S.H. Kress Building – Main

604 Main Street [CFW/NR], S.H. Kress Building, 1936. The S.H. Kress Building is a dignified Moderne composition, notable for the quality of its materials and design.  It is one of only a few privately-constructed downtown Fort Worth buildings built during the Depression.  Designed by Edward F. Sibbert, a New York architect who also drew plans for other Kress Co. buildings between 1929 and 1954, this structure was erected by the W.H. Bowen Co. of El Paso.  Upon completion, the Kress Co. moved its Fort Worth store from 901 Houston St. (CBD 95) to this location.

The building has two principal facades, one on Houston St. and the other on Main St., each clad in cream-colored terra cotta.  The ground level display windows incorporate bronze and copper entrances framed in granite and surmounted by iron balconies.  The upper portion of the building has a strong vertical emphasis, consisting of three central projecting piers flanking recessed window bays.  Stylized Mayan decorations cap the vertical window panels.  The Kress Co. operated at this location between 1936 and 1960.  The building has since been used for a variety of purposes and, in 1991, was vacant.  The building has been designated as a City of Fort Worth Landmark and is potentially eligible for the National Register as a distinguished example of Moderne commercial design.

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