It’s been rumored for months that the University of North Texas has wanted to remove the historic cartouche from the former Titche-Goettinger Building that faces Main Street Garden; maybe you recall, we hinted at its imminent demise as recently as late May. Well, to quote The New Year: The end’s not near. It’s here.
Actually, it’s more like late October, says Willis Winters, second-in-command (for now?) in the city’s Park and Recreation Department. At least, that’s when contractors are scheduled to begin removing the 96,000-pound, 28-foot-tall centerpiece of the store’s mammoth 1955 expansion designed by Thomas, Jameson & Merrill and explained in the archival News story below. UNT wants to install windows overlooking the downtown park, and the cartouche is in the way.
But, says Winters, it will be no easy feat removing the signature shield: It consists of 55 separate pieces of stone, he says, and “we’re not 100 percent sure it’s going to come off the wall. They’re not 100 percent sure how it was attached. If it crumbles when it comes off, I don’t want to build up anyone’s expectations.”
At this very moment, contractors are scanning the original blueprints for the expansion and the cartouche’s installation. The city will also receive a copy. Says Winters, if all goes according to plan the 55 pieces will be wrapped up and trucked off to that building graveyard I wrote about in May.