Lone Star Gas Company Building – 909 Monroe Street

908 Monroe Street [NR], Lone Star Gas Company Building, 1929; 1957.  Lone Star Gas Co., organized in 1909, provided natural gas from fields in Petrolia, Texas to domestic and industrial users in Henrietta, Petrolia, and Wichita Falls.  After a pipeline from Petrolia to Fort Worth was completed in 1910, the company became the city’s major source of natural gas distributed through the Fort Worth Gas Co. Lone Star Gas Co. grew rapidly during the 1920s, meeting a growing need for industrial, commercial, and residential development.  Architect Wyatt C. Hedrick was commissioned to design the company’s office building, which was erected in 1929 by C.L. Hudgens, general contractor.  As originally constructed, the building was four stories tall, but three 1991 photograph additional floors were added in 1957.  Hedrick also designed this addition which was built by Cain & Cain, general contractors.

According to Judith Singer Cohen, author of Cowtown Moderne, the Lone Star Gas Co. Building was the first structure in Fort Worth to combine “the architectural as well as the decorative elements of the Zigzag Moderne Style in its exterior design.”  Although much of the structure’s ornamentation, including the commanding black granite entrance, drew its inspiration from classical Beaux Arts design, the building’s overall vertical emphasis (brick pilasters and recessed window panels) and the massing of the ornamentation had a distinctly Moderne air.  It is important as a transitional building, incorporating elements of both historic and modernistic styles.  The Lone Star Gas Co. Building is potentially eligible for the National Register for its architectural design and for its historic association with one of the region’s major utilities.

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