Abandoned Building in Fort Worth

Gwen Morovitz, Assistant Editor

Recently I went to Fort Worth with my friends the night of senior prom for a good time and fun adventures. I brought my Nikon D3400 camera along, as I most always do, and we searched for cool places to take pictures. Outside the city, we came across an abandoned building called the Durham-Ellis Pecan Company…or what was left of it. Venturing in through a hole in the fence, we made our way to the gaping hole in the building that had been bent inward by previous trespassers. The building looks big on the outside, but once you’re inside it becomes so much larger. The vaulted ceilings towered over us, and the arched windows illuminated the giant room. The ladder we climbed to get to the top platform swayed with every movement, and I was careful to follow in my friend’s footsteps to avoid falling through the old wooden, rotted out floorboards.

Reaching a stage-like part of the building, I got a heavy feeling in my chest and started noticing more of the shattered glass and litter on the floor. The graffiti was pretty, but as we explored deeper and deeper into the place, we found nests and old couches put together in the form of homes for a person to sleep in. There was a vacuum sitting outside of a carpeted room that once we entered, smelled dangerously of mold and other suffocating odors. I took some great photos of my friend Gabby, but found myself looking over my shoulder every other minute, worried that someone might find us in there, or even worse, worrying that we might find someone.

Gwen Morovitz
My friend Gabby Cunningham in the Durham-Ellis Pecan Company in Fort Worth.

Soon I began to wonder the history of the place, and if people found the place to be haunted, like many abandoned buildings are rumored to be.

Apparently, in 1924, this building was constructed for the use of a Ku Klux Klan meeting place, after their nearly identical place had been bombed and burnt to the ground just blocks away. The place held almost 4000 Klan members and held secretive meetings late at night that may have included violent acts on their victims.

Seven years later, the building was purchased to serve as a warehouse, but turned into an underground boxing arena for a few years.

The Ellis Pecan Company bought the building for production of their products, however shut down their productions in 1999. After this, the Texas Ballet Theater was supposed to renovate the place into an auditorium, but it has sat vacant and deteriorating for years since then.

The wooden ceiling has numerous holes and rotted out gaps that allow for rain to enter and ruin the once beautiful floors inside. The holes on the once beautiful arched windows don’t help this at all, as water pools in the walls and floors throughout the building.

This damage has placed the Ellis Pecan Company building on the Endangered Places list in Fort Worth. Some city council members have taken efforts to restore the building but nothing concrete has been done to save the place.

So for now, the building will continue to exist to random teenagers who are looking for cool places to take pictures and explore.