The Will Rogers Memorial Center is a 120-acre entertainment, sports, and livestock complex situated in Fort Worth, Texas. The tower situated at the front of the entrance of the facility was built in 1936 and stands over 200 feet tall. Pioneer Tower was a well-known beacon in the Fort Worth skyline for years. About 40 years ago, the tower went dark because of deterioration of the backlit glass block that created the luminous appearance of the structure. Aluminum grates were placed over the glass block glazing. In 2019, with funding in place, the city decided to restore the tower to its original condition.
Our goal was to restore the glass block so the tower could return to being a beacon for the city. The partnership between the owner of the building, the General Contractor, Muckleroy and Falls, and the architectural firm, Elements of Architecture, is what brought this project to life.
Elements of Architecture, a woman-owned business, was chosen to design and oversee the restoration project. The firm was a recipient of the Fort Worth's Chamber of Commerce Award for Small Business of the Year in 2019. Muckleroy and Falls, a well-regarded General Contractor, was awarded the bid to lead the project. Over the last three years, they have been named Fort Worth's best company to work for. The two firms reached out to GBA Architectural Products + Services because of our history as the leading firm in glass block restoration projects. After conversations and site meetings, we outlined options for design, dimension, specification review, and execution.
To ensure the restoration project's success, meticulous planning and attention to detail were paramount. With four vertical glass block walls spanning an impressive 14 floors, from the 13th to the 27th, the project required a staggering number of glass blocks. Over 6,210 pieces of the exquisite 6" x 6" x 4" ARGUS® glass block were carefully selected for their exceptional quality and aesthetics. These blocks, with their sleek design and superior craftsmanship, were the perfect choice to bring back the tower's luminous charm.
To ensure a seamless integration of the glass blocks, tieback options were extensively reviewed and determined. The team carefully considered various factors, such as structural stability and visual appeal, to select the most appropriate tieback solution. This decision was crucial in guaranteeing the long-lasting durability and safety of the restored tower.
By meticulously considering every aspect of the restoration process, from the selection of the ARGUS® glass blocks to the determination of tieback options and sealant, the team ensured that the tower's original splendor would be revived. The combination of expertise, craftsmanship, and attention to detail brought this ambitious project to life, transforming the tower into a mesmerizing beacon once again.