State Highway 121 Art and Landscape Project

Public Art Project by Etty Horowitz and Kevin Sloan

The I-30 Gateway Monument Public Art Project (Council District 5) is being relocated to a new site on State Highway 121 (Council District 4). For more information about the change of location, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

The artist/landscape architect team of Etty Horowitz and Kevin Sloan were inspired by repetition–in the landscape, in agriculture and in architecture—both ancient and contemporary. The use of concrete, brick and steel in this project are a reference to Fort Worth’s history using these materials in industries including aviation, rail transportation, cattle and oil and gas. 

Early on in concept development, the artists became interested in working with existing elements from the TxDOT boneyards. They found concrete traffic control barriers appealing and liked the idea of repurposing these familiar elements in a new way. Concrete traffic control barriers will be cut to custom lengths and stacked on top of one another, with one end partially bermed into the hillside. The letters that spell out “Fort Worth” will be approximately 10 feet tall and fabricated from CORE-TEN steel. They will appear to float above the tops of the concrete barriers, which will be supported on in-ground piers. The letters will line up all at once as you approach the monument, spelling out “FORT WORTH”, and will be lit after sunset with LED fixtures.

The landscape component will present a native grassland, abundant with ornamental species. The low walls created by the concrete traffic control barriers will be inter-planted with Texas and Fort Worth native wildflowers and grasses, and will include a selection so that there is color in the spring, summer and fall. The plantings will be done by seed, and will be truck watered by the landscape subcontractor during the establishment period, after which they will not require watering. Plants will grow to a maximum height of 18 inches before mowing once or twice a year.

New Site:

TxDOT recently informed the City that the previously approved I-30 site is no longer feasible due to three factors:

• The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has revoked their previously approved variance for size on the project and are now requiring the project conform to TxDOT’s monument guidelines, which had been waived for this project

• TxDOT’s future expansion of IH-30, while not currently funded, may be expedited within the next 10 years once funds are identified.

• High speed rail being planned for north Texas shows the right-of-way (R.O.W.) along the north side of the I-30 corridor as the preferred route

After a review of eligible State Highways, a site along westbound SH 121 in the north R.O.W. median west of Maxine Street and east of Beach Street was identified by FWPA and City staff and approved by TxDOT’s North Area Office. It offers dramatic views of the downtown Fort Worth skyline and is located just beyond the Fort Worth City Limits on the north side of SH 121. It will be seen by all drivers approaching downtown from the DFW airport and points beyond. 

The artist team of Etty Horowitz and Kevin Sloan have agreed to revise their I-30 design to fit the SH121 site, and the revised design is expected to utilize all of the elements found in the original design, including the repurposed concrete traffic control barriers, pavers from Acme Brick and the iconic letters that spell out “Fort Worth”. The project will no longer be referred to as a “Gateway Monument” project per TxDOT’s instructions, so that it will not have to conform to the 2008 TxDOT Gateway Monument Guidelines. It will instead be referred to as an “Art and Landscape Beautification” project.

It is anticipated the project could be completed by late 2018 or early 2019.