Water Gardens



  • 1974



  • 5.4 acres


Additional amenities

  • Drinking fountain
  • Electrical box
  • Park lighting
  • Trash receptacle
  • Water feature


Fun facts

The main entrance to the Water Gardens is located at the park’s northwest corner and features water falling over a tiered cascade into a small pool. A short distance from the entrance is the Wet Wall and Quiet Pool. It consists of a reflecting pool set below 22-foot high walls. At the top of the walls is a trough from which water flows down the walls. At the base of the walls are bald cypress trees whose roots (or “knees”) have sprouted around the trees and the retaining wall of the reflecting pool. To the west of the Quiet Pool is the Aerated Pool. This pool has forty nozzles that spray water to a height level with the ground. In the southeast corner of the park is the Active Pool, a canyon of concrete terraces over which water rushes to a basin thirty-eight feet below. Table-topped stairs allow patrons to walk above the torrents to the basin without getting wet. In the center of the park is the Central Square and a grove of Bradford pears. To the south is a boxy and tiered concrete mesa or “Mountain” that rises twenty feet above the square. Behind the Mountain is the Stage and Lawn, the only grassy area in the park. Special lighting provides dramatic night-time views throughout the park. In 2002, another entrance was added near the northeast corner of the garden to provide a better connection to the convention center. The unique design of the Active Pool played a key role in the futuristic movie Logan’s Run which was filmed in the park in 1975. It was hoped that the Water Gardens would become the venue for numerous outdoor events but the noise generated from the nearby Interstate 30 overhead and the heat generated by the Texas sun beating on the concrete made for less than ideal conditions. In 2008, the Fort Worth Water Gardens received the Texas Society of Architects 25-Year Award for its design excellence.


The Water Gardens complex is a favorite spot for tourists, families, friends, and couples. Located on the south end of downtown Fort Worth, the hardscape canyons and flowing water offer a quite respite from the traffic and business of the day. The park encourages quiet meditation. The water features are beautiful and attract closer inspection, but please take the same precautions that you would at a lake or stream. Swimming and wading are not allowed at the Water Gardens.


The Fort Worth Water Gardens was completed in 1974. It was a gift of the Amon G. Carter Foundation to the City of Fort Worth. The city desired a garden or park to complement the recently completed Tarrant County Convention Center but was unsuccessful in securing federal grants to initiate the project. The Carter Foundation purchased four and one-half blocks to the south of the convention center and paid for the demolition of the buildings on the site. Ruth Carter Stevenson (her name was Ruth Carter Johnson at the time), daughter of Amon G. Carter, selected Philip Johnson as the architect for the project. Stevenson had selected Johnson to design the Amon G. Carter Museum and considered no other architect for the park project. At the time of the commission, Philip Johnson and John Burgee were partners. Stevenson did not like Johnson’s first proposal for the park but immediately loved his second which featured soaring mesas and deep canyons of concrete unified by dramatic displays of water and as well as vegetation. Johnson’s final design included seven distinct areas. 


View animal, plant and insect species observed at Northwest Community Park and make some of your own observations through iNaturalist. See link under the "Related information" Section.

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1502 Commerce Street, Fort Worth 76102  View Map

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