Sundance Square

Fort Worth Travel Blog

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Tarrant County Court House (1895)
On Tuesday and Wednesday evening I was able to go a few blocks uptown to the old downtown area of Fort Worth, promoted as Sundance Square. It's a nicely restored area, a mix of restaurants, clubs, and offices. I'm not sure if this is "real" Fort Worth, but it's the face Fort Worth likes to put forward. In the middle is the Chisholm Trail Mural. The mural celebrates Fort Worth's "cow town" heritage as the head of the Chisholm Trail that led cattle drives and cowboys north to Abilene, Kansas. (One Fort Worth resident told me a local saying goes "Fort Worth is where The West begins ... Dallas is where The East peters out.
Tarrant County Court House
" There is rivalry between the two neighboring cities.)

Downtown is an eclectic mix of restored and repurposed two-story buildings, new low-rise buildings built to look like Old West buildings, and office towers from the early 20th century to present. Fort Worth is very aware of its history and historical markers are found everywhere! On the suggestion of a colleague, I sought out the Sid Richardson Museum on Main Street. The small art museum contains a collection of Western paintings by Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington. What a gem! Viewing less than 50 paintings, I felt I came to understand the style and purpose of both famous Western painters better than in a visit to a much larger museum. At the head of Main Street, I wanted to see the Tarrant County Courthouse, an imposing structure completed in 1895.
Fort Worth history historical marker
Beyond it is the Trinity River, where Fort Worth began as an frontier Army post in 1850.

I came to Sundance Square on Wednesday evening for dinner and to wait for nightfall for more night photography. I'd already selected Riscky's Barbeque as my dinner destination. It was interesting to learn the story of Riscky's. It was founded as a deli by an immigrant from Poland. He sold meat sandwiches to stockyard cowboys and from his sandwiches developed the sliced Beef Brisket barbecue sandwich I enjoyed for dinner. I thought about the similarities with Eastern European immigrants founding delis in New York and Montreal. In all three places, the European deli meat sandwiches have evolved into a icon of the locality. I also had an interesting conversation with the waitress at Riscky's. Like everyone else I met in Fort Worth, she wanted to know where I was from, as well as how I had found Riscky's.
Cowboy floral sculpture
(I'm tall, but definitely do not look like a cowboy. Guess it was obvious I was an out-of-towner.) We got to talking about regional barbecue varieties. I told her about Virginia and Carolina barbecue (pulled pork or ribs) with which she was not familiar. In Texas, barbecue means beef.

After dinner, I could hear live music nearby. The Square was jumping with a Texas Music Series outdoor concert. Young people jammed the space to catch the music. The girls were dressed in short denim skirts and cowgirl boots, traditional clubbing attire in these parts. (LOL--I remember girls who would now be these girls' mothers wearing the same attire 30 years ago!) The crowd enjoyed the sounds of the Josh Abbott Band and I stayed off to the side for a while to listen. I discovered there was a lot of music in Fort Worth.
Texas Longhorn floral sculpture
While I was there, a noontime performance series was taking place at Burnett Park. (No time to attend any of those concerts. But I did catch sight of the tall "Briefcase Man" sculpture in the park.)

I left the crowd enjoying their live music festival to see more of the Square at night. The Barnes and Noble bookstore was open until 10:00 p.m. and had a late night clientele. Bass Performance Hall was brightly illuminated. Two huge angels with trumpets proclaimed it as a temple of music. (The theatre was "dark" however. The next attraction would be Little House on the Prairie The Musical.) I liked the way many other buildings around the Square were illuminated with beads of lights highlighting their outline. Many opportunities for photos as I made my way back to the Omni Hotel.
williamsworld says:
Hope you enjoyed your visit. Come back anytime.

Cheers
Posted on: May 28, 2010
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Tarrant County Court House (1895)
Tarrant County Court House (1895)
Tarrant County Court House
Tarrant County Court House
Fort Worth history historical mark…
Fort Worth history historical mar…
Cowboy floral sculpture
Cowboy floral sculpture
Texas Longhorn floral sculpture
Texas Longhorn floral sculpture
KTFW radio remote truck
KTFW radio remote truck
Jett Building
Jett Building
Chisholm Trail Mural
Chisholm Trail Mural
Cattle Drives historical marker
Cattle Drives historical marker
Fire Station One (1907)
Fire Station One (1907)
Knights of Pythias Hall (1901)
Knights of Pythias Hall (1901)
Land Title Block (1889), now the F…
Land Title Block (1889), now the …
Bass Performance Hall (1997)
Bass Performance Hall (1997)
Wells Fargo Tower (1982)
Wells Fargo Tower (1982)
500 West 7th building (1961), afte…
500 West 7th building (1961), aft…
Outdoor sculptures
Outdoor sculptures
Briefcase Man sculpture in Burnett…
Briefcase Man sculpture in Burnet…
First Christian Church (1914)
First Christian Church (1914)
Tarrant County Court House at Twil…
Tarrant County Court House at Twi…
A crowd enjoys the Texas Music Ser…
A crowd enjoys the Texas Music Se…
Neon sign for KTFW radio
Neon sign for KTFW radio
Neon sign for The Ranch radio
Neon sign for The Ranch radio
Simpson Building
Simpson Building
Fort Worth Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Great Texas barbeque in downtown Fort Worth
I wanted to try Texas-style barbeque during my trip to Fort Worth. Regional barbeques are different and Texas barbeque is focused on beef dishes. Look… read entire review
Fort Worth Sights & Attractions review
A gem of a museum
The Sid Richardson Museum displays a collection of Western art by American painters Frederic Remington (1861-1909) and Charles M. Russell (1864-1926).… read entire review
Fort Worth Sights & Attractions review
Entertainment and Food in Sundance Square
Sundance Square is a 22-square block dining and entertainment area in traditional downtown Fort Worth. Downtown Fort Worth has been redeveloped as an … read entire review
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An outstanding hotel in Fort Worth
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Fort Worth
photo by: chiyeh