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
- The Lady and the Pit, 5301 E. Lancaster Ave. | Named one of the city’s best new restaurants in 2017 and features Southern-style offerings like chicken and dressing, smothered pork chops + peach cobbler.
- Reby Cary Youth Library, 3851 E. Lancaster Ave. | The city’s first youth library.
- Cutting Edge Haunted House, 1701 E. Lancaster Ave. | Voted best haunted house in the US.
🏗️ 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.