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Fort Worth Flashback: Water Gardens are an architectural and engineering marvel

Posted July 20, 2012

water gardens

The Fort Worth Water Gardens, between Houston and Commerce streets at West Lancaster Avenue, were built in 1974.

This park was designed by famed New York architect Philip Johnson. It was constructed by Thos. S. Byrne General Contractors of Fort Worth. The 4.3 acre gardens were dedicated to the City of Fort Worth by the Amon G. Carter Foundation.

The water park is an oasis in the concrete jungle on the south end of downtown. The park features three pools of water: the aerating pool, the quiet pool and the active pool, with water tumbling down a series of terraces to a small pit.

The original layout of the park was modified to allow direct access from the Fort Worth Convention Center expansion. This included a new north entrance to the park and restoration of the multiple sprays in the aerating pool.

Part of the film “Logan’s Run” was filmed in the active pool at the Water Gardens in July 1975. The pool is also featured briefly at the end of the 1979 TV adaptation of “The Lathe of Heaven.”

Water Gardens

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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