Fort Worth Botanic Garden Cascade Fountain & Upper Rose Garden Shelter

Fort Worth Botanic Garden Cascade Fountain & Upper Rose Garden Shelter, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard

The rehabilitation of the Municipal Rose Garden, the signature feature of the historic portion of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, was recently completed by Bennett Benner Partners. The garden was designed by the nationally known landscape architecture firm Hare and Hare of Kansas City, Missouri and constructed in 1933 by men who had formerly been on the county’s relief rolls. The significance of the rose garden and other historic features of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden was recognized in 2009 when they were listed on the National Register of Historic Places at the national level of significance as a designed landscape.

The restoration of the upper Rose Garden shelter, cascade, and rose ramp is the second phase of a project funded by the Fort Worth Garden Club and constructed by The Fain Group with help from Hull Historical, Lon Smith Roofing, Iron Age Designs, Jag Ironworks, Austin Masonry & InControl Fountains. The scope of the restoration included patching and repairing the Palo Pinto sandstone walls and walkways, repairing the sandstone scuppers at the cascade, resurfacing the cascade basins, replacing the fountain spray head in the small reflecting pool, and replacing the wood members at the shelter. The non-original cedar wood was removed and replaced with Ipe wood members and trim which were detailed to match the original in profile. Lighting upgrades were incorporated into the shelter to provide general illumination in the evenings. Outlets and anchors were also incorporated for festival lights to be installed at the underside of the shelter for special occasions.

In addition to the basin and scupper renovation a new lion’s head sculpture was carved from limestone by a local artist to replace the cast stone head that was installed after the original was destroyed. The character of the new lion’s head draws on classical influences and is distinct but compatible to the existing historic masonry. Bronze handrails were installed at the existing stairs to help navigate the transition from the upper shelter to the rose ramp and cascade. At the bottom of the rose ramp the existing non-original grating was replaced with a cast iron grate that is compliant with current accessibility codes. The style and character of the grating was selected to complement the existing historic metalwork.

HFW 2016 Preservation Awards and Cantey Lecture Series photographed Thursday, Sept 22, 2016. Photography by Bruce E. Maxwell.

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