Fort Worth is the 17th-largest city in the United States and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. The city is located in North Central Texas and covers nearly 350 square miles (910 km2) in Tarrant, Denton, Parker, and Wise counties—serving as the seat for Tarrant County. According to the 2013 census estimates, Fort Worth has a population of 792,727. The city is the second-largest in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area. The city was established in 1849 as an Army outpost on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River. Today Fort Worth still embraces its Western heritage and traditional architecture and design. USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is the first ship of the United States Navy named after the city.
Fort Worth is home to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and several world-class museums. The Kimbell Art Museum, considered to have one of the best collections in Texas, is housed in what is widely regarded as one of Texas’ foremost works of modern architecture designed by Louis Kahn and Renzo Piano. Also of note are the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the latter of which houses one of the most extensive collections of American art in the world, in a building designed by Philip Johnson. The city is also home to Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas A&M University School of Law, and many multinational corporations including Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, American Airlines, Radio Shack, and others.
The Fort Worth Zoo is home to over 5000 animals and has been named as a top zoo in the nation by Family Life magazine, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today and one of the top zoos in the South by Southern Living Reader’s Choice Awards; it has been ranked in the top 10 zoos in the United States. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas are also in the city. For those interested in hiking, birding, or canoeing, the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge in northwest Fort Worth is a 3621-acre preserved natural area designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark Site in 1980. Established in 1964 as the Greer Island Nature Center and Refuge, it will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2014. The Nature Center has small, genetically pure bison herd, a resident prairie dog town, and the prairie upon which they live. It is one of the largest urban parks of its type in the US.
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