Fort Worth

Fort Worth's list of "endangered places" includes this 123-year-old building on the near south side

Historic Fort Worth released its Most Endangered Places list Tuesday and for the first time it includes the century-old Eagle Steam Bread Bakery building at 665 S. Main St.

The 2018 list includes the vanishing old homes, Pioneers Rest Cemetery and the live oak tree named "Trader's Oak," along Samuels Avenue, the city's original neighborhood.

The former Fort Worth Power & Light Plant on Main Street owned by the Tarrant County College District and the Fort Worth Public Market Building is owned by a real estate investment entity of the the billionaire Wilks family in Cisco.

Historic Fort Worth began a most endangered places list in 2004. Since then, a couple dozen of the buildings and places have been saved as a result, but some have been demolished, the organization said.

The Eagle Steam Bakery building was designed by architect Ludwig B. Weinman, who immigrated to Fort Worth in 1884, according to Historic Fort Worth. The structure was built in 1895 for Eagle Steam Bakery, which later changed its name to Doherty Baking Co., after the company's founder.

Churchill Properties, which has been rehabilitating structures on the city's burgeoning south side, owns the building. It is designated an historic and cultural landmark by Fort Worth.

Samuels Avenue has been under intense development pressure in recent years and doesn't have historic district protections, Historic Fort Worth said. Only three residences are designated as landmarks. In 2006, Historic Fort Worth identified 127 residences that would qualify for the historic district, but today only 91 of those structures remain.

"It's not too late to set a district boundary to ensure a balance of old and new on Samuels Avenue," the group said.

In addition, Pioneers Rest Cemetery, where many of Fort Worth's early leaders are buried, has no historic designation, the group said.

The Fort Worth Power & Light Plant was built in 1912 by the Cleveland Construction Co. of Ohio on the west side of the North Main Street bridge at the confluence of the east and west branches of the Trinity River. It's on the list for the eighth time.

TCC has owned the building since 2004, last known as the TXU Power Plant. In 2014, TCC trustees issued a request for qualifications from developers and other real estate professionals for help with the building, but nothing came of those.

Historic Fort Worth said it hopes TCCD will professionally mothball the structure if they have no immediate plans.

"Unfortunately, holes remain in the roof that allow water to collect inside and many windows are broken," the group said.

The Fort Worth Public Market Building, 1400 Henderson St., was built in 1930 by Oklahoma City developer John J. Harden. It was used by local farmers, vendors and other businesses. The market closed in 1941 and has since had a few small businesses operate from there, but it's been largely vacant since 2004.

In 1980, the property was listed as a Texas historic landmark and in 1984 placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2010, fire destroyed the wooden stalls on the backside of the building on the west and south sides. Texas Rangers co-owner and XTO founder Bob Simpson bought the building in 2012, but sold it two years later. The current owners bought the building in March 2017, deed records show.

"The Public Market was plagued with economic difficulties during the Depression," Historic Fort Worth said. "It has since housed a number of businesses, but has been vacant and in need of attention for several years."

Sandra Baker: 817-390-7727, @SandraBakerFWST
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