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Window glass secured; Sundance Square reopens

FORT WORTH -- Streets around Sundance Square reopened Friday afternoon after workers secured cracked windows in the downtown D.R. Horton Tower, police said.

Streets were closed from late Thursday evening until about 2:30 p.m. Friday because police were concerned that chunks of glass loosened by severe weather Thursday morning might hit pedestrians.

Consequently, some restaurants and businesses were closed. Others stayed open, but their entrances facing the square were inaccessible. Among the businesses were 8.0, City Streets and the Flying Saucer.

"We're open for business," Tracy Gilmour, director of marketing for Sundance Square, proclaimed at 4:30 p.m. "As we speak, we have people on the patio at 8.0. We've got people on the patio at the Flying Saucer."

Crews covered the damaged glass to secure it until more extensive repairs are made, said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman.

The work was originally expected to take four hours, Gilmour said.

"But safety comes first," she added, "and we were patient."

Officers were concerned that winds might hamper the repair efforts, but a National Weather Service meteorologist said winds were expected to be light throughout the day.

Police on Thursday evening closed streets and told patrons to leave restaurants and bars in Sundance Square because of concerns about glass falling from the 38-story tower at 301 Commerce St.

"Those panes weigh 400 pounds," said police Sgt. John Perez, "and if even a chip comes off of them, it would be like throwing a rock down from 20 stories.

"If the winds kick up, falling glass can swirl around the building."

And, he added, a chunk could land virtually anywhere around the building.

He said that's what happened on March 28, 2000 when a tornado slammed into the former Bank One Tower.

The streets closed in the three-block perimeter were Main at 2nd, 3rd and 4th; Commerce at 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th; and Calhoun Street at 2nd, 3rd and 4th.