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Trinity River Vision

Panther Island Redevelopment North Side Flood Control Infrastructure

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#1 Fire-Eater

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 10:03 PM

Am I being redundant? I originally tried to raise this issue under "Historic Buildings and Preservation." Tonight I saw the "Trinty Bluff" posts, so I thought I'd retry my rabble-rousing post here in "Projects and New Construction."

Is the 30-acre site TCC was considering part of TRV? Was TCC ever part of TRV?

Anyway, my previous post is below. I think it's timely in regards to the recent manuevering, machinations, and manipulations of the MONTGOMERY WARD CABAL.

"Yes, folks, the Trinity River is a historic landscape, as are the slender and graceful levees that adorn it. Historic preservation must be considered among the alternatives being planned because of the high level of fed involvement. We need to keep an eye on all that stuff going on down along the river. In addition to our historic ditch with running water, there are hundreds of historic properties that will be impacted by this development. (What's that development called?)

Why do we need to keep an eye on it? Because the Ripley Arnold demolition was a hatchet job from a regulatory compliance standpoint. Don't get me wrong -- I think all of these projects are great as long as they follow the spirit and letter of the law. The Ripley Arnold MOA, however, was a joke. Lots of pressure was brought to bear to make sure it got gone so Radio Shack could have the land."

Back to the present: My source at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they have all taken steps to cover their collective asses in regards to TRV. USACE warned the developer -- who refuses to pay for a new historic resource survey -- that many buildings have gained historic status since the last survey. The developer also chuckled at the notion of the levees being historic resources.

The developer's blind eye to these environmental issues could be conspiratorial or just plain stupid. I originally thought the developer at Montgomery Ward was stupid -- now I see them as clever and sneaky as they grab city council by the gonads. :cheez:


WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




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#2 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 10:13 PM

Kip, the redundancy may be due to the fact that I haven't transferred all of the posts from the old forum. Everyone is just going to have to be patient with me.

#3 Fire-Eater

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 10:26 PM

No, John, you're not being redundant! It's on the new site. Now I just I figured folks ain't innerested!

I see this project as El Gigante. I reckon it'll take a while for it to heat up.
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#4 John T Roberts

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 10:31 PM

I really think that I'm getting old, since I don't remember that I have already copied it over. You are right. It probably will take a while for it to heat up.

Tomorrow morning, I will be transferring more threads.

#5 John T Roberts

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 05:55 PM

An update on the Trinity River Vision project will be provided by Streams & Valleys and GideonToal. Recreational improvements to the river corridor and current concepts for the bypass channel and Trinity Point in Downtown will be presented. Bing Thom, design architect for the waterfront areas, will be available for questions.

For more information, contact Wendy Shabay (817) 335-4991, wshabay@gideontoal.com or Adelaide Leavens (817) 926-0006, streamsvalleys@charter.net

Date: June 15, 2004

Time: 7:00 PM

Place: Oak Hall at the Botanic Garden Center

#6 redhead

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:40 AM

Kip, you've referred to "the developer" ignoring historic landmarks before. I still am unclear who you mean since the TRV has no developer at this point. The water board is closest to a developer as they actually are spending money to do a few things like the whitewater damns, but other than that I know of no river development in process. Please enlighten me.

#7 Thurman52

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:35 PM

I saw nice TV coverage of the trinity river vision meeting. Very positive, sounds like they have a quick timeline 6-8year?

Also was confused to Fox4 allusion that canals would be constructed to allow boating from Stockyards, and Culutural District to Downtown?

Also nice teaser article in the S-T today about the kayaking in the river.

#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:48 PM

Thurman, in November, I had a chance to quickly glance at the revised plan shown to the public tonight. They are indeed planning to build canals with this project. Fox4 did have a nice story on the project.

#9 redhead

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 10:06 PM

I was in attendance---good crowd. Hoped they would announce TCC location since Bing Thom is also consulting to the college---albeit quietly. The stockyards connection to downtown has not changed: with the constant level section in place, the water level from downtown to the stockyards will be at the same elevation. That level is some 19 feet above the current level BELOW Nutt dam, and some 8 feet above the current level above the dam---thus concealing the dam completely.

What was updated was the placement of the overflow channel, just slightly to east (I think?) of the Tarantula rail. (Visuals were not the clearest.) In some earlier iterations, they were crossing the tracks which is obviously a very costly proposition. The plan would (hopefully) jump start the development of the north Main Street corridor-something the city planning office has long hoped for. They have named the landmass above southward dip in the Trinity, just north of the river "Trinity Point." The focus seems to be on the connectivity between that area and downtown to the south.

Unfortunately that area is still feared by developers for obvious environmental reasons. I personally think that unless the city develops some type of master plan that has DEFINED incentives, it is going to be very, very difficult to entice anyone to take the risk. Just an opinion---you know what Will Rogers compares that to!

#10 mosteijn

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 07:10 AM

I hope they update their website now. And it's good they have a time frame, I was beginning to think the project was dead after not hearing anything for a year. But I'm so glad it's not, that section of town is going to be booming in a decade or so...just watch.

#11 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:37 AM

Fort Worth: The Vancouver of the South?

http://www.dfw.com/m...ess/8963962.htm
A drawing of the latest sketch for the Trinity River Vision and Town Lake is in the article.

The presentation made at the Public Hearing on Tuesday is now also online. Here is the link to the presentation:
http://www.trinityri.....NG 061504.pdf

Edited by John T Roberts, 20 June 2004 - 09:49 AM.


#12 normanfd

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 12:05 PM

I absolutely love the plan. I think that the plan gives the city the chance to get national recognition, while also providing a strong incentive for a dense, highly populated and interesting urban environment that most cities would be very envious to have.

Do you notice in the plan how the river and lake corridors would preserve prominent views of the county courthouse from long distances?

I'm not trying to bash Dallas here, but I do think their own river improvement plan will be a waste of time and resources as long as they insist on that damn tollway. Austin has Town Lake and Barton Springs, San Antonio has the Riverwalk, Houston has it's own very impressive plans for Buffalo Bayou, but Fort Worth's plan beats them all. Is anyone in Dallas listening? Please change your plan before you create a river environment that only El Paso and the Border Patrol could appreciate!

#13 UrbanLandscape

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 12:38 AM

After readint the S-T article...don't you think, after the tornado and such, we should be over the "FEAR ALL THAT IS NATURE AND TOUCH IT NOT, FOR IT IS DANGEROUS!" attitude? I mean, come on...

EDIT: I also just saw the PPT presentation...and wow. This is incredible! I love it.

#14 mosteijn

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 08:38 AM

Personally, I'm extremely excited they're using Vancouver as an example. Has anyone here been there? I have, and they've done incredible things with their waterfront and downtown area, and if we use that as a model, we can't go wrong.

And what's this about rowhouses and whatnot? I was under the impression that the city/committe/whatever was stressing not just dense but highrise residential. That was one effect of Vancouver's waterfront-HIGHRISES!!!

One more thing, I hope the final name for this district isn't "Trinity Point". It sounds like some cheesy retirement community or something. I think it should be called Uptown or Town Lake, something that defines it as a unique, diverse district rather than one consolidated project.

#15 Fire-Eater

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 01:15 PM

Kip, you've referred to "the developer" ignoring historic landmarks before. I still am unclear who you mean since the TRV has no developer at this point. The water board is closest to a developer as they actually are spending money to do a few things like the whitewater damns, but other than that I know of no river development in process. Please enlighten me.

Dear Redhead,

I corrected myself June 1 in the MW thread:

"I should have referred to them as 'planner.' The planner for the Central City Project is on the path to non-compliance with a number of federal regs. I think they're trying to low-ball the environmental work and may end having to revise plans because they're not taking into consideration all the historic properties in the project's area of effect. When it hits the fan, they'll blame the historic preservationists because THEY did not do their homework."

I mixed up the Trinity Vision and Central City projects. I reckon Central City will go first, since the planner is already at the drawing board. One of these days I'll have to look and see if and how the two projects connect.

I talked to the Texas Historical Commission reviewer, and they think the Central City project may be headed the same way as Montgomery Ward: No pre-planning consultation, no early coordination, no interagency cooperation, and no concern for environmental compliance procedures regarding historic properties.

They'll wait til the last minute, scream about time contraints, threaten to pull out, and get their way. And the "hysterical" preservationists will be "anti-progress" and "obstructionists."

If Fort Worth wants federal dollars it better get with the rules and regs and require contractors/developers/planners to comply. The Ripley Arnold demolition was ramrodded through -- those familiar with the process raised more than one eyebrow. Fort Worth can't expect this to keep happening.

Of course, the other option is to keep paying for things with local taxpayer dollars: dancing by the strings of the developer puppeteer.



Sincerely yours,
Kip
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#16 redhead

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 01:28 PM

I have spent quite a bit of time in Vancouver---some of it in the company of Bing Thom. The scale of the land and water masses between the two cities are very analagous, but the relative strength of the residential market is not even close. Given the huge demand in Vancouver, their sales prices are more than fourfold what ours are---in excess of $1,000 (Canadian)/foot. Much of the three and four story residential that was built only twenty years ago or so, Bing says will be demolished within the decade---because it is "not dense enough." (We'd call it historic and fight to save it despite its obsolescence!) He also says of his city that it is a city of towers...I don't think Fort Worth even aspires to be a city of towers.

So, no, I don't think you will see a bunch of highrises in the near future. However, I do believe that if the absorptions remains brisk, youu will begin to see not only more players in the market and more product type hit the ground. The key will be land position. Other than a spotty development of six or eight units here and there, the only land mass where some momentum could be established quickly appears to be Trinity Bluff.

#17 Fire-Eater

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 02:25 PM

Much of the three and four story residential that was built only twenty years ago or so, Bing says will be demolished within the decade---because it is "not dense enough." (We'd call it historic and fight to save it despite its obsolescence!)

It has to be fifty years of age or older to be considered "historic." If it is an "exceptionally significant" structure it has to be at least 30 years old. :o
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#18 redhead

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 02:48 PM

I knew that---sorry, I was just being flippant.

#19 mosteijn

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 06:25 PM

Given the huge demand in Vancouver, their sales prices are more than fourfold what ours are---in excess of $1,000 (Canadian)/foot. Much of the three and four story residential that was built only twenty years ago or so, Bing says will be demolished within the decade---because it is "not dense enough." (We'd call it historic and fight to save it despite its obsolescence!) He also says of his city that it is a city of towers...I don't think Fort Worth even aspires to be a city of towers.

Yeah, but if demand picks up and land value along the waterfront skyrockets, wouldn't they end up demolishing 3-4 story buildings for skyscrapers regardless? Maybe in oh, say 20 years? :frown:

And why shouldn't Fort Worth aspire to be a city of towers? Cowtown just aint gonna work forever. This could be our best opportunity for skyscrapers of value and quantity. We could fill every vacant/parking lot in downtown and it still wouldn't equal the opportunity there is here. I agree the development needs to be human scale, but only at street level. We've got human scale skyscrapers downtown (The Tower will be a perfect example of this when completed), and it has plenty of activity.

And a question about the power point, you know that page where it lists the zones and the amount of sf they want to see developed? I don't think the map they provided matches it, so does anyone know which districts on the map would be called "confluence north" and "trinity bluff view"?

#20 Fire-Eater

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 02:37 PM

O.K., Jonny, at the risk of sounding anti-progress or, at worst, a sentimental old geezer, I'm gonna tell you a story about a little boy. (This is also for some others of you out there who yearn for the tall, glass towers of Dallas.)

This little boy grew up in Atlanta, Ga., and he was VERY proud of his town: The Big Peach, Capital of the Empire State of the South, Hotlanta, site of one of the most decisive battles of the War Between the States, home to "Gone with the Wind." And home to the 2nd Six Flags! The sports teams sucked, but he is, to this day a big Falcon-Braves fan. He loved Atlanta for what it was, but he wanted MORE!

When National Geographic did a cover story about his town, ca. 1976, he was very excited. He dreamed of his city getting REALLY BIG with tall glass towers -- a mecca to which many would come, from far and near.

In 1978 he watched the historic old Henry Grady Hotel on Peachtree Street emploded. Not only was it cool to watch, it was to replaced by the 79-story Westin Peachtree Center Hotel! WOW! But his grandmother had quite another take. As her eyes filled up with tears, she said "I can't believe they've demolished the Henry Grady!" (And there was nothing wrong with it either!) It had been the site of many important Atlanta events, not to mention the site of proms, when Atlanta had only three or four high schools. She had been upset, too, when, a few years earlier, Atlanta's landmark Terminal Station (with Morrocan influence) had been demolished for a pitifully unremarkable 30-story federal building.

Shortly thereafter, the Loew's Grand, site of the world premiere of "Gone with the Wind" was slightly damaged by arson. It was soon "decided" that it was not salvagable and would have to be replaced by the 53-story world headquarters for Georgia Pacific. Then, like a falling domino, came the demand by Georgia Pacific that the landmark Coca-Cola sign, gigantic and resplendent with red and white neon lights that swirled at varying speeds, would have to go, too. They could not have this "eyesore" across the street from THEIR building! An icon of over 50 years was removed.

The little boy went away to college in the 1980s. It seemed like every time he went home, another old landmark had been eradicated for "progress." The 1890s dairy farm with dwellings and outbuildings, at the intersection of Briarcliff and LaVista, was removed, with over 100 gigantic oaks, for a strip shopping center, as Atlanta sprawled, far and wide. A ca. 1920 brick gas station, with porte cochere, was removed for a parking deck next to Emory University. The list went on and on . . .

In the early 1990s, just before his grandmother passed away, the little boy took his grandmother downtown to see the changes. She mostly just said, "Ooooooh, would you look at that." Her city was almost unrecognizable. And saddest of all, to them, was the replacement of the old S&W Cafeteria and the old Woolworth's (site of many of their lunchtimes) by (guess what?) a 60-story office tower.

The little boy moved away from his beloved home town because he got his wish. Atlanta is now a super big city with lots of gleaming glass towers, 16-lane interstate highways, and umpteen gazillion corporate headquarters. Everyone is now going to Atlanta -- but him. The city is TOO BIG, there are TOO MANY glass towered office complexes, there are TOO MANY Damn Yankees who have moved to that mecca. Development, cars, and pollution now dominate his town.

Now, I suppose I'd live there again . . . if a really good reason to do so appeared. I still have a lot of friends there. I love the big trees and green everywhere.

But there is a disconnect -- many, many of the landmarks that made Atlanta what it was to me are there no longer. It is now something else to me, in many ways. (Not to mention all the Damn Yankees who live there!) It's not Atlanta to me any more.

Old buildings create a continuity between generations, they give a city an identity and a soul.

Atlanta had a hell of a time during the Olympics in deciding on an identity. Its mascot was the blue thing, "Whatizit." How can one have an identity when one scorns the past and tradition? Everything about Atlanta was "looking to the future." But everything we are today is a result of what's happened in the past. This is what makes different parts of America unique, even as we speed on towards a goal of homogeneity.

It is a given that cities are going to change, but how will they do it? Growing with a seriously-planned eye to the past, improving upon what exists? Or wipe-the-slate-clean with cost-effectiveness, highest-and-best-use, biggest-bidder-take-all, and the-bottom-line? Flirt like a whore for the developer's dollar? Sit-up and roll-over like a dog, begging for a bone?

Some of you will smirk at me as a sentimental fool, but it is you whom I pity. With your eyes only on the bank ledger you will miss texture, lines, the patina of age, the walls that can't talk, the structures that connect us with our past.

As I live here in Fort Worth, I connect to it through people and places. People die, but it gives me hope that some of the buildings will live. I hope Fort Worth wakes up before it does more to destroy its legacy. Very few landmarks have even nominal protection in this town.

So, my good Jonny, you want your city to be like Dallas? This little boy says don't wish that on Cowtown (Dallas only WISHES it were "Cowtown," so its football team mascot would make sense!) I think "Cowtown" is good like it is. Sure, progress is good, but at what cost? If you want Dallas or Atlanta, then go there -- I think you'll eventually come home.

OK, I'm through -- You can wake-up now! :frown:
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#21 mosteijn

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 05:27 PM

Uh...where's the connection between Atlanta's lost historic buildings and the Trinity River Vision? The reason I think this is our best opportunity for towers is because there wouldn't be hardly any obstacles and there's plenty of space. I don't want Dallas or Atlanta, which btw I have been to both, because their buildings are for the majority bland offices. What I want is something like Vancouver, dense residential skyscrapers.

But thanks for the interesting story, I wish some of those landmarks you spoke of could have been there when I visited Atlanta.

#22 gcarey

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 06:24 PM

I think the plan is great. I am not sure about the Vancouver analogy, but the FW Trinity River vision is awesome. In fact, I think it is better than Dallas's plan. I hope to see it come to fruition, especially all the mid-rise development.

#23 Fire-Eater

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 08:13 PM

Uh...where's the connection between Atlanta's lost historic buildings and the Trinity River Vision?

But thanks for the interesting story, I wish some of those landmarks you spoke of could have been there when I visited Atlanta.

Yeah? Oh well . . . I guess it's either the Alzheimer's or the laudanum kicking in. Sometimes my mind wanders in a myopic haze. :frown:
WWSPFD?*

History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

For me there is no greater subject than history. How a man can study it and not be forced to become a philosopher, I cannot tell. ~George E. Wilson




*What Would Susan Pringle Frost Do?

#24 ghughes

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 09:36 PM

Regardless of where we are building, Kip's story should be required reading.

In the near-north Main area there are some pretty cool buildings like the power plant, Ellis Pecan, etc. There's also a lot of non-descript, falling-in junk that needs to be reclaimed. Skyscrapers are cool, but skyscrapers mixed in with a lot of other styles and time periods make for a great dynamic tension. I hope we can keep the best of the old while building the best of the new.

#25 normanfd

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 10:40 PM

I agree with Greg. Furthermore, I wish architects who build next to historic buildings would design new towers that, from a street level at least, show a respect for their place in that context. I have no problem destroying an auto sales lot or a rusting, decrepit tin-sided warehouse siting in an environmental brownfield in order to build towers, but the historic buildings, if at all possible, must be preserved.

In an old thread, there was a comparison between the skylines of Fort Worth and Toronto. I would not like Fort Worth have one like Toronto, especially if we're trying to encourage Downtown residences. I like the openness of our shyline. I like how taller buildings don't overwhelm smaller, older ones, and I like the sense of airyness and sunlight we have in our downtown. I would prefer residential towers built around plazas and other greenspace (think Savannah, GA with towers), or along canals and riverfront.

And, as much as we like to promote density, development taking advantage of Trinity River Vision must never be used as an excuse to raze neighborhoods of older, single family homes, no matter how modest, such as the homes in Rock Island and Oakhurst.
We must respect that real people live in these neighborhoods, and we must honor the value they place in their homes and neighbors.

#26 mosteijn

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 07:59 AM

I agree too, while there really aren't a lot of historic buildings in that area, those that remain should be kept. And under this plan, they would be (read the page about "keep historic resources" or whatever in the powerpoint). I see no problem with filling the remainder of the area with skyscrapers.

My beef was that my hopes had gone up after reading about the original project, which stressed the need for residential skyscrapers of significant height (there were certain areas that they wanted buildings no less than 20 floors!!), and then I read the revised vision and it seems that short, townhome-esque buildings would be the norm.

Of course I know nothing's final, since this is just the "Vision", but I would be real disapointed if we miss this excellent opportunity for skyscrapers.

EDIT: Btw, here's the link to Bing Thom's website. Make sure you read the little bit about Fort Worth :frown: , and check out his skyscraper work:

http://www.bingthoma...s.com/home.html

#27 cberen1

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 12:02 PM

I'm not sure that bigger is necessarily better. I know Jonny has a pre-disposition towards tall things. And that's cool. There are some really cool tall buildings in the world (I'm a fan of the Chrysler building). I'd even say that Ft. Worth could probably use 3 - 5 more tall uildings, but I don't think that they add value to the city the way that the character of a really livable space can.

I like the open and warm feeling of the area around sundance square. It's very pedestrian friendly. There are plants and sunlight and open air beside the urban flair of tall buildings and energy. I don't particularly like the dense skyscraper feel of downtowns like Houston, Dallas and Toronto.

One concern I have is about the durability of the proposed development. Are we building neighborhoods that are destined to decline in 75 - 100 years? How do you develop an area in a way that it doesn't erode with the passage of time? It seems like the quality of construction has something to do with it, but there are so many other factors. Everything that is now run-down and abandoned was once new and full of potential.

#28 cjyoung

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 02:55 PM

I like the idea of being the Vancouver of the south, as the article suggests. For a city of 600,000 and 300 square miles, I don't think it would be overdoing it if we had 20-30 more skyscrapers (greater than 90m).

I would like to see the growth driven by job growth downtown.

#29 Willy1

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 09:30 PM

Hey Kip,

I read your story about Atlanta... and I agree with it. Only one problem with your story... Fort Worth is already considerably larger than Atlanta proper, we just don't have the 79 story skyscrapers we deserve. Of course, another thing about that is that FW has a much better history of preserving her buildings... If FW were to start building upward, it probably wouldn't be at the cost of the historic buildings we have. I think things like our not-so-impressive city hall being imploded for an award winning IM Pei design would defintely be welcomed!!! And of course, there is the lancaster corridor and the upper west side - both are ripe for construction projects. And, once the trinity river vision is in place - that too would be a great location for some scrapers.

And, before you say that Atlanta is bigger metro-wise than FW... not so. FW is part of DFW and therefore part of the 5th largest metro area in the nation. People might reject that saying FW should stand alone, but the fact of the matter is that FW isn't standing on her own... she's standing next to Dallas and nothing will ever change that. Although, some day soon, it will be said that Dallas is standing next to FW... :no:

However, the points you made in your story about Atlanta ring loud and true. We have to be very careful how we grow or FW will end up being just another Dallas or Detroit. Or worse - Saint Louis... Did y'all know St Louis was once one of the largest cities in the US (as in one of the top ten, maybe) ... take a look at where she ranks now. What a shame. I wonder what went wrong...

OH - and as for the skyscrapers we deserve... I think it would be great for FW to have a signature tower in the middle of downtown - one that is much taller than anything we have now - and for it to resemble in some creatively architectual way.... a tornado... I see a tall building that is somewhat of a twisting upward moving funnel shape... with the top being broader than the base... Sort of like an upside down wood screw. Maybe a black tower... and with lights that move around it at night... representing rotation. I think it would be a grand tribute to our Tornado Alley location and the twister of 2000.

#30 John T Roberts

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 10:05 PM

Let's see....we could call the tower "The Vortex", or maybe "Twister Center". :laugh: :no: :swg:

If FW were to start building upward, it probably wouldn't be at the cost of the historic buildings we have.



By the City's definition only, the only buildings that are landmarked and protected in Downtown are: Ashton Hotel, Blackstone Hotel, Central Fire Station No. 2, Eddleman-McFarland House, Electric Building, Flatiron Building, Greater St. James Baptist Church, Houston Place Lofts, Kress Building, Lone Star Gas, Tindall Storage Building, Charles E. Nash Elementary School, Pollack-Capps House, Red Goose Shoes, Santa Fe Freight Station, Sinclair Building, Texas & Pacific Warehouse, Transport Life Building, Union Depot, Winfree Building, Woolworth Building, and the Y.W.C.A.

If I have my list correct, there are quite a few buildings that are not locally landmarked and could be demolished at any time for a new tower. There are quite a few other buildings that are listed on the National Register and as Texas Recorded Historic Landmarks.

#31 Dismuke

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 12:58 AM

One concern I have is about the durability of the proposed development.  Are we building neighborhoods that are destined to decline in 75 - 100 years?  How do you develop an area in a way that it doesn't erode with the passage of time?  It seems like the quality of construction has something to do with it, but there are so many other factors.  Everything that is now run-down and abandoned was once new and full of potential.

How do you ensure today that an area will not decline over time? I don't think you can. Whether or not an area will eventually go into decline largely depends on the events which unfold between now and then. And I suspect that quality of construction has little to do with it.

For example, consider the following neighborhoods: Fairmount and Fort Worth's South Side in general, East Dallas and the older parts of Oak Cliff. All of these were once very grand, desirable and even affluent neighborhoods. Most of the houses in them were very well built - as evidenced by the fact that so many have survived despite decades of neglect. Yet all of these neighborhoods went into a very significant decline in the mid-20th century. Happily, all of these neighborhoods are in the process of being revived.

On the other hand, consider Arlington Heights, the neighborhoods around TCU and the M Streets in Dallas. These are also older neighborhoods but none of them ever went into decline and today they all have a similar or, in some cases, even more affluent demographic than they did when they were built.

What is it that we mean when we say that a neighborhood has gone into "decline?" Basically, that is just another way of saying that poorer people have moved in. What makes a neighborhood attractive to poor people? Low rent - and the only way that low rent becomes available in middle and upper class neighborhoods is if the area falls out of fashion with middle and upper class people. And, of course, once the trend starts, the clash of lifestyles between the newer residents verses the older residents only accelerates the trend. In some cases, the pattern may even repeat itself. An influx of working class people may drive out the more affluent people who originally populated the neighborhood. Perhaps a few years later an influx of a certain ethnic group of immigrants may drive out the working class people. And perhaps as larger houses are subdivided into apartments by slumlord types, the immigrant home owners end up being driven out by the influx of desperately poor renters.

People can blame the "decline" of a neighborhood on whatever demographic group that moves into it and "takes it over" - but such blame is misplaced. You won't be seeing any blue collar types move into Monticello or Westover Hills anytime soon. In order for a neighborhood to be "taken over" something must first happen in order to make it ripe for such a takeover.

I can think of a number of reasons: Newer, more fashionable neighborhoods spring up elsewhere, a change in location of the major employment centers, proximity to other neighborhoods already in "decline," a deterioration of the local school system.

Sometimes cultural trends can have an impact. If you look at the neighborhoods I mentioned, Fairmount, East Dallas and parts of Oak Cliff were built in the very early 1900s and were already considered "old" by the middle half of the century at a time when anything "old" was considered bad and unfashionable. That made such neighborhoods vulnerable despite the fact that they were very beautiful and well built. Since very few houses were built during the 1930s and 1940s because of the Depression and war, in the 1950s the 1920s houses in Arlington Heights, the M Streets etc were still considered to be fairly modern. By the time such neighborhoods were considered "old" fashions had changed and their age was no longer a stigma.

Bottom line is there is no way to predict for sure whether or not a given neighborhood will eventually decline. The only thing one can say for sure is, so long as we have a free and capitalistic society, some people will be more affluent than others. It may very well be that, because of improvements in technology and capital accumulation, 100 years from now the poorest people in our society will have a standard of living that we would consider wonderfully unimaginable (just as poor people today who own such things as refrigerators, automobiles, window unit air conditioners, TVs, DVD players, boom boxes, second hand computers, cell phones etc. live lives of luxury compared to most people in America 100 years ago). Nevertheless, the neighborhoods that such "poor" people live in will probably be regarded by those more affluent as being in a state of "decline." Poor people have to live somewhere - and since it is rare for neighborhoods to be built specifically for the poor, they will most likely find their homes in neighborhoods that others, for whatever reason, no longer want to live in. That has been the trend ever since there have been cities.
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#32 djold1

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:13 AM

I have been pondering the latest report and rendering of the proposed Trinity river project. I generally don't get too gushy about proposed projects of this kind. I tend to wait to see what the reality will be rather than the vision.

However, I have to say that when I saw the rendering of the latest plan, it really impressed me. I realize that it is no more than someone's vision, but the layout and design really struck me as practical and attractive. It effectively avoids the Town Pond concept which is trite and wasteful of useful dry land while creating an attractive development area. In addition, it seems to avoid the necessity for adding lots of monumental & expensive bridges and the expense of relocating main roads and railroads. It is a nice design job.

I have always felt that the old swamps of the Trinity in the confluence area north of the Courthouse held great future promise for the city if the moons of opportunity could converge at the right time. Think of the advantages:

* Doubling the downtown area providing room for businesses of all kinds as well as places for those who want to live downtown.
* Forcing an overdue environmental cleanup in areas that are too close to water resources.
* Gaining main city area without displacing any significant number of existing houses, or their renters or owners.
* Upgrading the utility and road infrastructure in the area.
* Providing new recreational areas for citizens.
* Creating a potential tourist magnet for those coming in from outside the city. There is huge potential for the riverwalk idea.
*Creating an attractive bridge area that runs almost to the Stockyards and through the new Mercado area that erases the semi-blighted blocks in the flats and La Grave Field area.
*Better flood control and downstream water management

While I doubt that the historic but difficult Power Plant buildings could survive, the cost of the land to in the project would be within reason and there are other buildings that woudl probably be worth keeping and renovating.

The cost? As someone said, just about what a major urban Interstate highway intersection would cost. Not even significant in the long run considering the advantages. There would be no TIF's necessary and the end result is potentially the best thing to happen to Fort Worth since the Fort was moved to the Bluffs.

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#33 Willy1

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:16 AM

Hey Anyone hear anything about the possibility of turning the old power plant into a FW Aquarium? I read that was being proposed at one time and just wondered if the idea was still alive or not. Seems to me that an Aquarium in the new Trinity River Vision plan would make sense... And it would be a unique thing in the area.

#34 redhead

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:12 PM

I think the power plant is still being considered by the college. However, I think in the absence of that, Grapevine is considering an aquarium. How many does a metroplex need? Dallas already has one.

#35 normanfd

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:43 AM

Actually, ther are two developers planning aquariums in Grapevine. They can't both work, nor could the power plant compete with whoever ends up building in Grapevine.

#36 Willy1

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:18 PM

Grapevine is nice, don't get me wrong. And, they're building that giant resort out there... but I don't really think that Grapevine is a vacation destination -- not that Fort Worth is the first place that pops into people's minds when they think of a great vacation destination. However, I think FW has a lot more sites to see than Grapevine and I think that if FW built an aquarium near downtown on the banks of the Trinity - esp as part of the TRV - then the FW Aquarium would be just one of the many stops that visitors to FW add to their to do list while they're in town. Plus, if the Aquarium built some meeting rooms into the facility, there could be some alternative meeting space to draw the buisness folks from CBD over for some fun meeting space. Grapevine is nice... but it's all about location, location, location... And building an aquarium in the fastest growing large city in the nation is going to get a lot more attention than building one in some far off suburb.

I agree that we don't need 3 or for aquariums in DFW... but this is just another example of something that the primary city should be building instead of letting those dollars go to the suburbs. An aquarium is not NFL franchise, but the theory behind it is the same.

#37 mosteijn

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Posted 29 August 2004 - 11:19 AM

Hey, they updated their website. It's worth a look:

http://www.trinityri...org/default.asp

#38 John T Roberts

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 10:21 AM

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram had a front page story on the Trinity River Vision today. It appears the Federal Goverment has approved $110 million for the project. I thought I would provide the link for further discussion.

http://www.dfw.com/m...al/10239063.htm

#39 mosteijn

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:44 PM

Alright, so this thing has federal funding! $110 million...that's almost a third of the cost. Hasn't the city already pledged it's portion of the project? I'd say it's already about 2/3 of the way funded, and there's enough private sector investments already in place (Pier1, RadioShack, TCC) to push the project forward. I am looking incredibley forward to seeing the final plans, and I hope they havn't scrapped the idea of highrises. I was hoping one of those highrises could be my home one day!

#40 redhead

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Posted 22 November 2004 - 10:21 AM

One of the side benefits of W's re-election is the power of Congresswoman Granger...she had the head of federal appropriations here before the election. With a third coming from the Feds, the water department's contribution (I think they have 40-50 million earmarked), and the TIF funds that could be created with the redevelopment, I think we are a lot closer to seeing this become reality than some of the skeptics would lead you to believe!! It's awesome for Fort Worth!!!!

#41 mosteijn

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 09:52 PM

Surprised no one's posted this...

Vision is closer to reality

Redevelopment could begin in two years, Granger says

By Mike Lee

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


FORT WORTH - Construction on a plan to redevelop the north side by rerouting the Trinity River and building a Town Lake could begin in two years, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger said.

It could take eight more years to finish the $360 million project, which won congressional approval Saturday for a substantial part of the funding.

"It's not overstating it to say that this project could transform the city," Granger said.

Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to spend $110 million on the plan, also known as the Trinity River Vision. Congress will have to formally appropriate money for the project over the next several years.

Still, Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief said, "The kind of dollars we're talking about here pretty much ensure that we're not talking about a Trinity River vision, we're talking about a Trinity River reality."

Of the project's total cost, about $180 million would come from the federal government, about $90 million from a special tax district and another $90 million from Fort Worth, Tarrant County and the Tarrant Regional Water District.

The project calls for digging a river channel across the industrial area just north of downtown and creating a lake that would stretch from the existing riverfront to the channel.

The channel would allow the corps and the water district to regulate the level of the river, which means that the levees along the river could be removed.

About 100 businesses and vacant lots would have to be acquired for the diversion channel, including some businesses with long ties to Fort Worth. Granger said that officials would deal fairly with property owners.

"No one has said yet whether we're going to take that land," she said. "You hope it's a purchase, and you want to purchase it at a fair price."

The corps is conducting an environmental review to determine whether the project is feasible and cost-effective. A draft of the review is due in March.

Over the long term, plans call for a mix of housing, shops and businesses across the 800-acre area.

Some of the development is already happening. RadioShack and Pier 1 have built new headquarters on the south side of the river, and Tarrant County College announced plans last month to build a campus that includes a multi-level bridge across the river.

A model of the proposed lake will go on display starting Dec. 8 at the Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy St. at Lancaster Avenue, in the Cultural District.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Bonus*
Posted Image

#42 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 06:44 AM

The model will be on display at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center starting on Thurdsay, December 9. A public hearing will be held on the project at 6:30 PM on that day.

Below is a link to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on the project:
http://www.dfw.com/m...al/10366647.htm

#43 mosteijn

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 11:02 PM

So they did decide to go with the moniker "uptown" after all...I wonder how Struhs is taking this? :devil:

#44 360texas

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 08:36 AM

"Uptown" must mean farther North than the Court House.

The area is actually lower in elevation. Mainstreet crossing Paddock Viaduct actually goes down hill.


In cartography and model building I always thought that North was at the top of the page or UP oriented. On the Trinity River Vision site, they show the model with North in the down position and the site layout map in the UP position. Just seems awkward to me. Both map and model should be in the same orientation.

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#45 John T Roberts

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 07:30 PM

Here is a guess: the model photographer probably shot the model from all directions and the web site designer chose the view looking toward downtown as the best and the most dramatic. This view may highlight the "island" more than the other views.

#46 mosteijn

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 04:27 PM

So...did anyone go to the public meeting? I need to get to the CAC to take some pics of the model.

#47 John T Roberts

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 04:35 PM

I was planning to go, but I have been battling a sore throat all week. After the Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Lunch, I really started to feel bad. I decided that since the model wad going to be on display for quite some time, I could always go to the CAC and look at the model. Otherwise, I would have been there.

#48 mosteijn

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 04:46 PM

I was going to go, but my swim meet started at the exact same time (didn't end till 9:30 :smwink: ). Strange coincidence, I've been having a sore throat all week, too.

#49 grow_smart

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 05:03 PM

I had the chance to attend the meeting - here is brief overview.

James Toal and Bing Thom spoke about the concept - I thought Bing did a great job describing some of the neat amentities that could be possible. The gondola from Heritage Park to the TXU plant is a novel idea - along with the ferry boats that would serve as some form of public transit.

After the presentation, a bunch of the affected property owners - primarily those upset with the project - asked some typically questions. I think it's a vocal minority - but obviously some folks are not happy. James and a rep. from the TRWD reassured people that they would be met with indiviudally.

The 3D exhibit is much more impressive in person than it looks in the pictures...much larger than I imagined.

#50 Redshirt

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 07:11 PM

Just thought I would post the picture off the TRV.org site since nobody else has done it yet. :smwink:

Posted Image





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