Camp Bowie is filled with restaurants, boutiques, and other small businesses, but it is also home to some of Fort Worth’s most iconic architectural spots. As you travel up and down The Boulevard, you can see the history of the district within some of its most beloved buildings. Check out some of our unique, historic, and iconic spots on The Boulevard.
The Ridglea Theater
6025 Camp Bowie Blvd. The Ridglea Theater is located in the heart of the Camp Bowie District and has been an iconic Fort Worth landmark since it was built in 1947 by architect A.C. Luther. The original 70-foot stone tower still stands tall, and the theater itself has been restored and renovated to highlight its Spanish-Mediterranean elements. The lobby features original terrazzo flooring featuring the intricate compass rose, as well as an eye-catching mural by the famed artist Eugene Gilboe. The main theater and grande balcony are reminiscent of an old movie house, but this 20,000 square-foot historic venue now houses events such as film festivals, orchestra symphonies, award shows, and weddings. The Ridglea Theater has been saved from demolition and placed on the National Registry of Historic Places, ensuring its legacy for many years to come.
The Commercial Standard Building 6421 Camp Bowie Blvd. Formerly known as the Commercial Standard Building, this unique Mid-Century Modern building is one of Fort Worth’s “unknown landmarks.” It was designed by Houston architects Karl Kamrath and Fredrick James Mackie Jr., and they drew their inspiration from Kamrath’s friendship with the great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s architectural philosophy promoted harmony between human habitation and the natural world, and he coined the term Organic Architecture to describe his all-inclusive approach. Mackie and Kamrath’s Camp Bowie building reflects the principles of Organic Architecture and modernistic design. Built in 1956, the L-shaped building is surrounded by trees and features a low pitched roof and a central chimney, both of which are nods to Wright’s iconic style.
The Modern Art Museum 3200 Darnell St. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth's building was designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando in 2002. Massive two-dimensional walls of architectural concrete show off the Modern's basic structure and 44-foot-high transparent walls of glass framed in metal surround the concrete envelope. The desire to use disseminated and mirrored natural light within the gallery spaces was a major influence on the building's design. Cast-concrete roofs shade the building's exterior, and continuous linear skylights and clerestory windows allow light to fall in on the galleries. An outdoor sculpture garden, terrace, and a large reflecting pond at the building's edge compliment the architecture.
Arlington Heights United Methodist Church 4200 Camp Bowie Blvd.
The church began inside an old, wooden hospital barracks for Camp Bowie in 1923, but the historic church itself was built in 1929 out of buff brick and stone trim. The church features characteristics of the Tudor Revival style, and it is accentuated with a steeply pitched roof, cross gables, and gabled dormers. The building stands tall at 104 feet, and the current sanctuary, bell tower, and west education building were built in 1951. However, the church’s west education building was nearly destroyed by a fire in 1982. Upon rebuilding it, another fire broke out in the sanctuary in 1987, and the church was forced to temporarily close its doors. The sanctuary was later rebuilt and continued its services in 1989, and it has been a staple of the Arlington Heights community ever since.
The Kimbell Art Museum 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd.
The Kimbell Art Museum's 1972 building, designed by Louis I. Kahn, is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era. With light being the main theme, natural light enters through narrow plexiglass skylights along the top of cycloid barrel vaults and is diffused by wing-shaped pierced aluminum reflectors that hang below. The main (west) facade of the building consists of three 100-foot bays, each fronted by an open, barrel-vaulted portico, with the central, entrance bay recessed and glazed. Three different courtyards compliment the interior space.
Frost Bank 3859 Camp Bowie Blvd. The Bowie Theatre, now Frost Bank, was opened in 1941 featuring an Art Moderne theatre and a vertical neon sign that could be seen from the distance. The Bowie Theater is situated at the end of a commercial strip on the south side of Camp Bowie, but the theater was closed in the early 1980s and was vacant for many years until it was bought out by the Camp Bowie National Bank in 1985. The exterior was restored and incorporated the Art Moderne elements into their desired renovations, and the marquee flashed the “Bowie” name on the bank. Over the years the marquee sign has changed, and the bank was most recently purchased by Frost Bank. The theatre still stands with most of its original architecture, and the name “Frost” is now set in exposed neon, much like the name “Bowie” was back in 1940.
Blue Bonnet Bakery 4705 Camp Bowie Blvd. Blue Bonnet Bakery has been a Camp Bowie staple since 1934, but in 2010, they relocated to the historic building that once housed the Arlington Heights Presbyterian Church. The church is set in polychrome brick and features design elements of the Gothic Revival style, as seen in a large stained glass window facing Camp Bowie Boulevard. The church itself was expanded in 1955 with the addition of a reading room, and in 1976, First Church of Christ Scientist relocated to the building and expanded the classroom portion of the church on the west side of the sanctuary. Today, the old church is home to Blue Bonnet Bakery, and the former sanctuary serves as the retail shop and eating area for the bakery's loyal customers.
Boulevard Heights Transition School 5100 El Campo Ave. Boulevard Heights School sits right off The Boulevard, serving approximately 50 students aged 3-22 who struggle with intellectual disabilities that have prevented them from being successful on a general campus. The building the school resides in was constructed in 1909 by the Arlington Heights Independent School District as Arlington Heights Public School and the building housed all grades. In 1922, it became an elementary school and was renamed Arlington Heights Elementary School, and later in 1922 a second building was built and known as the Arlington Heights High School. The facades feature two colors of brick. Most of the building is yellow brick with a maroon brick used at the base, in bands, and in a decorative pattern at various locations. A combination of arched and rectangular openings are used for the school's windows and doors, and many of the windows have been infilled either with panels or brick. In 1987 Boulevard Heights School first opened as J.P Moore, and is now considered a historic landmark in Camp Bowie District.
Ridglea Village 6100 Camp Bowie Blvd. Built in 1939, Ridglea Village is one of Fort Worth’s most iconic retail properties, recognized for its Spanish-Mediterranean tile roof and distinctive charm. Located at 6040 – 6100 Camp Bowie Boulevard, the shopping center has held many local eateries and shops over the years. The series of buildings in the center were constructed at three different times during the 1940s by developer A.C. Luther. Luther also developed Ridglea Village No. 2 on the south side of the street, the Ridglea Theater, and the Curzon Place Apartments. All of these projects are unified in their architectural design. Through the years, this complex has been considered one of the city's premier shopping areas and offers unique shopping and dining for all.