Flatiron Building – 1000 Houston Street

1000 Houston Street [NR/RTHL/Sky(NR)], Flatiron Building, 1907.  Known in the early 1900s as the tallest building in North Texas, the Flatiron Building is one of the architectural landmarks of downtown Fort Worth.  Designed by the important local firm of Sanguinet and Staats, and erected in 1907, the building demonstrates a creative response to its wedge-shaped site, an adept use of materials, and an inventive ornamental system borrowing from both the Renaissance Revival (as in the arched windows) and the Prairie School (as in the stylized brick capitals).  It is an excellent local example of a national type, emulating such structures as the Flatiron Building in New York (1902; D.H. Burnham) and the Crocker Building in San Francisco (1892; A. Page Brown).  It was one of the first buildings in Fort Worth to employ a steel-frame structural system, and is the earliest remaining skyscraper in the city.  Erected for Dr. Bacon Saunders, Dean of City Medical College, an acclaimed pioneer of medicine in Texas and surgeon for nine railroads, the building was originally used to house doctors’ offices.  The building has passed through a number of owners in recent years and presently stands vacant, with plans for restoration.  The Flatiron Building was designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1968 and listed on the National Register in 1971.  It is also a contributor to the proposed Downtown Skyscrapers National Register Thematic Group.

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