Friday, April 20, 2007
Worthington National Bank wins Texas Historical Foundation Award
Tarrant County-based Worthington National Bank is proud to announce that it was selected to receive the Texas Historical Foundation’s Judge James Wheat Award for preservation and reuse of historic properties.
Tarrant County-based Worthington National Bank is proud to announce that it was selected to receive the Texas Historical Foundation’s Judge James Wheat Award for preservation and reuse of historic properties. Worthington National Bank received the award because of the restoration work it completed at its downtown Fort Worth location in the Burk Burnett Building and for the bank’s unique collection of artwork, much of it created by local and state artists.
The award recognizes outstanding preservation work by business or industry and was presented to Worthington National Bank’s CEO, Greg Morse, during the state’s Annual Preservation Conference last week in Lakeway, Texas, outside of Austin.
Rudi Rodriguez, chair of the Texas Historical Foundation (THF) Awards Committee, said that his group was impressed with the bank's attention to detail as it brought one of downtown Fort Worth's historic buildings back to life. "From the beginning, CEO Greg Morse was committed to identifying Worthington Bank as a Texas business,” said Rodriguez. “Selecting a 1914 building for the bank's downtown Fort Worth branch was a bold choice, and the restoration of that structure was exquisite. Many businesses would have stopped there, but Worthington went one step further by including the work of Texas artists on the walls of the restored building. This project is a Lone Star masterpiece."
Morse chose the 1914 Burk Burnett Building, Fort Worth’s first skyscraper, for his bank's downtown Fort Worth location in 2001. He oversaw the historical preservation and renovation of the structure, ensuring that the restoration reflected the property’s original design and appearance. When the building opened 93 years ago, its original tenant was a bank, and it was important to Morse that key elements from that earlier time, including marble floors and metal teller cages, be replicated and included in the new structure. Archived photographs from Historic Fort Worth, a local preservation organization, helped guide Morse as he oversaw the restoration.
In addition to building renovations, the bank also features an outstanding collection of Texas art. One of the most notable pieces of artwork in the bank is a wall mural painted by renowned Fort Worth artist Emily Guthrie Smith in 1951. Initially adorning the walls of the Fort Worth Western Hills Hotel, the mural was salvaged after the 1968 fire that destroyed the inn.
The Texas Historical Foundation, established in 1954, presents preservation awards each spring. In addition, THF promotes preservation by administering a grants program and publishing an award-winning Texas history magazine. For more information about THF, visit the organization’s web site at www.texashistoricalfoundation.org.
Source: Worthington National Bank