Will Rogers Memorial Center

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Will Rogers Memorial Center
Will Rogers Tower and Auditorium in 1993
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Will Rogers Memorial Center
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Will Rogers Memorial Center
Location3401 W. Lancaster Ave.,
Fort Worth, Texas
Coordinates 32°44′46″N97°21′59″W / 32.74611°N 97.36639°W / 32.74611; -97.36639 Coordinates: 32°44′46″N97°21′59″W / 32.74611°N 97.36639°W / 32.74611; -97.36639
Area20 acres (8.1 ha)
Built1936 (1936)
Architect Wyatt C. Hedrick, Herman Koeppe, Elmer G. Withers
Architectural style Modern Movement, Art Deco
NRHP reference # 16000122 [1]
Added to NRHPMarch 22, 2016

The Will Rogers Memorial Center (WRMC) is an 85-acre (0.34 km2) public entertainment, sports and livestock complex located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is named for American humorist and writer Will Rogers. It is the home of the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. It is a popular location for the hosting of specialized livestock shows, including the annual World Exposition of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, the annual World Championship Paint Horse Show, and 3 major events of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) each year. It is also the former home of the Fort Worth Texans ice hockey team. Events at the WRMC attract over 2 million visitors annually. The complex contains the following facilities:

Fort Worth, Texas City in Texas, United States

Fort Worth is a city in the U.S. state of Texas. It is the 15th-largest city in the United States and fifth-largest city in Texas. It is the county seat of Tarrant County, covering nearly 350 square miles (910 km2) into four other counties: Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise. According to the 2017 census estimates, Fort Worth's population is 874,168. Fort Worth is the second-largest city in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, which is the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the United States.

Will Rogers American humorist and entertainer

William Penn Adair Rogers was an American stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma. He was a Cherokee citizen born in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.

Livestock Domesticated animals

Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States. The USDA uses livestock similarly to some uses of the term “red meat”, in which it specifically refers to all the mammal animals kept in this setting to be used as commodities. The USDA mentions pork, veal, beef, and lamb are all classified as livestock and all livestock is considered to be red meats. Poultry and fish are not included in the category.


Will Rogers Coliseum Interior, 2016 WillRogersColiseumINTERIOR.JPG
Will Rogers Coliseum Interior, 2016

The Memorial Center was built in 1936 and designed by architect Wyatt C. Hedrick, who employed the Moderne (Art Deco) style. Also in 1936 Amon G. Carter commissioned Electra Waggoner Biggs to create the statue Riding into the Sunset , a tribute to Will Rogers and his horse Soapsuds. Over a decade later, in 1947, the work was unveiled at the Center. [2] On March 22, 2016, the complex was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Architect person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

Wyatt Cephus Hedrick was an American architect, engineer, and developer most active in Texas and the American South. He began his career as an engineer, working in Virginia and Texas. He started his own firm in Fort Worth, and later merged with the architecture firm of Sanguinet & Staats before buying out the interests of the senior partners.

Art Deco Influential visual arts design style which first appeared in France during the 1920s

Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners. It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes held in Paris in 1925. It combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.

The Will Rogers Coliseum will not be replaced by Dickies Arena, which is scheduled to open in November 2019. The new 14,000-seat venue will host the Fort Worth Stock Show rodeos, concerts and early-round games in the 2022 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament; however, Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum will continue to operate as an equestrian arena in Fort Worth. [3]

See also

National Register of Historic Places listings in Tarrant County, Texas Wikimedia list article

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Tarrant County, Texas.

Related Research Articles

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, also called RodeoHouston or abbreviated HLSR, is the largest livestock exhibitions and rodeo in the world. It includes one of the richest regular-season professional rodeo events. It has been held at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, since 2003. It was previously held in the Astrodome. It is considered to be the city's "signature event", much like New Orleans's Mardi Gras, Dallas's Texas State Fair, San Diego's Comic-Con and New York City's New Year's Eve at Times Square.

Amon G. Carter American publisher and art collector

Amon G. Carter Sr. was the creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and a nationally known civic booster for Fort Worth, Texas. A legacy in his will was used to create Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum, which was founded by his daughter, Ruth Carter Stevenson, in January 1961.

Agricultural show public event exhibiting the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry

An agricultural show is a public event exhibiting the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry. The largest comprise a livestock show, a trade fair, competitions, and entertainment. The work and practices of farmers, animal fanciers, cowboys, and zoologists may be displayed. The terms agricultural show and livestock show are synonymous with the North American terms county fair and state fair.

Fort Worth Stockyards human settlement in Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America

The Fort Worth Stockyards is a historic district that is located in Fort Worth, Texas, north of the central business district. A 98-acre (40 ha) portion encompassing much of the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District in 1976. It holds a former livestock market which operated under various owners from 1866.

Livestock show event where livestock are exhibited and judged on certain phenotypical breed traits

A livestock show is an event where livestock are exhibited and judged on certain phenotypical breed traits as specified by their respective breed standard. Species of livestock that may be shown include pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, horses, llamas and alpacas. Poultry such as chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and pigeons are also shown competitively. A livestock show may be part of an agricultural show.

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo

The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, USA has grown to be one of the largest events in the city with more than two million visitors each year. It is one of the top Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeos in the nation. For 13 consecutive years it has been awarded the PRCA Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year and attracts the world's best rodeo athletes and bucking stock. The event includes world-class entertainment, family-friendly educational activities and exhibits, a carnival, shopping, as well as horse and livestock shows.

Freeman Coliseum

Freeman Coliseum is a sports and concert venue located in San Antonio, Texas. It has been host to thousands of events including the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, concerts, trade shows, motor sports, circus, professional sports including professional bull riding, basketball, hockey, boxing and wrestling. It was the largest indoor arena in San Antonio until HemisFair Arena opened in 1968. Since then, many top recording artists have made their San Antonio concert debuts at the Coliseum.

Fort Worth Convention Center arena

The Fort Worth Convention Center is a convention center and indoor arena located in Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas. The complex opened on September 30, 1968, and was expanded in 1983, 2002 and 2003.

Burton Coliseum

The Burton Coliseum, built in 1976, is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The arena contains a domed roof and stands 105 feet from the floor to the top of the roof. It and other buildings in the Burton Complex serve many purposes. The coliseum served as home to the McNeese State Cowboys and McNeese State Cowgirls basketball teams from 1986 to 2018. The Health and Human Performance Education Complex will be the primary home venue for both teams beginning with the 2018–19 basketball seasons. In basketball configuration, the coliseum has a total seating capacity of 8,500 including 6,500-permanent seat multi-purpose arena and 2,000 in temporary seating.

American Royal livestock show, horse show and rodeo held each year in October and November

The American Royal is a livestock show, horse show, rodeo and barbecue competition held each year in September - November at various sites in the Kansas City Metro Area. The Future Farmers of America was founded during the annual Royal. The Kansas City Royals professional baseball team derive their name in part from the Royal.

John M. Parker Agricultural Coliseum

The John M. Parker Agricultural Coliseum or John M. Parker Agricultural Center is a 6,756-seat multi-purpose arena in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It hosts local sporting events, horse shows, livestock shows and concerts.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is an equestrian facility at the Cecil Commerce Center in Jacksonville, Florida. It consists of an indoor multi-purpose arena, officially named Championship Arena, two outdoor competition arenas, two outdoor warm-up arenas, a turf arena, 426 permanent stalls, and 70 Full Service RV spaces. The facility has a grand opening in March, 2004; it is home to several horse-related events. In 2007 it was projected to be the home of the Jacksonville Pelicans of the National Indoor Football League.

McGee Park is a public park located in Farmington, New Mexico. It is owned by San Juan County and consists of the following facilities:

Reata Restaurant is a Texas Cuisine based restaurant group founded by Al Micallef with operating interests in Alpine and Fort Worth, Texas. The Reata Restaurant Group has operated its flagship restaurant in the old Caravan of Dreams since May 2002. Reata at the Rodeo, Reata at the Backstage and La Espuela Mexican Cantina are Reata run restaurants at the annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo for 3 weeks starting in mid January through the beginning of February. In addition, they provide an event production catering service called Reata on the Road. Reata also produces a line of gourmet bakeware and a cookbook – "Reata: Legendary Texas Cooking".

<i>Riding into the Sunset</i> equestrian statue by Electra Waggoner Biggs

Riding into the Sunset is a bronze sculpture by Electra Waggoner Biggs, depicting Will Rogers on his horse, Soapsuds. There are four castings, located in Fort Worth, Texas, Claremore, Oklahoma, Lubbock, Texas, and Dallas, Texas.

The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, known commonly as the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is the oldest continuously running livestock show and rodeo. It has been held annually in Fort Worth, Texas since 1896, traditionally in mid-January through early February. A non-profit organization, the Stock Show has provided millions of dollars in grants and scholarships in its tenure and continues to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to assist the future leaders of agriculture and livestock management.

Trevor Brazile is an American rodeo champion who competes on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). He holds the record for the most National Finals Rodeo (NFR) world champion titles with 24 titles. Brazile won the 24th title in 2018. Brazile also holds the record for the most World All-Around Cowboy Champion titles at 14, breaking the record of 9 titles held by Ty Murray, Murray's last earned in 1998. In 2010, Brazile won his 8th all-around title, surpassing Murray's seven titles in 1998. Murray's titles were won all in rough-stock events, as opposed to Brazile's timed-event wins, and he is still the youngest winner of the title.

Bull Riding Hall of Fame Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas

The Bull Riding Hall of Fame, located at the Cowtown Coliseum in the Fort Worth Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas, is a hall of fame for the sport of bull riding. It is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of Texas, and created to "recognize, memorialize, and applaud the bull riders, bullfighters, bulls, stock contractors, events, and individuals who have had a made a historic contribution and attained stellar performance in the sport." Membership is open to fans worldwide.

Dickies Arena is a 14,000 seat multipurpose arena under construction, located adjacent to the Will Rogers Memorial Center campus in Fort Worth, Texas. The venue is scheduled to open in November 2019.


  1. Staff. "Will Rogers Memorial Center". National Park Service . Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  2. Hendricks, Patricia D and Becky Duval Reese, A Century of Sculpture in Texas: 1889-1989, Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin, 1989 pp. 40-41
  3. Matthew Martinez (April 17, 2017). "Dirt flies Tuesday on $450 million Fort Worth arena project". Fort Worth Star-Telegram .
<i>Handbook of Texas</i> encyclopedia of Texas published by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

The Handbook of Texas is a comprehensive encyclopedia of Texas geography, history, and historical persons published by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA).