The sprawling Swift meatpacking plant sits abandonded at 400 E. Exchange Ave, alongside the Armour Company plant on the east side of the Fort Worth Stockyards. Opened in 1903, it once represented the economic boom times of Fort Worth.
It was major news in 1901 when Armour and Swift, America's two largest meatpacking companies, agreed to build regional plants in the Stockyards. Construction began in 1902, and by 1909, the plants were processing 1.2 million cattle and 870,000 hogs per year as well as sheep, horses and mules. By 1910, the Stockyards were the nation's third-largest livestock market, behind Chicago and Kansas City, Missouri, employing most of what was then north Fort Worth. People came from all over the world to work here,
The Stockyards hit its heyday during World War II, but the rise of the trucking industry after the war spelled the demise of railroad-centered packing plants. Armour closed its plant in 1962; Swift lasted until 1971.
Since then, the abandoned proerty has been host to an Old Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant and the filming location for the television programs, "Prison Break" and Chuck Norris’ "Walker Texas Ranger". Today, it is a fabulous multi-hued palette of graffiti some of it reflected beautifully. Urban decay at its finest.
location fort worth, texas
photographer patrick connolly