Just off the northern
perimeter of Sundance Square in downtown Fort
Worth is a tidy stabilized ruin of what is though to be the oldest
brick structure in Fort
Worth. Built in 1887, this was The First Methodist Church which
was also known as the Fourth Street Church. It replaced a 1874 wooden
structure that had formerly occupied the same site.
Little Church in the Warehouse, Fort
1887 First Methodist Church (or the Fourth Street Church)
as it appears today
TE Photo February 2004
view of the church
TE Photo February 2004
commercial interests bought the site, they built a warehouse around
the walls of the old church, figuring that it was easier than demolishing
the building. They may also have had qualms about demolishing a church,
but whatever the reason, it certainly surprised the contractor who
was removing the warehouse in 1998. It was brought to the attention
of preservationists and today it provides more charm to what is already
Texas' best downtown.
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This is a case
of practicality. This tiny (256 square foot) cabin is believed to
have been built in the 1870s serving as both schoolhouse and church
before being bought by a Doctor Siddon in 1883. Siddon and his wife
enclosed the cabin by building other rooms around it and when it was
sold in 1918 it became the property of a family named Barnes.
view of the cabin.
the 1970s when the added rooms were being demolished, the cabin nucleus
was found and saved. It was moved while the lot was cleared and then
moved back to this site in 1987.
No photos currently
History in the Hotel Lobby, Austin,
The third entry is a study in creative compromise. The smaller building
is the former home of Susannah
Dickinson, the widow of an Alamo
defending officer. Mrs. Dickenson was spared to take news of the Alamo's
fall to the people of Gonzales.
She remarried several times and this house was her final residence.
When a hotel chain wanted the property for development, they worked
out a compromise where the house would be well cared for.
The plan calls for the house to be placed on the ground floor of the
hotel where it will remain in a controlled climate - something Susannah
Dickinson could never have imagined in her wildest dreams. This
plan will allow public viewing and provide an up-close look at Texas
history for guests of the hotel.
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© John Troesser
April 21, 2004