Blackhouse is located in the historic Rock Island neighborhood, minutes from Sundance Square and a short drive to the Riverside District and Fort Worth Stockyards. The original house was built in 1915. It officially became ‘Blackhouse’ in 2016 and has since become a creative space for artists, musicians, creators and entrepreneurs to gain exposure, network and collaborate.
1105 Peach Street
Fort Worth 76102
Despite its name, Blackhouse in Fort Worth is quite the colorful atmosphere when it comes to the cultural scene in the town of the cow.
Located on the northern and eastern part of downtown Fort Worth, it seems out of place with the surrounding neighborhood, which at times feels almost empty. But Blackhouse brings everything to life when it hosts an event, and one can be found with regularity on the weekends.
And everyone is welcome at the Blackhouse, be they a celebrity, college student or an average Joe or Jane. It is especially welcoming to local artists looking to further their niche.
The owners of Blackhouse, husband and wife Noel and Sara Viramontes, started the venue simply to give their artist friends a place to showcase their talents while folks enjoyed a good time. It has since become a symbol for opportunity, a place where artists can be themselves, knowing they have full support.
But do not call Blackhouse a nightclub.
"No, it's not a nightclub. We're trying to create a community art center in a neighborhood that will never have that," Noel said. "You get into some of these vocal neighborhoods that have amazing artists. They come to share their art with us. We are able to spotlight them here, and eventually someone is going to notice how good you are and eventually … We're just super thankful for that."
The Viramonteses moved into Blackhouse in February of 2016. A few months later, in June, they had their first house party and before long word spread. In July of that year they had their first photography show, featuring Artluck.
Blackhouse is a place to gather and have a great time, much like family and neighborhood gatherings many had growing up.
"I mean, we grew up like that, that was Saturdays with our families, you know. A cookout, or someone's baby was having a birthday, but then all the uncles came over and we all hung out," Noel said. "That was us, you know. Then also the neighbor kids would show up and they would eat our food, and then we would go and eat some of their food, and there was this community that doesn't happen anymore. We see that void."
Where did the idea for Blackhouse come from?
Sara: Originally, this was a case of buying a fixer upper to restore and live in. There weren't any strict HOA [home owners association] regulations, so we let our creativeness run free. With that said, this is how black exterior and white interior came about. Noel wanted to keep as much historic features as possible, while I wanted to modernize.
We've always loved to host our friends during celebrations. In this case, we had friends loaded in the arts. When social media and word of mouth spread the news on this unique home, it was like wildfire.
What is the purpose of Blackhouse?
Sara: We want to spotlight the culture and talents in our city. Also, we'd like to produce large events, like NewYearsinthefunk.com, that our city can be proud of, as well as showcase the different cultures in our community.
Why the name Blackhouse?
Sara: We named it after the color. When we first decided on black, it wasn't because of a trend but more because of its timelessness. To us, black is elegant and sharp, sort like a black suit.
What personal touches do you have in the design of Blackhouse?
Noel: When we started, we were inspired by many European designs, with slopes and abstract design. If you go around the house, you can see the angles that we kept and added. The front stayed its true shape for its historic design, while the back has a modern take.
We didn't have a designer to come in and do this for us. We created it from its original structure and molded it to our liking. We always knew we wanted the lower level to be open, like a gallery or intimate music venue.
What sort of folks might one see at Blackhouse?
Sara: Wow, depends on the day and event. Our crowd is one of the most diverse crowds in the city. We can have jazz nights, which attracts one crowd. Yet another crowd for a watercolor workshop. On weekends, we'll have those that appreciate a dance party with hip-hop, Latin, to house music.
What are some of the major events at Blackhouse so far?
Noel: We've been part of the biggest New Year's Eve parties in Fort Worth. We don't just host events at our location, but have helped produce events around the city. Some major events at our location would be Fort Worth Gallery Night After Party and the Party Buses that we collaborated with Arttooth and The Kimbell Art Museum. Another few events are Latino Hustle, Dia de los Muertos Weekend, and Cinco de Mayo.
Will this, or has this, inspired other Blackhouses?
Noel: It's inspired a Blackhouse culture. This means the idea of working together with other creatives/business/development, for the betterment of our city.
Any additional thoughts?
Noel: In 2019, Blackhouse wants to attract bigger brands to our city, and with that come bigger events. We want to create a new and higher standard to our art, music and film culture.