PetroleumBuilding/Life of America Building/Shick Building/Finevest Building/Executive Plaza Building – Throckmorton

152 611 Throckmorton Street [NR/Sky(NR)], Petroleum Building/Life of America Building/Shick Building/ Finevest Building/Executive Plaza Building, 1927; 1969. Businessman and oil entrepreneur R.O. Dulaney moved to Fort Worth in 1919, flush with success from oil wells he had drilled in Electra, Texas and Duncan, Oklahoma. In 1927 Dulaney, acting as president of the Dulaney-Johnston Investment Co., erected the first of two downtown skyscrapers, the Petroleum Building (see also CBD 21), designed by Fort Worth architect Wyatt C. Hedrick. The fourteen-story building was home to a number of oil companies, including Dulaney’s own Fort Ring Oil and Gas Co. which officed on the top floor. In 1945 the building was sold to the Life Insurance Company of America and renamed the Life of America Building. Another insurance firm, Houston Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., acquired the building in 1968 and again changed its name, this time to the Schick Building. In 1969 the ground• floor was remodeled and the original double-hung wood sash windows were replaced by single pane fixed metal windows. The distinctive crested parapet ornamentation may have also been removed at this time. The building changed ownership and name again in 1973 when it became the Finevest Building. Currently called the Executive Plaza Building, the steel frame office building is clad in cast concrete panels. The panels in the corner bays have a shield pattern. Major vertical piers flank groupings of three windows which are, in turn, separated by minor piers. The Petroleum Building appears to be eligible for the National Register for the quality of its architectural design, pending restoration of the original window configuration. It is also a contributor to the proposed Downtown Skyscrapers National Register Thematic Group.

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