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Fort Worth Building On Its Museums, Cultural Attrations

Two cultural jewels joined Fort Worth’s renowned museum district in recent years, creating permanent homes for legendary women of the West, and masterpieces of post-war paintings and sculpture. The debut of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the opening of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame brings to five the number of major museums now at home in the city’s Cultural District. Esteemed fellow institutions here include the Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

And more projects will continue Fort Worth’s current momentum. The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility - where 50 percent of the country’s bills are printed - opened its new tour facility and visitors center in April, 2004. A viewing gallery allows visitors to observe the manufacturing of U.S. paper currency, similar to the popular tour now available at its Washington, D.C. facility. Also on the schedule is a new home for the Cattle Raisers Museum in the Cultural District.

Additional developments have contributed to the energy of Fort Worth, a city of a half-million residents that is equally proud of its preserved Western heritage and its prominent cultural institutions. Downtown’s Sundance Square, a 20-block entertainment district named for Western outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is a model of urban revitalization. This popular district is home to the Bass Performance Hall, restaurants, theaters, galleries, shops, hotels, and residential projects.

Nearby, the Stockyards National Historic District embodies the city’s famed Western heritage, with attractions, daily cattle drives, rodeos, saloons, and restored structures dating to the early 1900s.

Major-league auto racing also brings an exciting dimension to the city, as site of the Texas Motor Speedway, the nation’s second-largest sports facility (with room for more than 200,000 fans.) NASCAR and Indy car races, along with many other forms of automobile racing, driving schools, and public tours, are held at the super speedway.

The Modern's Outstanding Building
Designed by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando, the landmark building for the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is now the second-largest museum of modern art in America, next to MoMA New York. The $60 million museum opened to worldwide acclaim on December 14, 2002. Hailed as one of the most significant architectural projects in the nation, the design embodies the pure, unadorned elements of a modern work of art, with massive planar walls of architectural concrete and immense cantilevered cast-concrete roofs. The new Modern offers more than 53,000 square feet of exhibit space and 11 naturally landscaped acres, including a 1.5-acre reflecting pond.

The Modern maintains one of the foremost collections of postwar art in the central United States, consisting of more than 2,400 significant works of modern and contemporary international art.

"Cowtown" Boasts National Cowgirl Museum
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring and documenting the distinguished women of the American West, opened to the public in June 2002. Designed by David Schwarz, also responsible for other major structures in and around Fort Worth, including downtown’s Bass Performance Hall and The Ballpark in Arlington, the 33,000-square-foot, $21 million facility includes three galleries housing an interactive permanent collection and traveling exhibits, plus a multi-purpose theater, an expanded research library, a retail store, and the Hall of Fame. Museum exhibitions salute the trailblazing efforts and strength, character and courage of the American cowgirl.

Women from a wide-range of backgrounds are honored here, such as Sacajawea, principal guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition; painter Georgia O’Keeffe; potter Maria Martinez; sharpshooter Annie Oakley; author Laura Ingalls Wilder; and Hollywood film icon Dale Evans.

"Hottest Downtown in Texas" Keeps Pace
A $75 million expansion to the Fort Worth Convention Center is attracting a new level of professional meetings and tradeshows to the city. Completed in May 2003, the Center now offers 253,226 square feet of exhibit space, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom, 41 meeting rooms, and a grand new exterior. A 55,000-square-foot events plaza connects the Center to the famous Fort Worth Water Gardens, which sit adjacent to the building.

Located nearby, the downtown Fort Worth Rail Market is Texas’ first true public market, offering a unique shopping and dining experience, including an adjacent farmer’s market, in the original Santa Fe Warehouse.

The Trinity Railway Express now connects Downtown Fort Worth and Downtown Dallas via a commuter rail train. The ride takes approximately one hour. Board the TRE at two stations in downtown Fort Worth: the T&P Station and the Intermodal Transportation Center.

LaGrave Field, home of the Fort Worth Cats minor-league baseball club which was founded in 1888, is in play again and has returned to its original site between downtown and the Historic Stockyards. The $4 million stadium is a classic ballpark, seating 5,000 patrons.

More Developments
Other recent developments include Texas Wild!, a $40 million addition to the Fort Worth Zoo, which opened in June 2001. Texas Wild!, one of the most ambitious projects at any American zoo, recreates the distinct terrains of the Lone Star state, providing a showcase for the indigenous animals, flora and fauna that inhabit the areas.

Another cultural addition attracted national attention with the October 2001 reopening of the Amon Carter Museum, following its two-year, $39 million expansion. Designed by the museum’s original architect, Philip Johnson, the Carter offers 28,000-square-feet of exhibit space and houses an outstanding collection of American and Western art ranging from 1825 to 1950, including iconic works by Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Georgia O’Keffee, Albert Bierstadt, Marsden Hartley, and Eliot Porter.

The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, housed in the Stockyards National Historic District’s original horse and mule barns, pays tribute to top cowboys and cowgirls in Texas. Also included in this new museum is the Sterquell Wagon Collection, featuring more than 60 beautifully preserved antique wagons, and the John Justin Trail of Fame.

The information in this report is provided courtesy of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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