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Landmark Tower (Fort Worth, Texas) facts for kids

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Landmark Tower
Landmark Tower small.png
The building in 2000
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Former names Continental National Bank Building (1957–1982), Texas Building (1982–1998)
General information
Type Office
Location 200 West 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas
Groundbreaking 1952
Opened 1957
Closed 1990
Demolished March 18, 2006
Height
Tip 420 feet (130 m)
Roof 380 feet (120 m)
Technical details
Floor count 30
Design and construction
Architecture firm Preston M. Geren & Associates

The Landmark Tower was a 30-story skyscraper in Fort Worth, Texas. Designed by Fort Worth architecture firm Preston M. Geren & Associates, Landmark Tower was the tallest building in the city from its opening in 1957 until the completion of The Fort Worth Tower in 1974. After being abandoned in 1990, the tower stood vacant for more than 15 years until it was demolished in 2006. It is one of the tallest buildings ever to be demolished.

Construction

The lower half original brick and granite building broke ground on June 27, 1950 and was completed in 1952. It was originally designed as a 28 story brick tower with a red granite base. It opened in 1952, was four stories tall and had one floor of the brick facade above the granite base. The building was originally built as the headquarters of the Continental National Bank of Fort Worth and ground was broken for the tower in 1952. However, the building only reached the fourth floor before construction was halted due to adverse economic conditions. Construction began again in 1956, building progression commenced, and was completed. It opened in 1957. The building was redesigned to support the rotating digital clock, which included cladding the building with an aluminum curtain wall instead of brick. It was built using a conventional steel frame with an aluminum curtain wall. At the time of its completion, the 380-foot (120 m) building was the tallest in the city, surpassing the 307-foot (94 m) 714 Main, built in 1921.

Lifespan

When the building opened in 1957, it included a four-sided 32 foot tall revolving digital clock and sign at the roof. Costing $196,000 and weighing 77 tons, it was the largest revolving digital clock and sign in the world at the time. As it was not included in the original designs, the installation required that the entire building be strengthened to support its weight. In addition, in 1971 a skywalk was built from the building's northeast side across Houston Street to provide easy access to a parking garage there. Although the machinery to rotate the clock stopped working in 1978, it was secured in place rather than being repaired. The clock continued to display the time until 1991.

Abandonment and Demolition

The building was abandoned in 1990 and stood vacant for the next 16 years. The building was hit by the F3 tornado on March 28, 2000 and suffered significant damage. The rotating digital 'CNB' (Continental National Bank) clock was removed from April 15-21, 2000 by orders of the City of Fort Worth for safety reasons. The skywalk was also removed during the same time. The building went through several owners through the years, and plans were to convert the skyscraper into a luxury apartment and condominium highrise in a similar fate to The Tower, however the project went bankrupt. The building was purchased under foreclosure by XTO Energy in January 2004. After determining that the estimated $62 million cost to refurbish the building was prohibitive, the company decided to raze the building to use the site for parking space and possibly a new building in the future. The company contracted Midwest Wrecking Company in November 2005 to perform the demolition. The lower half of where the original brick and granite building stood was removed, and after four months of preparation, the building was demolished by controlled explosive implosion on March 18, 2006 at 7:40 am. The demolition used 364 pounds (165 kg) of explosives and required 15 city blocks to be evacuated. Although at the time, XTO Energy discussed plans to eventually build a new 50 story skyscraper in its place. From 2008 to 2016, the site was occupied by a simple parking lot. In 2016 construction began on "Cowtown Place", a 6 level parking garage to replace the building.

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