Martin Sprocket & Gear

3600 McCart Ave - 1919

The Texas Motorcar Association purchased the land for this site in 1917, just south of the city limits at that time.  The 36 acre parcel sits at the junction of the old Fort Worth Belt Line and Frisco Railroads.  That location is known as Belt Junction.  The Texas Motorcar Association opened this building in 1919 with the hopes of constructing a luxury automobile called "The Texan".  The factory fell on hard times when General Motors and Ford started outselling the Texan.  By 1922, the company was out of business and the property was sold at an auction.  In 1924, the northern 20 acres were sold to Worth Mills for the construction of their facility at the time.  That structure has since become Tandy Wire and Cable. From 1922 until 1927, rubber tires were made at the plant by the Monkey Grip Rubber Company.  In 1927, the plant was sold to Fort Worth Steel and Machinery Co., makers of oil field and oil well supplies.  In the early 1990's Fort Worth Steel was purchased by Martin Sprocket and Gear Co.

The building is constructed with dark red brick and cast stone trim and features a raised corner tower on the south end of the long facade along McCart Avenue.  The tower is topped by a rounded parapet with cast stone trim.  The letter "T" is inscribed in the panel of the parapet of the tower.  The parapet of the main facade undulates in several patterns.  This decorative facade is along the entire east face of the building and for one bay on the north and the south walls.  The remainder of the plant is of simple brick construction.  The building is set back quite some distance from McCart because a three story administration building once stood closer to the street.  It was demolished in 1971.  Large brick and cast stone piers marked the corners of the property along McCart.  The northern one at Belt Junction was removed in the 1990's.  The southern one, near the intersection with W. Butler Street, remains.  The building is mostly intact, but an entrance block was constructed in 1977 in front of the building and the original windows have been replaced.

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