This Fort Worth couple found each other and a welcoming home at the edge of downtown

Tim and Donna Young

Donna, Esteban and Tim Young pose on the T&P train platform adjacent to their historic loft. (Marcheta Fornoff | Fort Worth Report)

The historic Texas & Pacific Railway Terminal is an iconic feature of the Fort Worth skyline, and it holds special memories for so many people. Long before air travel became the norm, arriving in or departing Fort Worth meant passing through the heavy brass doors of the T&P station.

The architectural details of the building, including its grand waiting room, terrazzo floors, and ornate pendant lights speak to the important role of the railroad industry in Fort Worth history. If you traveled to or from our city by rail, the building was designed to leave a lasting impression.

Today, while memories of the glory days of railroad travel have faded, the grand art deco building still stands. It has since been revitalized as a commuter rail station on the ground level, with luxury condominiums in the 12-story tower, which once housed the offices of the T&P Railroad.

The building was redeveloped in 2006, and I moved into my condo in 2009. My new next-door neighbor was named Donna, and she had moved into the building back in 2007. We met, fell in love, and married in 2013. In 2014, we purchased a larger two-bedroom condo on the southwest corner of the 11th floor, with wonderful views of South Main Village and the Cultural District.

Downtown urban living was new to Fort Worth, and we each have stories of friends who were skeptical of our choice to make our home in the Central Business District. While the building is remarkable, many considered it to be on the “ragged edge” of downtown Fort Worth. Time has affirmed that we made the right choice at just the right time in each of our lives. In our 15+ years at the T&P Lofts, we have enjoyed being a part of the community of downtown residents and watching as the once-neglected edge of downtown has been reborn. The Omni Hotel opened across the street in 2009, followed by the expansion of the commuter rail service with TexRail to DFW Airport, and the recent development of South Main Village. TexRail service will soon be extended to the Medical District, and the new A&M campus has begun construction just a few blocks from our front door.

Because we both love to walk, the location is ideal for us. Sundance Square is just a 12-minute walk to the north, and galleries, dining, live theater and shops are one block away in South Main Village. On weekends, when the weather is cooperative, we take longer walks up North Main Street to the historic Stockyards, along the river on the Trinity Trails or down West 7th Street to the Cultural District. If we walk too far, we can hop on a Dash Electric Bus, hail a ZipZone car, or take the TexRail home from Northside.

With the exception of a weekly Costco run, almost everything we do now is a pedestrian activity. Dining, theater, gallery visits, haircuts, banking, church and walking with our dog-child, Esteban, are all enjoyable features of our urban lifestyle.

Early on, as we explored the Central Business District around our home, we realized that we knew very little about the history and architecture of downtown Fort Worth. Although we had both lived here all of our lives, we had spent very little time in the heart of the city. As we discovered new things, we began giving free walking tours each month so others can share in our excitement about our hometown.

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