I’d be willing to bet most people around Dallas-Fort Worth don’t know about La Corte Barrio.

To tell the truth, I’ve lived here all my life – and I hadn’t either.

Now, Heritage Park isn’t a secret. It sits on the northwest bluffs of downtown Ft. Worth, overlooking Panther Island Pavilion and the Trinity River. The view north to the Stockyards is fantastic, and you can see why Major Arnold thought it would be a good spot for a fort. The city has had its annual July 4th fireworks show there for years, and I’m pretty sure I was there for the first.

But right off that bluff sit the remains of what are probably the oldest buildings still standing in the city.

Cool, right?

About 100 years ago, La Corte Barrio became the fourth of Tarrant County’s very first Hispanic neighborhoods. Built of brick and stone, the homes were brightly colored – with gardens filled with flowers and cactus. Only a few walls, some stairs, and scattered paver stones remain of an important part of my hometown’s history – and you can still get to it, right off the Trinity Trail.

How wonderful it would be if this valuable area could be better preserved and attended – but even as it is, it’s like stepping through a portal in time.

Right under our noses.

There’s tons of additional information about La Corte Barrio on-line, and much better photos. I happened to be close the other day, and quickly grabbed these – but intend to go back with a real camera.

And if you close your eyes, you might even smell breakfast cooking.