Weatherford Democrat

Top News

July 24, 2012

Book showcases history of Will Rogers Coliseum

WEATHERFORD —  

Debbie Liles was doing her thesis for her master’s degree about an obscure figure named Wyatt C. Hedrick, a talented architect during the Depression era. His company designed and built a number of Fort Worth’s buildings at a time when the city was transitioning from a small-time cow town into the metropolis Texas celebrates today. One of his most prominent projects was the Will Rogers Coliseum, and, reasoned Liles, someone must have written something on its construction and design. Nobody had.

Liles was born in England, and grew up with a keen appreciation for history, which she credited to her mother. Her travels around Europe culminated in a journey to Texas when she was sixteen. She later married a Weatherford native and raised a family, but her passion for the past led her to earn a degree in history and ultimately research and write her first book, entitled Will Rogers Coliseum, a pictorial history of the famous building. 

Liles was spurred to write the book both because of her desire to become a published author prior to earning her doctorates and because of her interest in local history. Through her work at the Texas State Historical Association, she had come into contact with the publishing company Arcadia, which specializes in local history. 

“It all kind of fell in line,” she recalled. 

“For me, I wanted to tell a story. There is no historic protection on that building,” Liles said, explaining her choice of pictures to include in the work. “The City of Fort Worth can plow it down tomorrow. It has no historic protection. I wanted to present the history of the structures in a way that helped it gain historic preservation.”

The coliseum, Liles explained, clearly meets the qualifications for preservation as a historic building. 

“Why they don’t preserve this structure is beyond me,” Liles said, noting that it was often on the top ten list of most endangered buildings in Fort Worth. Through her book, Liles hoped “to give anybody that wanted to help preserve the structures a tool.”

Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results