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Abandoned for 30 years, this lavish ZigZag Art Deco terminal has stunning features

One of the places I stopped on our Texas trip that wasn’t an “oddity” listed on our planned itinerary was the Texas and Pacific Railroad Station. I was wandering in downtown Fort Worth one day while Sweetums took care of some business and saw a magnificent building in the distance. I walked over to it and discovered the massive building was built as a Texas and Pacific rail terminal in 1931.

One doorway said “Lofts” and I later learned that part of the 12-story building had been converted into luxury loft homes selling from $160,000-$350,000.

The doorway next to it led to the original lobby of the T&P Station. It was stunning. I’ve since found out that the building is one of the largest and most extravagant examples of the ZigZag Moderne style of the Art Deco movement surviving in Texas. The lobby ceiling soared up to two stories and the original Art Deco lighting was still in place, along with marble floors, inlaid ceiling panels and streamlined fixtures.

The gorgeous Art Deco interior of the Texas Pacific Railroad Terminal. (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)

The terminal was used as a passenger station and offices for the T&P Railway from 1931 until the 1960s. When the doors to the building closed in 1967, it wouldn’t be used again for 30 years.  

In 1999, the building was restored to its formal glory and re-opened as a passenger terminal in 2001 on the Trinity Railway Express. “TRE trains are accessed from the Park & Ride and main room through an underground tunnel system,” according to the TRE website.

The T&R Tavern was opened inside and the passenger waiting area is used as a rental venue. TRE says the main and women’s waiting areas “are available for party/wedding/event rental by contacting Trinity Metro at 817-215-8654 or go to https://ridetrinitymetro.org/.”

The Art Deco Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal seen from the Fort Worth Water Gardens. (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
The warehouse next to the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
The entry to the lofts in the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Exterior of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Exterior of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Marker on the exterior of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Interior of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Interior of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Light fixture in the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Old sign at the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Doors between the lobby and ornate passenger waiting area in the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Sculpture honoring rail history inside the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Interior of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Ornate ceiling of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Kelly Kazek | Permission Required)
Interior of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal with lights on . (Photo by Renelibrary | Wikimedia Commons)
View of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Terminal . (Photo by Renelibrary | Wikimedia Commons)
A train at the station in 2016. (Photo by Renelibrary | Wikimedia Commons)

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