- Fort Worth, TX
- Site Type:
- Infrastructure and Utilities, Roads, Bridges, and Tunnels
- New Deal Agencies:
- Work Relief Programs, Works Progress Administration (WPA)
In 1930, the landscape architecture firm Hare and Hare of Kansas City, Missouri completed a master plan for the Fort Worth Board of Park Commissioners. A key component of the plan was the linkage of the city’s major parks with greenbelts or parkways that encircled the city. With the advent of the New Deal, the park department was able to implement many of Hare and Hare’s plans for individual parks. It was less successful in completing the greenbelt component of the plan but the construction of Oakhurst Scenic Drive was a direct outgrowth of the park master plan. The park department secured $54,934.44 from the federal government and used $10,674.90 from its budget for the project. WPA Project #3282 commenced on January 23, 1936 and was completed on November 5, 1937. The road is located in the Riverside area of east Fort Worth at the foot of the bluffs overlooking the Trinity River and downtown. It runs between East Belknap Street on the south and Watauga Road on the north. The project contained 41 acres, including the lower portion of the bluffs bordering the road. Oakhurst Scenic Drive was originally planned to be a loop road that would connect with Northeast 28th Street and Trail Drivers Park on the north side. The creation of Oakhurst Scenic Drive provided not only a pleasant drive but also access to the Oakhurst Addition (and later West Oakhurst Addition) as well as the privately-owned Oakhurst Golf and Country Club which extended west to the Trinity River. The golf course was on land leased from the Oakhurst Land Company but was not developed by the company.
Oakhurst Scenic Drive has a noticeable ascent between Yucca Avenue and Watauga Road. Large stone boulders were placed along the edges of the road, most of which have been removed. The boulders and the stone outcroppings and wooded terrain of the bluffs contributed to the road’s “scenic” character. In 1952, the park department turned over the maintenance of the paving and drainage ditches on the east side of Oakhurst Scenic Drive to the Department of Public Works because it was thought that the road had become more of a public thoroughfare than a park drive. The park department was to continue its maintenance of the road as it had done previously. Hare and Hare’s 1957 master plan recommended that all of the land between the west side of the drive and the river be acquired for park purposes. Accordingly, Riverside Park was developed in the 1970s along the west side of Oakhurst Scenic Drive between East Belknap Street and Yucca Avenue.
Source notes See “Oakhurst Historic District,” National Register of Historic Places nomination, Listed on the National Register on February 24, 2010; 1938 Financial Report, Board of Park Commissioners, Records of the City of Fort Worth, Mayor and Council Proceedings, Council Proceedings 1938, Box 2, November 1938, File 1 of 2, Archives Unit, Fort Worth Library.  Minute Book 1, January 8, 1952 to September 28, 1954: Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners, April 1, 1952, p. 301; “Hare and Hare, A Master Plan of Park and Recreation Areas for Fort Worth, Texas, 1957,” p. 8.
Site originally submitted by Susan Kline on March 4, 2014.
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