Public Services

Courtesy Samuel M. Vega

By 1930, after three decades of rapid growth, the Northside was at the zenith of its development. However, with the closing of the meatpacking plants — Armour & Co. in 1962 and Swift & Co. in 1971— the Northside entered a period of economic decline. The stockyards continued to operate, but on a reduced basis. Without the spending from the meatpacking workers, many of the small businesses in the area struggled and eventually closed. Unemployment was widespread. During this time of economic decline in the 1960s, organized tourism at the stockyards emerged. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Fort Worth Stockyards drew tourists seeking to experience cowboy culture. In the 1970s, the Stockyards became Fort Worth’s first National Register Historic District. Following its Historic District designation in 1976, the popularity of the Stockyards grew.

Courtesy James Brandon Phtography

Today the Stockyards is one of Fort Worth’s major tourist attractions. Annually, the Stockyards draw approximately 1.5 million tourists.

Other major developments in the Northside study area include Meacham International Airport — which includes a historic terminal that was the birthplace of American Airlines — Railhead Industrial Park, and the new Mercado building. A fairly recent development along North Main Street has been the use of public funds to construct streetscape improvements in the Stockyards and within the Historic Marine Urban Village to stimulate pedestrian activity and enhance the “sense of place” in these areas. In addition, the Mercado Building was designed and constructed with public funds, creating a centerpiece structure for the urban village and providing community meeting space and service functions. – May, 2011 Fort Worth City Planning Financial Report

Model of Fort Worth after the current Flood Control and Northside Fort Worth Improvements are completed
Courtesy Phillip Blumberg

The Trinity River Vision Authority has launched a series of plans for development of the Northside area of Fort Worth called the Trinity Uptown Plan, which includes flood control, waterfront development, infrastructure, and private business improvements similar to San Antonio’s Riverwalk. The project covers near 1000 acres of land, helping to improve the Northside.


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