Texas & Louisiana Snaphot: Pioneer Tower at Will Rogers Memorial Center
Photographer: Greg Folkins, Greg Folkins Photography
Submitted By: Elisabeth Cachay, Marketing Coordinator, Muckleroy & Falls, Fort Worth
Designed by Wyatt C. Hendrick and built in 1936, the Pioneer Tower at Will Rogers Memorial Center is an example of Art Deco architecture in Fort Worth. A collaborative effort between the city of Fort Worth and Elements of Architecture is breathing life back into the 209-ft tower. Contractor Muckleroy & Falls is leading the rehabilitation, which includes cleaning the exterior brick and stone, installing glass block and interior LED lights, and making structural improvements such as new X-bracing and fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) wrap.
Photographer Folkins captured this shot in early September.
“We coordinated shooting this project in late afternoon as the warm sun fell on the tower, providing dimension and texture,” he says. “This tower was tall compared to the surrounding environment. I wanted to shoot close enough to capture the detail of scaffolding and stone work. I used a ‘tilt shift lens’ to shoot wide while still providing straight lines. Pointing a camera up to shoot tall buildings distorts the image—architects and construction companies don’t build distorted buildings, so you want a level plane with straight walls.”
The scaffolding surrounding the tower is in place to allow crews to clean the exterior and to both replace and restore damaged glass block.
“I love how the sheer size of the building ... stands out,” Folkins says. “I waited for a clear weather day to provide a crisp blue background for the tower and then waited for the perfect sun temperature to fall slightly on and around the tower. This provided a dimension to the tower while also providing texture and detail in the scaffolding and stone.”
This project is scheduled to be completed later this year.