Architecture in Fort Worth

 

Municipal Parking Garage

1200 Houston St. - 2009

This municipal parking garage is the only downtown parking garage that does not look like one.  It was designed by Jacobs (formerly Carter+Burgess).  The building was designed as a part of the city's Public Art Program.  It features ground floor retail space fronting on Houston and Throckmorton Streets.  The entry to the parking garage is located on 11th Street, which is only one block long at the block where the garage is located.  The design of the garage is inspired by the Art Deco buildings present in the city.  One building in particular served as inspiration for the 11 story garage, and that was the Public Safety and Courts Building, designed by Wyatt C. Hedrick.  Stair towers in each corner of the building are clad in colored glass, with each corner being a different color.  On the center of the Houston Street facade is an 8 story rounded black entry element.  Between the columns of this curved entry are chevron shaped vertical grilles.  The remainder of the facade has square ventilation openings.  On the Throckmorton Street side, vertical, colored glass fins decorated the center section of the garage.  These colored fins cast different colors on the garage, street, and sidewalks on the west side of the building.  At night, these fins are illuminated with LED lighting that changes color.  In addition to the light show, the building has its own individual sounds.  The 11th & 12th Street facades appear to be more of a standard parking garage appearance, but they do feature rounded trim pieces on the spandrel panels.  It appears that the building is clad in stone on the base and brick on the upper level, but in reality all of the masonry materials are stamped and colored precast concrete panels that imitate the look of more expensive materials.  Christopher Janney designed the lighting and sound effects.