Over a year ago now, back in May of 2014, I made the long-awaited trip to the Johnson County courthouse in Cleburne (#146). It was odd, you might remember, that it had taken me that long into the project to photograph this courthouse (as Cleburne is less than thirty minutes from my driveway).
That same day, I tried out the, at the time, new Chisholm Trail Parkway. This is an important toll road, as it’s the first highway to ever connect Fort Worth with Cleburne directly. Taking this road, my grandfather and I drove to the heart of Tarrant County, downtown Fort Worth. The goal? To rephotograph #2 on my list. I’d first come to get my picture in front of the massively impressive Tarrant County sometime in fall of 2010, and this had been my chance to check it off the redo list.
Well, Murphy’s Law is ever present. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
I hadn’t realized that circa May 2014, the courthouse was undergoing a major renovation that included the demolition of an aged annex and a general upkeep of the grounds. That was the first issue. The second problem I encountered (but didn’t realize it at the time) was my means of photography. In May of that year, I still used my iPhone to take my pictures. I’m still shaking my head! It wouldn’t be until a month later that I’d make the switch to my Nikon. And, looking back on my photo catalog, the photos the actual camera captures are miles better.
It’ll never be a convenience to revisit some of the locales where I used my iPhone…such as the entire northern Panhandle, but I don’t aim to make that a goal. What I captured in the Panhandle is fine enough for me.
However, for me, Fort Worth is no Amarillo, Perryton, or Canadian. It’s a quick and easy revisit, and since I now had a camera, I thought why not? Plus, I figured I could get some better shots (as the construction would be over).
Well, I wasn’t right about that construction. A year and one month later, they’re still at it. But it’s a massive and important building, so they can take all the time they need. I still got the pictures I needed. And the goods news was, some of the areas that were blocked last time had been completed by this go around.
While, unlike last time, construction didn’t clog the grand main entrance…it was a different kind of abnormality that did. Last time I checked, June 19 isn’t any major patriotic holiday. Memorial Day was nearly a month ago, Flag Day was last Sunday, and the Fourth of July is in a couple weeks. Still, that wasn’t stopping a group of singers/musicians from parading around the main entrance and singing “America the Beautiful” and the rest.
I’m not bitter about it. They didn’t get in my way. It was just puzzling. Maybe this happens a lot at this courthouse? I wouldn’t know. I don’t come downtown much.
I came across this neat fountain on one of the courthouse lawn’s corners.
It’s dedicated to the donor’s grandfather, who at the turn of the century, would water his horse at this corner of the courthouse. Neat.
As I moved over to the northern steps, preparing to walk up to that side’s entrance, I came eye to eye with a homeless man lying there in a makeshift bed. Needless to say…I just walked away and didn’t climb the steps.
After I’d finished with the courthouse, my mom and I walked towards Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth’s public plaza.
As long as I was photographing downtown architecture, I figured I would walk down and snap a few of Bass Hall, the home performance hall of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Many a school trip has taken me to the Hall for the day, and every time I visit, the massive angelic likenesses amaze me as if I’ve never seen them before.
So with the courthouse, Sundance Square, Bass Hall, and a few other buildings/sights photographed, we had a quick pizza dinner, and then headed back to the car. It was a quick, but beneficial, jaunt through downtown.