Neal P. Anderson Building – 411 W. Seventh Street

411 W. Seventh Street [NR/RTHL/Sky (NR)], Neil P. Anderson Building, 1921; 1959; 1977.  The Neil P. Anderson Building was designed by Sanguinet and Staats, architects of many of Fort Worth’s most significant buildings, and constructed by the W.C. Hedrick Construction Co. in 1921.  It was named for Neil P. Anderson (1847-1912), a Fort Worth businessman who, in addition to Neil P. Anderson Cotton Co., operated several cotton compresses, the Alta Vista Creamery Co., and the Drumm Seed and Floral Co.  Anderson died before the building was built, but his son, Bernie Anderson and son-in-law, Morris Berney, who ran the cotton brokerage firm, had this structure erected.

Distinguished by a graceful curving facade that fonts onto Burnett Park and W. Seventh St., the eleven-story buff brick structure has decorative terra cotta ornamentation and window glass which curves to follow the lines of the building.  Terra cotta medallions depict bales of cotton and stems of grain, appropriate to the activities of the building’s occupants.  Although it had a number of other tenants including cotton and grain companies, the building’s prime occupant was the Neil P. Anderson Cotton Co.  The firm’s skylit cotton showroom on the eleventh floor, where cotton was separated and graded, is an utilitarian but unusual and impressive space.

In 1959 an aluminum facia was installed on the first two floors of the building’s facade, a procedure that damaged some of the original terra cotta ornamentation.  The storefronts and lobby were also redesigned at this time.  Herman Cox was the architect and Ellis Brown the contractor for these alterations.  After the death of Bernie Anderson in 1961 (who, with Morris Berney, had owned the building since 1921), the building was sold.  It changed ownership several times until, in 1977, a partnership, the 411 Co. Ltd., literally stopped the wrecking ball when it purchased the property from a life insurance company.  The investors hired architect Martin Growald to restore the building’s exterior and renovate the interior for office use.  Charles W. Rogers of the C.W. Rogers Co. was the general contractor.  The Neil P. Anderson Building was listed on the National Register in 1978 and designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark that same year.  It is also a contributor to the proposed Downtown Skyscrapers National Register Thematic Group.

 

 

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