Much like the day the building was dedicated, a couple hundred federal employees and other dignitaries gathered outside the Fritz G. Lanham Federal Building downtown Wednesday to celebrate the building’s 50th anniversary.
The building’s namesake represented Fort Worth in the U.S. House for 28 years. The 14-story building opened in September 1966 and housed 37 federal agencies. Today, about 2,000 federal employees work there, along with about 700 contract employees.
Kevin Mack, grandson of the late House Speaker Jim Wright of Fort Worth, who won the building for Fort Worth, was on hand.
“What a solid career it has had,” said Mack, who works in the building for the General Services Administration, the real estate arm of the federal government. “My grandfather loved this city dearly.”
Also on hand were Ames Fender, the grandson of Wyatt C. Hedrick, one of the building’s architects, and Jennifer Easterling with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, who at a little more than 42 years, is the employee who has worked in the building the longest.
Mayor Betsy Price presented a proclamation, saying “I always thought this was a really cool building.” Price’s father operated an office nearby and Price was sent to buy postage at the building when she worked for him.
The GSA’s regional office in the building put together a time capsule to open at the building’s centennial celebration. It includes a current 1040 tax form and a news article about President Barack Obama, said GSA regional administrator Sylvia Hernandez.