State National Bank Building/ Burk Burnett Building – 500 Main Street

500 Main Street [NR/Sky(NR)], State National Bank Building/Burk Burnett Building, 1913-14; 1953; 1980; 1984.  One of the enduring monuments of twentieth-century commercial architecture in Fort Worth, the Burk Burnett Building was originally built in 1913-14 to house the State National Bank.  Designed by noted local architects Sanguinet and Staats, the Neo-classical tower stands midway in age and scale between two other Sanguinet and Staats buildings – the 1907 Flatiron Building (CBD 99) and the W.T. Waggoner Building (CBD 93) of 1919-20.  Along with these buildings, it effectively symbolizes the growing economic stature of Fort Worth in the early twentieth century.  Buchanan and Gilder served as the general contractor for the construction project.  The building was purchased in 1915 by Samuel Burk Burnett, a wealthy cattle and oil entrepreneur.  Burnett, owner of the famed 6666 Ranch and founder of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (see CBD 164), renamed the building for himself.

The ground floor of the thirteen-story plus basement building is graced by four huge polished granite Corinthian columns supporting a dentilled and fretted cornice.  The entrance is faced with cream-colored terra cotta, while the upper stories of the building are red brick with a terra cotta string course separating each floor.  The top two stories are the most elaborate, faced in ornately detailed terra cotta with a bracketed and crested cornice.

The building sustained no major alterations until 1953 when architect Preston M. Geren remodeled the entrance, removing much of the terra cotta and granite and installing an aluminum and glass front.  Suffering a gradual decline, as many other older office towers did during the 1960s and ’70s, the Burk Burnett Building was rehabilitated in 1980 and 1984.  Geren and Associates were the architects responsible for the 1980 work which included the construction of a new elevator tower (and the demolition of a portion of the adjacent historic building – CBD 118) to the south of the Burk Burnett Building.  In 1984 the architectural firm of Weeter & Associates rehabilitated the building entrance, ground floor, and mezzanine.  This space is currently occupied by Overton Park National Bank.  The Burk Burnett Building was listed on the National Register in 1980 and is also a contributor to the proposed Downtown Skyscrapers National Register Thematic Group.

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