The history of East Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth

East Lancaster Avenue

Businesses along East Lancaster in 1985 | Photo via UTA Library

Table of Contents

Asked: What is the history of East Lancaster Avenue?

The corridor has long been a transportation hub for Fort Worth and has shown growth + regression over the last few decades. From the horse and buggy days to now, here’s a look back at East Lancaster.

🛣️ How it all started

Although it may look like any other road, the East Lancaster Corridor has a unique history that stretches over 120 years. Originally known as Front Street, the route took on many names before it was officially renamed East Lancaster Avenue in 1931 — in honor of John Lynch Lancaster, then president of the Texas and Pacific Railroad.

🚙 Riding into a new era

What started out as a source for horse and buggy transportation evolved into something advanced + permanent. In 1916, it was extended, becoming part of the first coast-to-coast highway in the US.

The road also served as a part of a primary route for automobiles until the late 1950s when the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike (now known as I-30) was built. The new addition meant restaurants, hotels + other businesses dependent on commuters, began to struggle.

🪧 Leaving a legacy

Griff’s Burger Bar — 4224 E. Lancaster Ave.

  • It was established back in 1962 when burgers were only 15 cents. Now, it has locations all across the country and is approaching its 60th anniversary.

Texas & Pacific Station — 221 W. Lancaster Ave.

  • The station was built by Texas and Pacific Railway in 1931 and is now a terminal for the Trinity Railway Express. The upper floors have been renovated + are available for purchase as condominiums.

Lancaster Lofts — 1324 E. Lancaster Ave.

  • Built in 1926 and was brought back to life in 2004 by Flora Brewer and Paulos Properties. The loft-style units are now available for rent.

Texas & Pacific Warehouse — 200-300 blocks of W. Lancaster Ave.

  • The warehouse was built in 1931 as a three-building complex. Previous owners started renovations to the building but were never completed.

🏘️ New biz + highlights

🏗️ Improvements to come

The North Central Texas Council of Governments created a plan aimed at improving the area, including adding bus lanes, bicycle facilities, expansion of travel lanes + more.

This article was co-authored by FTWtoday intern Hailey Lyon.

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