W. I. Cook Memorial Hospital Added to National Register of Historic Places

Fort Worth, TX – May 6, 2024 – Historic Fort Worth, Inc. proudly announces the inclusion of the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. Erected in 1929 at 1212 West Lancaster Avenue, this architectural gem stands as a testament to Fort Worth’s rich history and cultural heritage.


Constructed with endowed funds generously provided by Mrs. W.I. (Matilda M.) Cook, the hospital was envisioned as a beacon of compassion, offering services without regard to an individual’s financial means. Designed by esteemed architect Wiley G. Clarkson and built by the renowned firm of Harry B. Friedman, the hospital boasts an eclectic design inspired by Romanesque and Renaissance architectural elements.


Adorned with ornamental entryways and featuring an interior cloistered court, the building is a masterpiece crafted from the finest materials, including Indiana limestone, Italian travertine, and green terra cotta roof tiles. Its heavy bronze doors stand as a testament to its enduring craftsmanship and architectural significance.


Initially serving as the Cook-Fort Worth Children’s Medical Center, the building underwent a transformation when acquired by Health South Rehabilitation Corp. A modern three-story addition, designed by Gresham, Smith & Partners, seamlessly complemented the original structure, further enhancing its architectural prominence.


Despite periods of vacancy and minimal maintenance, the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital has persevered as a cherished landmark in the Fort Worth community. Recognized by a San Francisco architectural firm in 1991 as a potential candidate for the National Register of Historic Places, its inclusion opens avenues for restoration, funding and preservation efforts.


“The addition of the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital to the National Register of Historic Places is a momentous occasion for Fort Worth,” remarked Jerre Tracy, Executive Director at Historic Fort Worth, Inc. “This designation not only honors the legacy of Mrs. W.I. Cook and the architects who brought her vision to life but also paves the way for future restoration projects and revitalization efforts.”


The listing on the National Register of Historic Places affords opportunities for restoration tax credits, providing crucial support for the preservation of this architectural treasure. Some citizens envision the hospital building as an ideal venue for an art museum and library, showcasing collections from local families and further enriching Fort Worth’s cultural landscape. It would also adapt well for a boutique hotel.


As Fort Worth continues to evolve, preserving its historic landmarks becomes increasingly imperative. The inclusion of the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital on the National Register of Historic Places reaffirms its status as a cherished cornerstone of the city’s identity, ensuring its legacy endures for generations to come.


For more information about Historic Fort Worth, Inc. and its preservation efforts, please visit www.HistoricFortWorth, org or contact info@historicfortworth.org




Jerre Tracy

Executive Director






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