Swift & Company - Fort Worth

Swift meat packing plant, Fort Worth (2006)

Fort Worth is Cowtown, and Swift & Company were one of the reasons why. Around the turn of the century Swift started moving their meat packing operations closer to their sources of supply. A new facility was constructed in the stockyards area of Niles City, which was eventually annexed by Fort Worth.

The plant, located at the corner of NE 23rd Street & Niles City Boulevard, operated until 1971, when it burned and was subsequently abandoned. It now sits, empty and desolate, just east of one of Fort Worth's biggest tourist attractions.

We visited the site on two occasions in 1990. The site was fenced, but some buildings had doors open to the outside, so one could merely walk in. If you weren't afraid of the dark, that is. At that time we made a pretty extensive tour of the site, and took numerous photographs.

We visited the site again in 2006. It had not changed much, except there was a new fence around the property, and the way we had previously gotten inside was closed. There was one gate which could be easily gotten through, though we did not do so.

The black and white photographs on this page (with one exception) were shot in 1990 with a Minolta X-370 SLR on Kodak ISO 400 black & white film. These images were scanned from the original contact sheets, printed on medium contrast paper under leftover patio table glass (hence the scratches). They were scanned at 1200 DPI, then reduced to ~400 DPI for web publication. They are displayed at 75 DPI.

The color photographs were shot in 2006 with a Canon S2-IS.

Tarrant Appraisal District Records indicate the property is currently owned by:

2006 Photographs

Through the Trees A View of the Grounds

Logo at the 23rd Street Entrance

For sale sign on one of the buildings. The phone number is a real estate company in Oklahoma, and still good in 2006.

1990 Photographs

Two photos, almost the same shot, but taken 16 years apart. As we said, things haven't changed much. The photo on the right was taken in 2006, and "gimp'ed" for appearance. Click on either photo to see its evolution.

Mock Advertising Photo

Taken from one of the taller buildings inside the plant.

More of the Outside

Outside Looking In

Corner of 23rd and Niles City

Inside Looking Out