Fort Worth Star-Telegram Building – 400 W. Seventh Street

400 W. Seventh Street [NR], Fort Worth Star-Telegram Building, 1920; 1940; 1947-49; 1967-70.   Founded as the Fort Worth Star in 1906 and incorporating the rival Telegram in 1909, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was Texas’ largest newspaper prior to World War II.  Publisher Among G. Carter, Sr., (1879-1955) used it as a vehicle to promote Fort Worth and a never-ending list of civic causes.  The Star-Telegram Building was constructed in 1921 by the noted Fort Worth architectural firm of Sanguinet and Staats.  W.C. Hedrick Construction Co. was the general contractor.  Hedrick, an architect and engineer, became associated with Sanguinet and Staats in 1922, forming the firm Sanguinet, Staats, and Hedrick.  The basement level contained the presses; the first floor held business and circulation offices; the second executives, cartoonists, and editorial writers; the third, editorial, engraving, the “morgue,” and photography; and the stereotyping and composing facilities occupied the fourth floor.

Constructed of reinforced concrete, the first floor of the building was faced in limestone while the upper floors were brick with terra cotta trim.  The terra cotta frieze along the top of the building incorporates a medallion with the Star-Telegram insignia.  Among the building’s unique features was a driveway and loading area in the back part of the building.  Trucks entered from Taylor St., papers were loaded on the trucks by conveyors from the mailing room, and exited onto Seventh St. without having to back up or turn around.

A minor 1940 addition designed by Wyatt C. Hedrick “squared off” the back of the building making it a full rectangle.  In 1947-49 William Ginsberg Associates of New York, a firm specializing in newspaper plant engineering, designed an addition to the north of the original building, effectively doubling its size.  Thomas S. Byrne, Inc. was the contractor for this project.  The last major addition and remodeling, undertaken from 1967 to 1970, bridged Sixth St., providing four additional floors and two basements.  Designed by Preston M. Geren and constructed by Thomas S. Byrne, Inc., the project also involved alterations to the ground floor of the older building.  Although altered, the building may be eligible for the National Register on the basis of its important role in the history of communications and news media in Texas and the Southwest, as well as for its architectural qualities.

Leave a Comment