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Wells Fargo Tower and DR Horton Tower (City Center Towers I and II)

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1981, 1982, Paul Rudolph with 3D/International. 201 Main St. and 301 Commerce St.

The two camshaft-like gray glass towers were the first phase of the Bass brothers’ project for reinvigorating Fort Worth’s Main Street. Anne Hendricks and Sid R. Bass had commissioned New York City architect Paul Rudolph, dean of architecture at Yale University when the brothers studied there in the 1960s, to design their residence in Westover Hills. The office towers, thirty-two and thirty-seven stories tall, are accompanied by a thousand-car parking garage, which evokes Rudolph’s iconic Temple Street Parking Garage (1963) in New Haven, Connecticut. Entrances to the towers include detached escalators rising through the exposed structural columns, lessening the visual mass of the towers at grade. The pinwheel plan arrangement of the towers, most evident at their tops as the projecting elements that Rudolph called “ears” appear to rotate around the perimeter, provide upper-level decks. These were among the last large projects by Rudolph in the United States; most of his subsequent buildings were in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Jakarta.

Adjacent at 200 Main, the dramatically terraced Renaissance Worthington Hotel (1981) by 3D/International based on Rudolph’s schematic design bridges over Houston Street. It provides a level of amenity desired by the Bass family for distinguished visitors. The Worthington connects City Center Towers to the three-block-long Tandy Center (1977, Growald Architects; 200 Throckmorton Street), a suburban, galleria-type mega-structure anchored at each end by twenty-story high-rise office buildings (City Place; 2008; 2014 rehabilitated). With the demolition of blocks of older buildings, Tandy Center set the precedent for redevelopment of the west side of downtown in the late twentieth century.

Brick paving, still in fine condition on Main Street and other downtown streets, was laid in 1928 with city funding.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Wells Fargo Tower and DR Horton Tower (City Center Towers I and II)", [Fort Worth, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 202-203.

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