Fort Worth Water Gardens
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The Fort Worth Water Gardens, built in 1974, is located on the south end of downtown Fort Worth between Houston and Commerce Streets next to the Fort Worth Convention Center. The 4.3-acre (1.7 hectare) Water Gardens were designed by noted New York architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee and were dedicated to the City of Fort Worth by the Amon G. Carter Foundation.
The urban park is frequently billed as a "cooling oasis in the concrete jungle" of downtown. Its focal points are three pools of water and a terraced knoll, which helps to shield the park from the rest of the City. Interstate 30 was relocated from its former site immediately adjacent to the Water Gardens, making the south end of the park quieter. The park is now situated adjacent to Lancaster Avenue, recently landscaped and prepared for redevelopment.
The quiet, blue meditation pool is encircled with cypress trees and towering walls that are covered in thin plane of water that cascades almost 90 degrees down to the sunken blue water feature. The sound of the water on the walls evokes thoughts of a gentle rain shower. The aerating pool features multiple illuminated spray fountains under a canopy of large oak trees.
The main attraction of the Water Gardens is the active pool, which has water cascading 38 feet (11 m) down terraces and steps into a small pool at the bottom. The active pool experience was built for people to be able to walk down the terraced steps to be surrounded by and experience the power, sounds and motion of water crashing around them.
On March 21, 1991, Larry James Watkins, 43, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was one of two people killed when the light pole toppled at about 6 p.m. in gusty winds. Two other people — one from Mississippi, the other from California — were injured.
Mr. Watkins, an Alamance County native and a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, worked for the IRS. Libby Watson, an assistant Fort Worth city manager, said the following day that investigators had not determined what caused the metal pole to snap at the base and fall. She said, though, that the wind may have contributed. "I'm afraid it's too early to speculate on the cause", she said. A South Carolina man also was killed by the falling pole.
The pole was one of six at Fort Worth Water Garden. The park was closed following the accident and the other five light poles will be taken down, Watson said.
The park was temporarily closed to the public after four people died there on June 16, 2004. Three children and one adult drowned after one of the children fell into the pool. The water was unusually deep due to a recirculating pump malfunction and heavy rains. The park was reopened on March 4, 2007 after being made safer by reducing the depth of the main pool from 9 ft (2.7 m) to 2 ft (0.61 m).
In popular culture
- Scenes in the 1976 film Logan's Run were filmed in the active pool at the Water Gardens in July 1975.
- The pool is also featured briefly at the end of the 1979 television adaptation of The Lathe of Heaven, and in singer-songwriter Solange's music video for her 2019 song "Almeda".