Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Trinity Bluffs

Uptown Samuels Avenue

  • Please log in to reply
294 replies to this topic

#1 joeqpublix

joeqpublix

    Newcomer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth

Posted 06 May 2004 - 05:07 AM

I'm a longtime lurker and new poster. I will be moving downtown very soon and have taken an interest in the area. Can anyone shed any light on whether the proposed Trinity Bluffs project is still a go? I drove by the other day and saw a sign but nothing else. I wonder if TCC will take over the sight. I think it would be a shame if TCC took over the sight because some permanent housing in that area would be better for 24/7 traffic. The electric company sight would still be great for TCC. Anyone agree?



#2 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,787 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 06 May 2004 - 05:47 AM

Welcome to the forum. Over on the old one, we had a similar topic and a poll. I haven't transferred it over yet.

I don't know exactly what the status is for Trinity Bluffs. I do agree in that I feel that permanent housing would be a better use for the site. It seems to me that there are plenty of blocks with parking on them within downtown where a TCC campus could be constructed.

#3 Thurman52

Thurman52

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,110 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edwards Ranch

Posted 06 May 2004 - 07:20 AM

Last week in the developers asked the city to vacate some alleyways, and streets so they can 're-align' their development.

They dislayed a rendering in the hearing and it showed an upper level and a lower level development. It was a revised preliminary drawing, but it was nice. It did include Nash Elem.

I was wondering if TCC could be built inside this development. TCC said they need 30acres, which is the size of current proposed development. Would it be possible to push TCC closer to Bluff St and downtown, leaving the norhtern portion free for residential and the lower portion available too

#4 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 06 May 2004 - 08:48 AM

I have talked to people in the city's planning department and to Wendy Davis who represents that area. TCC is not communicating about this project. From a planning department individual was a comment, "it seems like TCC thinks they can do this without public comment."

I emailed Louise Appleman who is on the TCC Board about the concerns expressed here regarding size, shape, and location for the new campus; i.e. the bluffs are the wrong spot and a suburban campus layout is the wrong configuration for downtown. She replied that they were taking those points of view into consideration. I remain skeptical that TCC will go the right way on this, especially since they are relatively closed to public input.

In sum, we need to monitor this and be prepared to be active whenever the plans are revealed. The city has no direct control over the situation, but I have to hope that public opinion can be persuasive.

#5 Nick

Nick
  • Guests

Posted 06 May 2004 - 04:45 PM

I'm a longtime lurker and new poster. I will be moving downtown very soon and have taken an interest in the area. Can anyone shed any light on whether the proposed Trinity Bluffs project is still a go? I drove by the other day and saw a sign but nothing else. I wonder if TCC will take over the sight. I think it would be a shame if TCC took over the sight because some permanent housing in that area would be better for 24/7 traffic. The electric company sight would still be great for TCC. Anyone agree?

Like Mr Roberts said we talked about this in the old foum. In short most dont want it at either Trinity location. I grew up in Samules Ave.AKA Trinity Bluffs. I want homes ,famiies, Parks. Not A cold campus. I dont want it at the other side either.I rather see Pier1 type development thier.

#6 joeqpublix

joeqpublix
  • Guests

Posted 06 May 2004 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for the response. I am a little confused as to whether the Trinity Bluffs would include the demolition or closing down of Nash elementary. I assume that a TCC campus would mean the closing of the school. As a parent, I would like to send my children to a close downtown school. Of course, the quality of Fort Worth schools is debatabel but I believe that interactive parents are the key to any school, but that is fodder for another topic. I agree that a cold suburban campus will actually be a detriment to the area. I seriously doubt that the TCC illuminati would actually consider an urban themed campus. It's too bad because people living the area will be the key to a successful redevelopment, not an abandoned-after-six 30 complex. In fact, that would be a blight on the landscape and synergy of the whole area. In humble opinion.

#7 Guest

Guest
  • Guests

Posted 06 May 2004 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for the response. I am a little confused as to whether the Trinity Bluffs would include the demolition or closing down of Nash elementary. I assume that a TCC campus would mean the closing of the school. As a parent, I would like to send my children to a close downtown school. Of course, the quality of Fort Worth schools is debatable but I believe that interactive parents are the key to any school, but that is fodder for another topic. I agree that a cold suburban campus will actually be a detriment to the area. I seriously doubt that the TCC illuminati would actually consider an urban themed campus. It's too bad because people living the area will be the key to a successful redevelopment, not an abandoned-after-six 30 acre complex. In fact, that would be a blight on the landscape and synergy of the whole area. In humble opinion.

edit

#8 Redhead

Redhead
  • Guests

Posted 10 May 2004 - 02:03 PM

At the school board meeting two weeks ago all hell broke loose over a rumor that either Struhs or TCC had made a pass to buy Nash elemtary. Struhs was at the meeting to present some isues of vacations and abandonments, and vehemently denied making an offer to the school board for the property. Also, of interest might be that numerous urban campuses in the US actually have schools like Nash within their boundaries. Many of these do cooperative programs of varying focuses...maybe TCC could be so creative? Rumor has it that the school is consulting an outside architectural firm with urban campus experience on which site would be better as well as the plan itself...but after the first "leak" they have basically locked down the outward flow of information. No one that knows anything is willing to talk, but TCC has to make a decision by May 19th. City staff working with Struhs say he's running parallel tracks and Lincoln Properties was willing to let have TCC a short feasibilty period then they are back on track. Not much longer!

#9 joeqpublix

joeqpublix

    Newcomer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth

Posted 10 May 2004 - 07:32 PM

If you go to the website www.downtownfortworthhomes.com, in the master plan, I don't see the elemetary school there. Even though there are capital improvements to the school, it seems that developers and TCC would like to see the school gone. I don't see how TCC can build a suburban style campus there because there just isn't enough room. I guess I'll be waiting for May 19. Thanks for the info.

#10 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,787 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 10 May 2004 - 07:49 PM

In all of the renderings and drawings that I could go to on their site, the school was still there. It is a little hard to see in some of the drawings.

By the way, Nash Elementary School is a designated City of Fort Worth Landmark. I doubt seriously the building will be demolished unless there are a number of public hearings. I'm sure some of the preservationists here in the city (myself included) would fight to keep the school.

#11 Redhead

Redhead
  • Guests

Posted 11 May 2004 - 03:53 PM

The rendering on the downtownfortworthhomes website has what appears to be a large greenspace in the center. Although it is hard to read, the caption says "Nash Elementary." An early version, this masterplan was created by Larry Good of Good Fulton and Farrell in Dallas. There was yet an earlier version by an out-of-state firm that made the mistake of removing the school. Whoops!

I agree that the school should stay regardless of whether it is functioning as a school, but find it absolutely ABSURD that the school board approved bond funds to add a gym onto a school with less than 200 students. To add insult to injury---the school itself is in an awful state of disrepair. Just drive by and look at the (rotting, unpainted) windows. But how about that gym!

If you do make the Samuels drive, stop at Mi Metate---best little dive for REAL Mexican food north of the border. Try the desebrada---it's great!

#12 Redhead

Redhead
  • Guests

Posted 11 May 2004 - 04:00 PM

Oh joeqpublix---I just read your reference to the suburban campus. What I had related is that the rumors are that TCC's prime architectural consultant has significant experience in URBAN campus design. The school will not confirm however as GideonToal is acting as the frontman for the school. Since the max Bluff acreage is about 30 acres, without massive use of condemnation, it would need to be a very different model than the other 150-180 acre sprawls of large boxes...It will be interesting to see when they reveal their intentions...

#13 joeqpublix

joeqpublix

    Newcomer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth

Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:47 PM

I didn't mean to imply that I think a suburban style campus will pop up on the Bluffs. I just wanted to express how inapropriate that would be if it did happen. A campus there or on the site of the power station would be great, I just prefer the Bluffs be used for other development. As for Nash elementary, my children would attend that school, so I and my wife have investigated and visited. I have to say that it is in disrepair compared to the Birdville school my children attend now. Also, it seemed to lack a cheery atmosphere compared to schools my children have attended. I am strongly leaning on private school for my children. Regardless, the schoo can be a beautiful structure, but, yes, a new gym for a school that probably won't be there in a year is rediculous. But, hey, it's only taxpayer money after all.

#14 redhead

redhead

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts
  • Location:Cultural District

Posted 12 May 2004 - 04:32 PM

Joe, you are an anomaly. National stats show predominately childless households are urban dwellers--this doesn't mean they don't have kids-just none at home.

#15 JBB

JBB

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,427 posts
  • Location:Bedford

Posted 19 May 2004 - 10:16 AM

Fantastic news on the Trinity Bluffs project! Let's just hope that this whole episode wasn't a ploy by investors who were short on cash.

Posted on Wed, May. 19, 2004

TCC passes on Trinity bluffs site for expansion

By Sandra Baker

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


FORT WORTH - Tarrant County College has decided it is no longer interested in buying a 30-acre site on the north edge of downtown Fort Worth for a new campus and will continue looking for land.

The College on Tuesday told Tom Struhs, the owner of the land, that it is passing on the site, just north of the Old Tarrant County Courthouse on the Trinity River bluffs, mainly along Samuels Avenue.


The College entered into a contract with Struhs in February to buy the land, but was given a 90-day period to conduct its due diligence review of the site. That time period expired Tuesday.


"We have only narrowed our options as to a site for a campus," Chris Smith, a spokeswoman for TCC, said Wednesday. "We have not made a decision for a specific site for the campus. We did terminate with Tom Struhs."


TCC is apparently also was considering the old TXU power plant on the banks of the Trinity, just across the river from the courthouse.


Smith said she could not elaborate on any real estate negotiations the College may be involved in.


Struhs and his development partners, under name Wide Open Spaces, had acquired 25.7 acres of land over a couple years with plans to develop the area into a $350 million development of shops, restaurants, offices and residential units.


The developers had hoped to begin working on the development this years. Struhs said the group continued to work on the project while TCC was conducting its feasibility studies.


"We continued to work with the city and they have been very cooperative," Struhs said. "We are very close to getting our agreements with the city to start infrastructure work."


That work will include replacing sewer systems that date to around the Civil War, he said.


The project is slated to include 1,500 residences, shops and restaurants.


Lincoln Properties in Dallas is an equity partner and will build some of the residences.


TCC is looking for enough land to build a 400,000-square-foot campus and a 100,000-square-foot administrative complex, which would replace its administration building on Houston Street downtown.


The campus will cost between $80 million to $100 million to build. The College already has saved $50 million for the expansion.


The TXU site has environmental problems that would probably need to be resolved before it could be sold. TXU recently said it is mothballing the plant.

#16 Redhead

Redhead
  • Guests

Posted 19 May 2004 - 01:41 PM

Investor "ploy" would have been very costly for a project of this magnitude! Not to mention that putting Lincoln Properties on "hold" was risky...Struhs has been quoted as saying he agreed to the 90 day feasibility period at the request of Wendy Davis and Kay Granger. However, it was probably not in his own interests as lost momentum with the city staff may be hard to regain, especially in light of the city's economic situation.

On the other hand, Landrum's Tower success could attract other investor/developer types to town now that the market downtown has a more proven track record.

#17 The Horses Mouth

The Horses Mouth
  • Guests

Posted 19 May 2004 - 08:41 PM

Trinity Bluff:

1) Long term capitalization was always in place.
2) Assured success must include the best interests of the community.
3) The contracts with Lincoln properties and Trinity Bluff Townhome Partners are
still intact.
4) Architecture has remained in production.
5) Waiting for the TCC decision was not near as hard as the
acquisition itself.
6) And now the work begins.

Thank you for your patience and opinions these past few months.

Trinity Bluff will be something we will all be proud of.

#18 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,787 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 19 May 2004 - 09:05 PM

Thank you for the information.

#19 JBB

JBB

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,427 posts
  • Location:Bedford

Posted 19 May 2004 - 10:09 PM

Thanks for the info. I shouldn't have been so quick to speculate. It just seemed rather odd that the whole TCC deal came about as construction was set to start and I've heard a little scuttlebutt about the project possibly being in trouble. Glad to hear that things are on track.

#20 Dismuke

Dismuke

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,038 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Interests:Late 19th/early 20th century history, popular culture architecture and music. Collecting 78 rpm records from the 1900 - 1930 era.

Posted 20 May 2004 - 12:33 AM

That work will include replacing sewer systems that date to around the Civil War, he said.

My off the top of my head thought is that the sewer systems can't possibly be that old. I am sure there were probably dwellings in that area during the 1860s - but would there have been sewers and such that early on? My thought is that houses in that area would probably have used pit toilets. Anyone here have specific knowledge of how far back the sewer sytems in Fort Worth date back?
Radio Dismuke
1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz
24-Hour Internet Radio
www.RadioDismuke.com


#21 tmonk

tmonk
  • Guests

Posted 20 May 2004 - 01:41 PM

Interesting notes from the horse. I am still watching for TCC to go somewhere dowtown though.

#22 The Horses Mouth

The Horses Mouth
  • Guests

Posted 20 May 2004 - 09:59 PM

Wood Pipe and junction box. Also clay tile. Same thing found at Radio
Shack excavation for utilities.

Many of the old houses had deep stone cisterns for water storage. We dug many of them looking for artifacts. The "Dectectorists" as they refer to themselves (my wife calls them garbologists) with shovels and metal detectors found many old items on the Trinity Bluff sight. Coins, tokens, and buttons. Some of these came out of these deep cisterns.

Since this area was one of the oldest in town, we did not want to miss the opportunity to find what might be laying there close to the surface.

#23 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 21 May 2004 - 03:55 PM

Article in today's Star-Telegram:

TCC's grand plan teems with promise

By Mitchell Schnurman

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


Why did Tarrant County College give up the chance this week to build a new downtown campus on the scenic Trinity Bluffs?

Because it's working on an even bolder secret plan.

School officials may split the campus and put buildings on both sides of the Trinity River, linked by a pedestrian bridge, according to people in the know.

It's an audacious idea that could make the TCC campus an architectural landmark, designed around and over a river and scaling the bluffs.

The unusual split-campus configuration would also pull the Trinity into the fabric of downtown and would knit the school into the county's largest employment base.

Community colleges often look like giant brick boxes sitting on the prairie. This sounds more like a jewel in Cowtown, and school leaders deserve credit for aiming high and defying convention.

Literally and metaphorically, this is a way to elevate the college's stature.

Let's hope that school leaders can make it happen -- and that the details are as good as the concept.

Officials would not confirm that they're talking about the proposal, and people familiar with the plan declined to discuss it on the record. They say they must keep information confidential until they close on the land purchases.

A TCC spokesman said an architect has not been chosen to design the new campus. But acclaimed architect Bing Thom was in Fort Worth this week and met with district trustees Wednesday.

He showed them potential models of the campus, and people said they were astonished by the creativity. Thom, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is known for his work on urban waterfronts, and he's been in Fort Worth recently to consult on the development of the Trinity riverfront.

It will be interesting to see how he proposes to cope with the steep drop from the top of the bluffs to the river. Much of the space has dirt fill that could be excavated or built into terraces, if necessary.

Until Thom entered the picture, TCC had narrowed its search to a waterfront site owned by TXU and a site next to downtown.

Both locations had advantages, both had strong advocates and both desperately wanted to land the campus. Thom's solution would let each get some of the action.

More important, students, residents and visitors would get the best of both worlds.

Even the site that was rejected this week, the 26-acre Trinity Bluff development, would get a big boost. It would quickly have a striking next-door neighbor that attracts thousands of people.

That would stoke demand for its town houses and retail stores, and make them more valuable.

TCC's big ambitions have alienated some, including a trustee candidate who was defeated by the incumbent in last week's election. Critics say a downtown campus would soak up large sums of money that could be better spent on teachers, new classes and the expansion of existing facilities.

But trustees decided in 2002 to raise taxes for a downtown campus, and more than $50 million is already in the bank. Chancellor Leonardo de la Garza maintains that the downtown campus is "a 100-year decision," meaning that we'll live with the consequences for many generations.

That's why the school initially rejected the notion of building on 5 acres next to the Tarrant County Courthouse, owned by the Bass family. It would have forced the campus to be too vertical, and it was too small to accommodate growth.

That led Ed Bass to team with Tom Struhs, the Trinity Bluff developer, whose holdings run along the bluffs, just to the east. Together, their 30-plus acres were large enough to fulfill de la Garza's vision, and their plan would be a driver for downtown traffic.

Struhs agreed to give up his plan to build housing, offices and retail for the school sale, a sure thing.

TCC, Struhs and Bass agreed on sale prices, and TCC put up earnest money. It had 90 days to evaluate the land and either close the deal or walk away.

At the same time, the college secured an option on a large tract of land owned by TXU, just north of the bluffs and along the river. While the school studied the bluffs, it also did soil testing and due diligence on the TXU site, looking for environmental hazards.

Downtown advocates pushed hard for the Bass-Struhs land. They wanted to build more pedestrian traffic in the central core and make the city more vibrant. They also wanted downtown workers to have easy access to lectures and classes, and to the landscaped grounds of the public facility.

The TXU site had its admirers, including Rep. Kay Granger, one of the driving forces behind the Trinity riverfront project. She believed that a TCC campus would add to the momentum along the Trinity and resolve the big question of what to do with the abandoned TXU power plant.

Pier 1 Imports and RadioShack are building headquarters on the other side of the river, and a town lake is planned for the same general area.

This week, TCC told Struhs that it would not buy his land, and he re-focused on his commercial project. But a TCC spokesman said the school did not tell Bass the same thing.

The school still has the option to buy Bass' 5 acres atop the bluffs, next to the courthouse. And to buy TXU's land on the riverbank.

Decision day on the Bass tract is scheduled for the end of the month, so de la Garza and the trustees have to make their call soon.

We'll see if they bag them both.


Nothing official yet, but I like that idea better than canning the Trinity Bluffs project. It also has less land (perhaps a little more verticality), and provides an option to reuse the TXU building.

#24 normanfd

normanfd

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Location:Fort Davis

Posted 21 May 2004 - 05:46 PM

I like the concept. The idea of having the campus on both sides of the river joined with a pedestrian bridge is imaginative. I think the campus link to the near Northside has the promise of encouraging Downtown's development in that direction. I would love to see Downtown's profile of medium to tall buildings stretch all the way from the Medical District to Northside Drive someday.

I hope that TCC's proposal will include some adaptive reuse of the TXU building. I'd hate to see that building demolished and replaced with some box.

#25 Dismuke

Dismuke

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,038 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Interests:Late 19th/early 20th century history, popular culture architecture and music. Collecting 78 rpm records from the 1900 - 1930 era.

Posted 22 May 2004 - 12:58 AM

I hope that TCC's proposal will include some adaptive reuse of the TXU building. I'd hate to see that building demolished and replaced with some box.

I agree. It is a very attractive building.
Radio Dismuke
1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz
24-Hour Internet Radio
www.RadioDismuke.com


#26 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 22 May 2004 - 05:43 AM

The building is from an era when decorative arts were included even in industrial structures, which keeps it attractive even today.

The good news for reuse is that the building is probably a very sound structure. The probable bad news will be asbestos insulation on steam pipes. The good news about that sort of bad news is that it should be fairly localized and easy to handle.

There's a lot of equipment to get out of there, and I doubt the building itself is insulated. So someone will be working with (mostly) a shell. But I wonder if there are internal architectural features that should/could be saved?

#27 Dismuke

Dismuke

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,038 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Interests:Late 19th/early 20th century history, popular culture architecture and music. Collecting 78 rpm records from the 1900 - 1930 era.

Posted 22 May 2004 - 09:00 AM

Do you know if the equipment inside is the original electric generators? If so, I think it would be fascinating to see to take a look at them. If the original equipment is still there, I would assume it is no longer being used.
Radio Dismuke
1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz
24-Hour Internet Radio
www.RadioDismuke.com


#28 joeqpublix

joeqpublix

    Newcomer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth

Posted 22 May 2004 - 12:40 PM

I think that a TCC campus that straddles both sides of the river is an ingenious idea. I would especially love to see the area north of the Trinity flourish and Cowtown would make a perfect link to creating a huge entertainment district with downtown, although some kind a high-volume dedicated bus system is needed to link the areas. I'm not a person who can afford a $300k downtown townhouse quite yet, so I would love to see homes in the $100k to $200k range in downtown. As I drove through the near south side, I was amazed how quickly home prices have shot up for the area. Nealy threefold for some properties in five years. So, the question is, is the Northside area south of NW 21st street ripe for revitalization in the future, because homes are still cheap there? Or am I a little to grand in what I see as the future of Fort Worth?

#29 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 22 May 2004 - 12:50 PM

Do you know if the equipment inside is the original electric generators? If so, I think it would be fascinating to see to take a look at them. If the original equipment is still there, I would assume it is no longer being used.

Perhaps that could be incorporated into some new electrical engineering course at the college? It would be interesting if all aspects of the building could be reused.

And the area in between the Stockyards and Downtown is supposed to be revitalized with the Trinity River Vision into an area of high-midrise residences mixed in with a little bit of office, hotel, and entertainment uses (it already has LaGrave field). Perhaps TCC can give the whole Vision a little boost.

#30 joeqpublix

joeqpublix

    Newcomer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth

Posted 22 May 2004 - 01:10 PM

To be more clear, I was wondering if anyone thinks that the residential areas directly north of the Stockyards will experience the same updating that the near south side has or if the revitalization will stop its northern boundary at the Stockyards?

#31 Dismuke

Dismuke

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,038 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Interests:Late 19th/early 20th century history, popular culture architecture and music. Collecting 78 rpm records from the 1900 - 1930 era.

Posted 22 May 2004 - 01:51 PM

To be more clear, I was wondering if anyone thinks that the residential areas directly north of the Stockyards will experience the same updating that the near south side has or if the revitalization will stop its northern boundary at the Stockyards?

Are the houses in the area you are taking about in repairable condition and would they be houses that people would want to live in if they were in good shape? If so, then my guess is there would be a pretty decent chance at being eventually revitalized. But some of the houses I have seen on the North Side appear to have been built as "poor people's housing" and are small and probably not very well built to begin with. Those houses will probably be torn down as they fall further into disrepair. Eventually those neighborhoods will be swallowed up by some other form of development be it residential, commercial or industrial.

Another factor is how safe the neighborhoods are now. Would "urban pioneers" be putting their lives at risk by moving into the neighborhood? One of the things that is kind of neat about the Southside is the fact that there is a wide range of socio-economic groups who seem to more or less happily co-exist. Not all neighborhoods are so friendly towards "outsiders."
Radio Dismuke
1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz
24-Hour Internet Radio
www.RadioDismuke.com


#32 normanfd

normanfd

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Location:Fort Davis

Posted 22 May 2004 - 02:35 PM

There are parts of the Northside that have many formerly grand homes that are just begging for investment, such as the Circle Park area. Many Northsiders are immigrants, so that neighborhood has been accepting "outsiders" for decades.

#33 Dismuke

Dismuke

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,038 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Interests:Late 19th/early 20th century history, popular culture architecture and music. Collecting 78 rpm records from the 1900 - 1930 era.

Posted 22 May 2004 - 02:50 PM

There are parts of the Northside that have many formerly grand homes that are just begging for investment, such as the Circle Park area.

Where is the neighborhood located at? What are the major cross streets?
Radio Dismuke
1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz
24-Hour Internet Radio
www.RadioDismuke.com


#34 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 22 May 2004 - 03:07 PM

It's located roughly between 21st, Northside Dr, Main, and 199. I went there once, but it was at night, and I only drove along Circle Park Blvd to Park St, and saw the skyline from Circle Park (my mom says the view from the northside branch library is amazing). JP Elder Middle School is also a beautiful building, and has been well preserved. I didn't pay much attention to the houses (well, it was dark), but they seemed midsized and somewhat well kept up.

When was this neighborhood built, and what style are the majority of the homes?

#35 JBB

JBB

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,427 posts
  • Location:Bedford

Posted 22 May 2004 - 03:54 PM

Just doing a search of Circle Park Blvd. on TAD, I checked a few random houses and found that most were built in the '20's and '30's. Most of the houses were valued well below $100K.

#36 normanfd

normanfd

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Location:Fort Davis

Posted 22 May 2004 - 04:19 PM

From N. Main St, turn east on NE 20th St. Circle Park is about two blocks west of Marine Park. Another two or three blocks west of Circle Park is Northside Park. N. 20th St. is where the street grid changes from a SW to NE direction leaving Downtown to a S to N direction further out.

Yes, the houses will be lower valued. Many haven't been well maintained since that neighborhood is not economically strong. The neighborhood has real potential, especially with three city parks so close.

Circle Park itself is more or less a half circle with J.P. Elder Middle School on the NE end. On the south end, the park continues down a VERY wide median between the two roadways of Circle Park Blvd. for several blocks, and it probably has a wonderful view of Downtown.

#37 gdvanc

gdvanc
  • Guests

Posted 23 May 2004 - 01:35 AM

So, the question is, is the Northside area south of NW 21st street ripe for revitalization in the future, because homes are still cheap there? Or am I a little to grand in what I see as the future of Fort Worth?

I would really love to see that area begin to prosper. It has been a while, but I've driven through it several times and have always loved it for its history and potential. Still, without some spark - strong grassroots leadership or large investments from external sources or something - it may be quite a few years before it begins to blossom. Some of the census tracts there are classified as ">30% poverty rate"; it may be difficult for the current residents to make any sort of positive transformation happen.

For those unfamiliar with its history, it encompasses what was once the community of Marine and the city of Nort Fort Worth.

Marine began as a few businesses catering to the cowboys on the cattle trails, and was near where they bedded down the cattle for the night. Ultimately I think it stretched along what is now Main Street (plus a couple or three blocks either side) from the river on the south to Marine Creek on the north.

North Fort Worth was an early "planned community". In anticipation of Fort Worth's expansion, a few Fort Worth businessmen bought much of the land that was then Marine and west to the West Fork of the might Trinity. Then they hired landscape engineer Nathan F. Barrett to lay out the new community. Barrett had teamed with architect Solon S. Beman and industrialist George Pullman to design the city of Pullman, Illinois.

When Armour and Swift moved to town, the poplulation of the area shot up as workers in the plants and railroads - many of them immigrants - began to move in. The diversity seems to have made for a culturally rich neighborhood.

Most of the residences are bungalow style and small, but other styles - Victorian, Romanesque, Prairie, etc. - are represented as well. A common feature is the verandas on the fronts of the houses.

Overall it doesn't seem like a "bad" neighborhood to me, but parts of it could use some care. Many houses may be run down, but that'll happen if you're too busy trying to put food on the table. It is an area with character and history and potential and recently a few positive signs. I hope we all get to see a renewal in this neighborhood in the near future.

#38 Fire-Eater

Fire-Eater

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 338 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Soon-to-be-Historic Wedgwood
  • Interests:Historic buildings and landscapes, local history, current events, coffee, hard liquor, and arguing!

Posted 23 May 2004 - 08:36 AM

It's located roughly between 21st, Northside Dr, Main, and 199. I went there once, but it was at night, and I only drove along Circle Park Blvd to Park St, and saw the skyline from Circle Park (my mom says the view from the northside branch library is amazing). JP Elder Middle School is also a beautiful building, and has been well preserved. I didn't pay much attention to the houses (well, it was dark), but they seemed midsized and somewhat well kept up.

When was this neighborhood built, and what style are the majority of the homes?

Jonnyrules23, you're quite a remarkable young fellow. Have you considered a career in the field of historic preservation? I believe Cornell and Mary Washington have very good programs. Of course, the University of Georgia has the best. It has a heavy emphasis on vernacular architecture and field work. Goooooooooooo DAWGS, SIC'EM, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof!

I just got hired to teach AP American History at North Side High School. GO STEERS! (I tried for Paschal, but they have no openings.)

I hope to get the Steers interested in historic preservation on the north side, so I need some clues on where to look.

Areas that are traditionally low income usually have few opportunities for historic preservation. Over the years, these residents attempt to improve their homes with aluminum siding, wrought-iron porch supports, and other non-historic alterations. I've done a lot of field work in low income areas, and the residents usually "improve" themselves out of historic district eligibility.

The principal at North Side is a BIG proponent of extracurricular activities, so I hope to get a history club started that focuses on north side history, culture, and historic preservation (one of my ideas). I'll just have to see how many kids are interested. We're talking oral history, historic building surveys, and document research.
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?

#39 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,787 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 23 May 2004 - 10:22 AM

Jonny, I've commented on this before, you have a great feel for the built environment and planning.

Kip, congratulations. Our firm has done several small projects at North Side High. Are you aware that within the original front lawn of the school was an old ampitheater? It is still there, but buried under what remains of the lawn and part of the baseball field. There also used to be a pavilion roughly on axis with the front of the building.

If you wish to check out some of the historic buildings in the area, go to my North Side page and you will find a listing of the architecturally significant buildings. I do have photos of some of them ready to be put on the site, but I don't have building descriptions at this time. http://www.fortworth...h/northside.htm

#40 normanfd

normanfd

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Location:Fort Davis

Posted 23 May 2004 - 01:06 PM

I remember once in the early '80s being a guest in a beautiful, well-maintained house on Grand Ave. near the southeastern terminus of Circle Park. The home had two stories, a large porch, and hardwood floors. This neighborhood has huge potential. If the T ever put a passenger rail line down N. Main, this neighborhood would be reborn sooner rather than later.

#41 redhead

redhead

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts
  • Location:Cultural District

Posted 24 June 2004 - 02:40 PM

Since Trinity Bluff has been in this thread before, I thought you might want to know there is a nice article in the Weekley regarding the project. It talks alot about the assemblege and the people on Samuels and how Struhs accomplished the massive undertaking for the land mass. Maybe someone with more technical savy could provide the link?

#42 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,787 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 24 June 2004 - 03:25 PM

I was downtown doing some business with T/PW this morning and I picked up a copy and read the article immediately. It is worth everyone's time here on the forum to read it.

FW Weekly Article on Trinity Bluffs:
A New Suit for Samuels Avenue

#43 redhead

redhead

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts
  • Location:Cultural District

Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:26 PM

Am I stupid or does anyone else sense that this is the biggest change to downtown Fort Worth in our lifetime?? Not only are his blue roofs already there to the south, but he could be under construction by year end with the city's cooperation... And without a 45 million dollar Cabela's giveaway??? Hey, you forward thinkers, where are you on a maverick project?

#44 Dismuke

Dismuke

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,038 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Worth
  • Interests:Late 19th/early 20th century history, popular culture architecture and music. Collecting 78 rpm records from the 1900 - 1930 era.

Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:42 AM

FW Weekly Article on Trinity Bluffs:
A New Suit for Samuels Avenue

Sounds like it will be a very nice development.

I didn't realize that one of the houses in the area dated back to the 1860s. Other than the Van Zandt cabin, would this house be the oldest building still standing in Fort Worth?
Radio Dismuke
1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz
24-Hour Internet Radio
www.RadioDismuke.com


#45 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 26 June 2004 - 05:54 PM

Probably one of the oldest, since the city was only founded sometime in the 1840's. I'm glad at least a few of the grand old houses along Samuels are remaining-and getting renovated to boot.

#46 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 01 July 2004 - 05:53 PM

Well, I decided to drive (well, be driven :D ) down Samuels today, and it's acutally not that bad as of now. A few of the houses are in the process of or have been renovated, while at Trinity Bluffs they are moving a good many of the houses rather than just tearing them down. I also noticed on the signs saying Trinty Bluffs, a website was given: http://www.downtownfortworthhomes.com

I think it's been posted before, but it's Struhs' website, and it's very informative (even some renderings and a site plan). I can't wait for Trinity Bluffs to transform the Samuels Ave. neighborhood into the vibrant, historic AND urban area it should be.

#47 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,787 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 01 July 2004 - 07:09 PM

It is a shame you didn't make it to the forum meeting. We had a good discussion about Trinity Bluffs and Samuels Avenue.

#48 Thurman52

Thurman52

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,110 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Edwards Ranch

Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:10 PM

Did I read in this morning S-T that the developer is asking for grants, loans and a TIF to pay for infrastructure?

This is one I would support.

#49 normanfd

normanfd

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 354 posts
  • Location:Fort Davis

Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:55 PM

My understanding is that the developer was asking for support from the existing Downtown TIF rather than seeking a new TIF.

#50 redhead

redhead

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts
  • Location:Cultural District

Posted 16 July 2004 - 09:45 AM

The developer is asking for a modicum of help comparatively for the size of the project---something slightly over 5M. If build-out is 1,500 units, that equates to something in the magnitude of $3,400 per unit, compared to the Tower figure of approximately $60,000/each. (16M/270 units) (Don't get me wrong, I think the Tower qualified, too.) Further, the Trinity Bluff project is a standout example of what the TIF legislation was intended to fund, to wit:

"Sect. 311.005 Criteria for Reinvestment Zone (a) to be designated as a reinvestment zone, an area must:
(1)substantially arrest or impair the sound growth of the municipality creating the zone, retard the provision of housing accomodations, or constitute an economic or social liability and be a menace to the public health, saftey, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use because of the presence of:
(A) a substantial numer of substandard, slum, deteroriated, or deteriorating structures;"

Needless to say that was the case in the area before structures were moved or demolished!

I'm still curious to see where TCC ties into all of this...especially with the announcement of the DeVry campus downtown and its coop program with TCC. Did anyone else catch that tie in??





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Uptown, Samuels Avenue

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users