Bob R. Simpson Building

711 Houston St. - 1910; addition 1926; addition & remodeling 1967; restoration 2005

  • Before Restoration
    Before Restoration
  • Bob R. Simpson Building in 2017
    Bob R. Simpson Building in 2017
  • Bob R. Simpson Building at Night
    Bob R. Simpson Building at Night
  • Bob R. Simpson Building Restored Clock at Night
    Bob R. Simpson Building Restored Clock at Night

Historic Designations:
National Register of Historic Places
City of Fort Worth Demolition Delay

Baker Building
First National Bank


Sanguinet & Staats designed the original building, which was only 50 feet wide.  This building is 11 stories and is one of Fort Worth's early skyscrapers. It was originally designed for the First National Bank of Fort Worth and featured a colonnade entrance on Houston Street.  William Miller Sons and Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania built the original structure for the First National Bank of Fort Worth.  Wyatt C. Hedrick designed the addition in 1926 that doubled its facade along Houston Street, but at the rear, was only three stories tall.  Harry B. Friedman constructed the expansion.  As the bank grew, there was a need for a larger building. The First National Bank moved to their new headquarters at 500 W. 7th in 1961.  In 1965, the property was sold to investor E.L. Baker.  Baker then chose to rename the building after himself.  The building is a classical Beaux Arts design; however, in 1967 the entire base of the building was removed and pre-cast concrete panels were installed. The four story section had eight more floors constructed on top of it, bringing the tower to a full quarter block.  The original three story banking hall was also destroyed at this time by adding a floor between the mezzanine and the floor above. The architects for the renovation were Hueppelsheuser & White of Fort Worth and Butcher & Sweeney were the General Contractors.  This was a good example of how not to renovate an historic skyscraper.  In 2003, the building was sold to XTO Energy, then owners of the W.T. Waggoner Building.  In 2004, work began to remodel the interior.  Uncovered behind a 1980's bank renovation, were remnants of the original banking lobby.  Portions of decorative beams were uncovered along with the original mezzanine.  The three story lobby space is not intact, since that intermediate floor was constructed above the mezzanine.  The mezzanine was then used for mechanical equipment and ducts.  Very little detailing remains from the original interior with only some of the plaster remaining on the columns and some of the ceilings and beams under the mezzanine.  The 1967 remodeled base was removed, leaving the building's structure exposed in the area that held the original banking lobby and the original base was put back in place. The restored building was rededicated and renamed the Bob R. Simpson Building on November 3, 2005.  In 2010, Exxon Mobil purchased XTO Energy, but left them in Fort Worth until 2017. At that time, it was announced that all of their properties, except for one would be sold. The Bob R. Simpson Building was chosen by Exxon Mobil to remain as the regional headquarters for XTO Energy.


Fort Worth Public Library's 1925 Construction Photographs


Historic Photographs from UTA Library Digital Galleries
1910 Photograph

Late 1920's Photograph

1949 Photo of Bank Lobby

1950 Photo of Building and Area to the North

1957 Photo of Building

1957 View of Base at Night


Architectural Style:

Beaux Arts

Original Architect:

Sanguinet & Staats, Fort Worth

1926 Addition Architect:

Wyatt C. Hedrick, Fort Worth

1967 Addition/Remodel Architect:

Hueppelsheuser & White, Fort Worth


Office Building