In 1957 the Continental National Bank of Fort Worth completed its new steel and glass headquarters building. It was the first modern building built in downtown Fort Worth. All the others up to that time looked like they were from the 1920’s.
The first photo above shows the shining steel and glass tower of the Continental National Bank amid all the older brick buildings of the city. The second photo shows a clearer picture of the building itself. Although the glass and steel construction marked the beginning of a new era for our city, that’s not what really set this building apart from all the others. The CNB sign on top of the building was actually part of a clock.
As this photo shows, the structure on top of the building also housed a digital clock—at a time when digital clocks were a rarity. Two sides of the 32 foot tall revolving cube bore the bank’s initials, and two sides bore the displays of the clock. The top of the clock was 420 feet above the street.
Our house in the Ridglea neighborhood was between five and six miles west of downtown, but I could stand on our second story deck and see the tower and the clock. With binoculars, I could even tell the time it displayed.
This tower and clock gave our city a uniqueness. Dallas and Houston had no such features. In fact, I don’t recall seeing such a building with such a clock in any other cities I’ve been in.
Sadly, the clock quit revolving in 1978 and quit keeping time in 1991. It was removed in 2000, and the building was imploded in 2006. A future post in this series will explain why it was taken down.
What unique landmarks set your hometown apart from other places?
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