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Lavish elegance and opulence are the foundation of this Georgian Revival house. Built in 1903 during the Cattle Baron Era of the West, Thistle Hill was designed and occupied by Electra Waggoner—daughter of cattleman William T. Waggoner—and her husband. Today it is considered a historic landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The house contains 18 rooms, each filled with turn-of-the century furnishings. Oak-paneled halls and solid limestone pillars are just a few of the fine craftsmanship details. The house is known as much for its architectural design elements as it is for the families who occupied it. Guided tours, which begin on the hour, are offered to provide insight on the family and the house's design and creation, as well as on local history.
Fort Worth's Water Gardens is a spectacular man-made creation. A crown jewel of Fort Worth, it is often used as a business, professional, wedding and tourist venue. Architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee were appointed by the Amon G. Carter foundation to create this masterpiece in the late 1960s. Covering over four blocks of downtown space, the Water Gardens offer outstanding sightseeing opportunities. More than 500 types of plants and trees adorn this 4.3 acre (1.7 hectare) park.
This building, designed by James J. Kane in the Gothic Revival style, has been in use since its completion in 1892. It features stunning hand-painted stained glass windows, which came over from Munich the year of the church's dedication. The church's bell was cast in 1889. Though damaged by the recent tornadoes that ripped through much of downtown Fort Worth, St. Patrick Cathedral still holds mass twice daily for the faithful. It was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1908.
English architect Howard Messer designed and built this magnificent home in 1899 for Fort Worth "Cattle Baron" William H. Eddleman. Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House is situated on a high bluff overlooking former pastureland and features stoic, towering gables, meticulously ornate trim, a red sandstone porch and copper finials in a traditional Victorian exterior. The interior is also exceptionally elaborate, with dark parquet floors, magnificent oak paneling and original, handcrafted wooden frameworks.
Situated in the heart of downtown, this mercantile and entertainment district features 20 blocks of renovated storefronts from the turn of the century. The nostalgic buildings and red brick streets pay tribute to Fort Worth's heritage and provide a very popular place to find great shopping, food and live performances of all kinds. Green sightseeing trolleys make it easier to take in all the sights, while horse-drawn carriages might be the ride of choice for those wanting to add a Victorian flair to their tour. A tourist information center provides the inside scoop on the best Sundance Square has to offer.
Towering angels watch over this magnificent Sundance Square concert hall which was modeled after New York City's Carnegie Hall. Great care was given to assure that this space would provide the best possible acoustics. Bass Performance Hall opened in 1998 as a venue for the acclaimed Van Cliburne International Piano Competition, an event held every four years. The hall also serves as home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet and the Fort Worth Opera. Visiting companies of all kinds — opera, modern dance, Broadway companies, etc. — perform in this elegant and majestic space. Valet parking and group discount rates are available too. Call for show times.
The nationally acclaimed Fort Worth Zoo is a pioneer in using natural habitats to showcase animals. Exotic animals are kept out of cages and left to freely roam in a natural environment. On most occasions, visitors are separated from the residents by only a river or a waterfall! Special exhibits include the world of primates, African Savannah, Asian falls and Texas wild. An onsite restaurant serves hamburgers, fries, pizza and BBQ, while a canopy of magnificent oak trees provides shelter from the hot Texas sun.
An exhausted cowboy slouches in his saddle after a hot, hard day of herding cattle over the plains. Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and a few other artists uniquely captured the struggle and challenge of the "Old West" with their art. Art collector, philanthropist and oilman Sid Richardson donated his personal collection of original art masterpieces to the museum, located in Fort Worth's Sundance Square Arts District. Features include both paintings and sculpture redolent of the early west.
Traveling through Fort Worth near downtown and the cultural district, Trinity Park winds along the river of the same name. Shakespeare's plays are presented in an amphitheater just off Seventh Street in a large area amid trees and slopes. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is opposite the University Drive, a few blocks north of I-30. The trails that span the entire park have played host to annual events such as the American Heart Walk and Mayfest. The paved multi-use hiking/biking trail serves joggers, skaters and runners. There are many playgrounds, shelters, picnic areas and restrooms scattered throughout.
Located in a very woodsy section of Trinity Park, this 19th-century grouping of log cabins is a true delight. The seven fully restored cabins originated in the 1850s. Volunteers who run the operation are adept at giving demonstrations of everyday activities from days gone by including corn grinding, candle dipping, spinning and weaving. Special programs such as pioneer pastimes are often held, showing children how people lived in pioneer times with examples of art, crafts and other displays. Check the website for admission prices and more.
Fragrant and serene, Fort Worth's Botanical Gardens offer beautiful trails and garden exhibits in one of the oldest and largest natural settings in North Texas. An extensive greenhouse area, housed in the garden's conservatory, showcases tropical plants and exotic birds in colorful settings. The Japanese Garden, a popular attraction among visitors, is tranquil and perfect for relaxation or contemplation. Special events abound throughout the year, such as the annual spring butterflies in the garden, with more than 6,000 butterflies adding color to the already magnificent setting.
Architect Louis I. Kahn won an award from the American Institute of Architects for this building's striking design. He used a series of arched glass ceilings to let in natural light and enhance the presentation of the many important pieces in the museum collection. The artwork comes from all over the world, with maestros such as Renoir, Picasso, Rubens and Rembrandt represented. Those desiring more exotic artwork will enjoy the Asian, African and Mediterranean collections. The Buffet Restaurant is open daily, offering different kinds of light fare depending on the time of day. Admission to the permanent collections is free.