Sundance Square is a commercial, entertainment, shopping and residential district in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Encompassing 36 blocks, Sundance Square includes a wide range of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, offices and residential buildings. The area is a few blocks from the Tarrant County Courthouse and a short distance from the Fort Worth Convention Center and the Intermodal Transportation Center, a regional hub for ground transportation.
History- Sundance Square began in the late 1970s, when downtown Fort Worth was experiencing severe urban decay. In 1979, Bass Brothers Enterprises began to buy land and buildings in the center city. They renovated old buildings and built new ones, opened restaurants and nightclubs, and started the transformation of downtown Fort Worth. In homage to Fort Worth’s past, they named the entire area after the Sundance Kid, who with his more famous partner, Butch Cassidy, often visited Fort Worth.
In developing Sundance Square, major efforts were made to preserve the historical integrity of downtown Fort Worth, from the vintage bricks on Main Street to the careful restoration of structures built in the early 20th century. Developers also made sure that the area was friendly to pedestrians through generous sidewalks and storefronts facing the street.
Arts and entertainment- The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, a 2,056-seat space known for its fine acoustics and the two 48-foot limestone angels on the building’s exterior, is located in Sundance Square. It It hosts performances by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Opera, the Texas Ballet Theater and the Cliburn Concerts, as well as touring performers and Broadway shows.
Sundance Square includes three live theaters – Circle Theatre, Jubilee Theatre and Four Day Weekend – as well as the AMC Palace 9 movie theater, Hyena’s Comedy Club and multiple venues for live music, including Scat Jazz Lounge and the Flying Saucer. Another attraction is the Sid Richardson Museum of Western Art, which houses an important collection of works by Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and their contemporaries.
Shopping and dining- Sundance Square includes more than 30 places to dine, from upscale restaurants like Del Frisco’s Grille, Waters, Reata and Istanbul Grill to more casual fare like Riscky’s Barbecue, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Razzoo’s Cajun Café. Shoppers can choose from national stores like H&M, Overland Sheepskin Company and White House Black Market or locally owned boutiques like Willow House and Yours Truly. Many of these shops are located on Houston Street, which was a center of Fort Worth shopping in the 1950s and is once again a commercial hub.
Sundance Square Plaza- Opened in 2013, Sundance Square Plaza is a 55,000-square-foot, European-style palazzo that regularly hosts concerts, movies, festivals and other events. It includes multiple water features, including a 216-jetted fountain and 65-foot wave wall. Four 32-foot umbrellas are another focal point. Constructed of telescopic masts, folding steel frames and Teflon fabric, the umbrellas create translucent shading during the day and at night are lit up with LED lights. Sundance Square Pavilion, a 1400-square-foot space designed to accommodate a variety of events, stands on the north side of the Plaza.
Architecture- Many of the structures in Sundance Square were built in the early part of the 20th century and have been carefully restored. The development also includes recently constructed buildings designed to complement the existing architectural styles. Notable buildings include:
- Burk Burnett Building (500 Main Street) – Fort Worth’s first true skyscraper, built in 1914, restored in 1980
- Chase Bank Building (420 Throckmorton) – 12-stories, 207,600 square feet of Class A office space
- Bank One Tower (301 Commerce) – 38-story, 819,929-square-foot glass tower, all Class A office space
- Domino Building (311 Main Street) – built in 1885, reconstructed in 1981
- Knights of Pythias Club Building (108 E. 3rd Street) – constructed in 1881
- Wells Fargo Tower (201 Main Street) – 33-story tower offering 716,533 square feet of Class A space
- Western Union Telegraph (314 Main) – built in 1930-31
- Woolworth Building (314 Main) built in 1926
Sustainability- Through its relationship with Green Mountain Energy, Sundance Square is Texas’ largest green power purchaser in the real estate industry. The development uses 100% renewable industry throughout all of its 42 buildings. Sundance Square also recycles plastic bottles, aluminum cans, copy paper, cardboard boxes, newspapers and other materials, amounting to approximately 750 tons of waste being recycled every year.
Honors and recognition-
- #1 Best Downtowns of 2014 by LIVABILITY
- Award of Excellence 2010, Urban Land Institute
- Charter Award (David M. Schwarz Architects), CNU
- Distinguished Building Award, TEXO
- Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Trailblazer Awards
o Bass Performance Hall (2008)
Sundance Square (2011)
Sundance Square Plaza (2014)
Sundance Square Christmas & New Year’s Eve Celebration
o Sundance West & Sanger Lofts (2008)
· Promotion & Marketing
o Sundance Square Super Week
o The Walking Guy
o Sundance Square Mobile Application
o Sundance Square Valet Program (2016)
· Chairman’s Award
o Molly the Trolley
- Golden Trowel Award from the United Masonry Contractors Association
- National Excellence in Construction Pyramid, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
- Pinnacle Award, International Downtown Association
- Regional Award of Excellence in Sustainability for a Business, SPA
- Top 30 EPA Green Power Partners list (#13)
- 2017 International Making Cities Livable Honor Award Built Project
- Vandergriff Award, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
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