The Fort Worth Children's Museum was chartered in 1941, and it finally opened in 1945 at DeZavala Elementary School. As the museum grew, it was moved to private homes. In 1950, the City of Fort Worth sold bonds to build a children's Museum and an art museum adjacent to the Will Rogers Complex. In 1954, the facility opened along with the Fort Worth Art Center on Montgomery Street. The museum featured several galleries and the Charlie Mary Noble Planetarium. It was the first planetarium in the world named after a woman. In the early years, the museum grew rapidly with additions built in 1961 and 1964. In 1983, the museum expanded again by adding an Omnimax Theater. It is appropriately named the Omni Theater. It was the first IMAX screen in the Southwest The theater addition was designed by Komatsu & Associates of Fort Worth. The museum was broadening their appeal, so in 1988, they changed their name to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Over the last several years, the museum has rapidly outgrown their space. It was determined that a major addition should be constructed and Lake/Flato Architects were hired to expand the building to the north. Eventually the museum board determined that the citizens of Fort Worth would be better served by constructing an entirely new state of the art building. Legorreta+Legorreta of Mexico City was chosen to design the new facility. The new design called for the demolition of the entire museum except for the Omni Theater. From late 2007 until August 2008, the Omni Theater was closed for renovation and the construction of the new building.
The new building features strong block shapes, and bold colors. These are typical of Legorreta+Legorreta designs. However, the colors have been muted somewhat to blend in more with the architecture in the Cultural District. The focal point of the building is the entrance lantern, which sits on the axis of Burnett-Tandy Drive, formerly Crestline Road. The old footprint of the museum's southern edge was on the north side of Burnett-Tandy Drive. With the construction of the new building, the southern edge is now near the adjacent National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame. One of the trees that lined the street has been integrated into one of the museum's courtyards.