The Lon Evans Correctional Center is a 200,000 SF jail in downtown Fort Worth, directly across the street from the existing 16-story corrections center. Occupying a full-block site, the building effectively marks the western edge of the County’s downtown campus, centered on the historic Tarrant County Courthouse three blocks to the east. The new jail will accommodate high security detention units for both male and female inmates, an infirmary and central kitchen for the entire corrections complex, staff areas, as well as a public visitation area. A skybridge and underground tunnel link the new jail to the existing jail.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Given the prominent downtown site, the County wanted a building that would comfortably blend into the urban fabric of the neighborhood. Officials specifically sought to avoid creating an overly institutionalized-looking structure that heavy-handedly revealed its use. Our design of the Lon Evans Correctional Center draws its inspiration from the rich "Cowtown Deco" heritage of Fort Worth as seen in such civic structures as the Will Rogers Complex, Texas & Pacific Terminal, and the U.S. Courthouse. The building’s overall massing is broken down through the use of end-bays that project slightly forward, subtle changes in the exterior wall planes, and a mix of brick, cast-stone, and granite in varying finishes and colors.
The building’s primary elevations face onto Weatherford and Belknap Streets, two important, one-way thoroughfares that lead in and out of downtown Fort Worth, respectively. These facades receive a higher level of detail through the addition of brick pilasters with stylized capitals and patterned cast-stone panels. Decorative cast-stone niche panels provide visual interest and further breakdown the buildings scale along the sidewalk.
LEED Gold Facility
The Lon Evans Correctional Center is not only unique for its urban locale and subsequently sympathetic design, it also boasts a LEED Gold certification. Through a combination of sustainable construction practices, high-efficiency fixture & HVAC system specifications, and a 100% green power offset, the Lon Evans Correctional Center is one of the greenest justice facilities in the nation.