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Texas | Architecture

Buildings inside Buildings

It happened more often than you would think.

by John Troesser

Number One:
Little Church in the Warehouse
, Fort Worth

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.
Fourth Street Church The 1887 First Methodist Church (or the Fourth Street Church)
as it appears today

TE Photo February 2004
Fourth Street Church Another view of the church
TE Photo February 2004
When 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.

Fort Worth Hotels › Book Here

Number Two:
The Siddons-Barnes Log Cabin, Chico, Texas (Wise County)

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.
Siddon-Barnes log cabin The Siddons-Barnes Log Cabin, once the schoolhouse and church
TE Photo February 2004
Siddon-Barnes log cabin Rear view of the cabin.
TE Photo February 2004
In 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.

Number Three:
History in the Hotel Lobby, Austin, Texas

No photos currently available

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.

Austin Hotels > Book Hotel Here



John Troesser
April 21, 2004

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