensions. The arena is surrounded by tiers of seats under which is a concourse 17 feet wide extending around the building and connecting with the seating space at short intervals, thus assuring easy circulation. Near the performer’s entrance are a stock chute and cattle pens.

The construction is semifireproof. The walls and partitions are masonry, the balcony is reinforced concrete, and the wood roof is supported on steel trusses. The arena is enclosed by a concrete wall and its floor is earth. The exterior walls are faced with a light-colored brick trimmed with stone and terra cotta.

The Memorial Tower is midway between the Coliseum and the auditorium building and is connected with both by covered passageways.

The project was completed in February 1937 at a construction cost of $581,580 for the Coliseum and $116,836 for the Tower. The project, of which the Coliseum and the Tower were a part, included seven major buildings and had a total cost of $1,902,808.”

The complex was designed by the firms of Wyatt C. Hedrick and Elmer G. Withers. Herman Paul Koeppe of Hedrick’s firm designed the Coliseum and tower and engineer Herbert M. Hinckley, Sr. designed the coliseum’s dome. Donald S. Nelson designed the auditorium.  The friezes of the coliseum and auditorium were designed by Herman Paul Koeppe with assistance from Kenneth Gale of the Mosaic Tile Company of Zanesville, OH (the company that produced the tile).

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s
1902808

Source notes

C.W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown. "Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration." (1939).

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Location Info


3401 West Lancaster Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Location notes:

Coordinates: 32.747056, -97.365754

2 comments on “Will Rogers Memorial Center – Fort Worth TX

  1. Susan Kline

    This was listed in the National Register on March 22, 2016.

  2. Gordon Zeigler

    The complex was designed by the firms of Wyatt C. Hedrick and Elmer G. Withers. Herman Paul Koeppe of Hedrick’s firm designed the Coliseum and tower and engineer Herbert M. Hinckley, Sr. designed the coliseum’s dome. Donald S. Nelson designed the auditorium. The friezes of the coliseum and auditorium were designed by Herman Paul Koeppe with assistance from Kenneth Gale of the Mosaic Tile Company of Zanesville, OH (the company that produced the tile).

    Is there anywhere I can include my grandfather as a builder, craftsman on he freise portion of Will Rogers Auditorium.

    My grandfather, Dave Crowther, a brick layer from Corsicana was chosen to set tiles for the freise on WRMC in his prime, due to skills and ability. That from anecdotal, vocal history within our family. He and father and brothers bricked most of original buildings in downtown Corsicana at the turn of the century and before…and they had the contract and built all brick structures — buildings, tank supports, everything for Magnolia, the first refinery in Texas. He also worked on corps dorms at Texas A&M and other projects around the Waco, Bryan and Corsicana area.

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