Architecture in Fort Worth

M.L. Kirkpatrick Middle School

3201 Refugio Ave. - 1950; 1953; 1956; 1998; 2003 (CFW)

 

This 3 story, International Style school building was designed by Birch Easterwood of Easterwood and Easterwood to provide a modern school for the African American community on the city's North Side.  The building was designed to take advantage of the sloping site, with multiple levels within each of the three levels of the building.  The school features yellow brick with paired windows on the facade.  The school was named after Milton L. Kirkpatrick, Vice Principal at I.M. Terrell High School.  The original design was an "L" shape.  The east/west wing is three stories with a partial basement, and the north/south wing, fronting Refugio Avenue is two stories.  When completed, the building featured a combination auditorium/gymnasium on the main level.  When the school opened in 1950, it was a combined elementary/junior high.  In 1953, senior high students were added and this brought an eight classroom addition placed on the north end of the front facade.  This addition was designed by Easterwood and Easterwood.    In 1956, a new gymnasium was constructed on the west side of the building, near Lincoln Avenue.  At that time, the auditorium/gymnasium was converted to an auditorium.    At some point in time, the building became a middle school, and when the building was air conditioned, the upper portions of the windows were filled in.  In 1998, a free standing activity building was constructed in the back of the building toward Lincoln Avenue.  Then, in 2003, another classroom wing was added heading west from the northernmost portion of the building, making the current plan a "U" shape.  Due to its architectural and cultural significance, the building has been designated a City of Fort Worth Historic and Cultural Landmark.