The "other" Water Gardens
A kind viewer of this site (thanks, Roxanne!) pointed out recently that the '70s sci-fi movie Logan's Run had been filmed in the water gardens in downtown Fort Worth.  She had thought the previous gallery depicted that location.  I checked the dvd of the film and found a place I had never visited.  I showed this to Dani, and she informed me that said location was, in fact, right in downtown FW, an area we had passed any number of times without me ever noticing the place.  Naturally, we had to check it out.


Here's the centerpiece of the park.  This is how Logan and Jessica get back into the domed (and doomed) city.  I'm not sure how deep it is in the center, but in the movie the actors (or their doubles) were able to dive head-first.

In case you can't quite make it out, the text reads:
  • Wading, Swimming, and Bathing are Not Permitted
  • Alcoholic Beverages Prohibited
I didn't bother to photograph the guy with the beer bottle in hand about 50 feet from this sign (no kidding).

Note that the sign does not prohibit graffiti.  Poor sign.  At least the rest of the park was unmarred.


As you can see here, the sides are all slightly angled.  Remarkably, no one slipped and cracked their skull open while we were there.

This is a view from the opposite side as in the previous image.

Deeper into the park are more structures like that around the spiral pool shown above.  Note that there are no absolutely sheer drops; all of the walls have at least a three or more inch ledge every twelve vertical inches or so.

A view from the top of the structure shown above.  To the left is another pool, this time with sprinklers... which had the effect of keeping the waders at bay, at least while we were there.

I found it remarkable how these trees survived only a two or three foot wide opening through which to get water!

Here is yet another pool.  This one is largely obscured by being recessed about twelve feet or so below the rest of the surrounding park.

The courtyard features physics-defying biker gangs that serve as deterrents against the ever-impending threat of mimes and folk musicians.

Finally, here's all you can see of the park from the outside: just rock walls and some trees next to the convention center.

I would imagine this place is a haven for the homeless after dark as there was a guy filling up his water bottles (formerly Clorox bottles!) at a drinking fountain in the park while we were there.

Bonus points if you can spot Dani in this picture!


If you want to check out some images of the film, check out these screen captures of the scenes in the park.  You should be able to match up my shots with those in the film.
*I just read that they're remaking Logan's Run, to be directed by Bryan Singer.  Will this area feature?  Stay tuned!

Alexplored 3/20/04. All contents copyright 2004-2005.

Update: After four people (read: idiots) managed to drown themselves swimming illegally in here, this section of the park was closed pending legal action (i.e., lawsuits on the part of the families of the negligent alleging negligence for not restricting access to standing water deep enough to drown in).  No, I have no sympathy in this case!

There is much confusion on the web concerning the facts of the case.  For those interested, read the following:
Four drown at Fort Worth Water Gardens
HoustonChronicle.com ^ | June 17, 2004 | ANGELA K. BROWN

FORT WORTH -- Three family members and a little girl from a Chicago church in town for a National Baptist Sunday School convention died Wednesday after they were found at the bottom of a deep pool at the Fort Worth Water Garden.

The Rev. Gerald M. Dew, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, identified the family as Myron Dukes, 35; Christopher Dukes, 13; and Lauren Dukes, 8. The name of an 11-year-old girl wasn't released pending notification of her family.

"I was screaming, `Somebody help! These kids are drowning,'" said witness Stephanie Johnson.

The three children were pronounced dead at Cook Children's Medical Center, spokeswoman Mary Kay Glass said. Myron Dukes was pronounced dead at another hospital, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Jesse Spann, a deacon with the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, said the four were members of his church. "We want to comfort one another. That's the only thing we can do right now," he said, his eyes wet with tears.

Witness accounts vary, but it appears the youngest child either jumped or slipped into the water. The other girl fell in when she tried to reach in and help her friend. The man and the teenage boy then jumped in to try and save the girls.

A pump at the bottom of the pool that pulls water up to a waterfall apparently created a suction that made rescues difficult.


Additional details reported in an AP story indicate the tourists (i.e., the idiots) went to the park due to the fact that their hotel swimming pool was out of service ("The Rev. Gerald Dew, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, said the man and children had gone to the Fort Worth Water Gardens to play because the pool at their nearby hotel was closed").

According to a city official, they went there in their in bathing suits.  They went there to be idiots, and now we have to deal with the consequences of their stupidity.  In 30 years of the park being there, it took these morons to get themselves killed to have it shut down.
 
9/11/04

As you can see, the portion of the water gardens containing the fountain has been fenced off and the water completely drained.

You can now see how deep the water was (compare to the first couple photos for scale).

No, we won't be holding any further auditions here for Darwin Awards for the time being....


Below are a couple shots taken a few years ago by my friend and fellow explorer Bean, long before the park was ever closed.  They're long exposure nighttime stuff that he's the expert on, not me.  If you like his work and want to say hi or see more of it, email him or check out this gallery of his work.
 

Update 10/1/07: The waters have returned!
Dani and I passed by here coming back from picking up our marriage license on the other side of downtown, and to our surprise found the park was open again!

That's Dani to the right edge of the frame.


But note the "No Swimming" signs.  Morons.

From a news report:

After the drownings, the victims' families sued. Fort Worth reached a $750,000 out-of-court settlement that did not include an admission of liability.

Last month, a judge threw out the families' lawsuit against the architects, contractors and Amon G. Carter Foundation, the private foundation that paid for the $6 million park and donated it to the city in 1974. The judge said those entities were not liable and called the drownings a "terrible, unfortunate tragedy."


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