Panther City Fountain - Fort Worth, TX
N 32° 45.028 W 097° 19.808
14S E 656438 N 3624858
Quick Description: The Panther City Fountain, located in Hyde Park in downtown Fort Worth. The story goes that things were so quiet in the early days of the city that a panther one day strolled into town and took a nap, forever associating Fort Worth with cats.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 5/3/2012 1:25:03 PM
Waymark Code: WMEBNG
A plaque behind the fountain says:
Panther City Fountain
The wit and imagination of the citizens of Fort Worth in the early 19th century have been perpetuated in the nickname of Fort Worth as the "Panther City". A newspaper story reported that Fort Worth was such a dull and drowsy place that a panther was seen sleeping in the city on the steps by the courthouse. This story captured the imagination of early settlers of Fort Worth.
In their initial endeavors at establishing this city's identity, the nickname of Panther City was adopted for Fort Worth. The name was catchy and stories carried forth the panther theme. The local newspaper, Fort Worth Democrat, added to its masthead a drawing of a panther, further adding to the historical significance of "Panther City". Live cubs were housed at the city fire hall and at many of the local businesses. At one of the community parades in Dallas (a small town east of Fort Worth), the representatives of Fort Worth carried panther cubs on their floats in representation of "The City Where the West Begins". Many citizens talked about panthers roaming through the frontier town during the early settlement period. More recently, city police officers have added a panther to their badge emblem.
These are but a few of the many historical references of how Fort Worth became known as "Panther City". This statue and fountain are dedicated to the unique heritage of Fort Worth.
Donated by G.F. Cravens Family
Artist: Franco Alessandrini
Mayor: Kenneth Barr
Architect: Raymond O'Connor
Some details from the fountain's website, which has plenty of information about the surrounding area as well:
The fountain, dedicated on Wednesday, June 26, 2002, is 18 feet in diameter and 20 inches deep with a reinforced concrete structure. The panther itself weighs approximately 6,000 pounds, and the large marble block on which it rests weights approximately 13,000 pounds. Both were set by crane.
The fountain is traditional in its design and aesthetics. The coloring of the marble goes from white, to gray, to black, an artist statement in itself because the various grades of the expensive stone. All of the marble was quarried and cut in Carrara, Italy and shipped by boat to New Orleans and then trucked to Fort Worth. The walls of the pools and other decorative marble pieces were cut by laser in Italy and hand set at the site in the distinctive pattern. The joint tolerances of the marble is one of extremely tight, almost "NASA" tolerance. At the bottom of the fountain's pool, the Star of Texas design is 12 feet in diameter. The blue and oyster-white mosaic tile was laser cut and hand set at the site.
All of the night lighting for the sculpture and the fountain is comprised of brass cast fixtures concealed in the fountain structure. The filtration systems and pumps are state-of-the-art engineering, concealed in the work space of the adjacent hotel.
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