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#1 Brian Luenser

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 08:49 PM

82 called for a stroll through the Water Gardens. A total GEM of a park. A+ Here are a few shots from this evening...






Stand by... What's going on here on the rocks? Lets zoom in...

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#2 bburton

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 09:17 PM

Hmm...I don't recall seeing that couple the last time I was there. smile.gif

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#3 jefffwd

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 06:47 AM

They were doing a photo shoot on Main Street yesterday as well...

#4 longhornz32

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:10 AM

Who want's to bet it's for the 360West Magazine.

#5 jefffwd

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 02:12 PM

Who wants to bet that when she got up from laying on that aggregate she looked like she had hail damage tongue.gif

#6 Brian Luenser

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE (jefffwd @ Apr 5 2009, 03:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Who wants to bet that when she got up from laying on that aggregate she looked like she had hail damage tongue.gif



OK. Though the year is young, we have our 2009 winner here. My wife and I have been laughing at this response for a day now. Way too good. We were not worthy.

Nothing takes the glamor out of a glamor shot better than some good old industrial construction talk.
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#7 RD Milhollin

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 12:06 PM

Water Gardens is 40 years old. I agree with the quote in the article that the gardens are being underutilized today. 

 

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#8 Austin55

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 12:45 PM

Glad this was posted, really enjoyed reading it yesterday. I never knew about the Watergardens being underfunded or overgrown. During conventions It's generally got a pretty good amount of tourists in it, walking between the Sheraton/Omni and the CC. During off days it's a been more empty, but I think that's kindoff some of the appeal of it, it's not loud and bustling like Sundance is. With the suppossed Lancaster project suppossed to be starting soon (been saying that for what, 2 years now?) It will only improve IMO. 

It's one of the most interesting parks in the Country I think, exploring, photographing, and relaxing in it have yet to get boring for me. Climbing to the top of the mountain is always a blast. 

 

Hopefully Heritage Park will also be able look back at it's current situation oneday from a a better position. 



#9 johnfwd

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 01:29 PM

I think what's applicable to the Water Gardens is the old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  It is what it is, and is an interesting and pleasant venue for Convention attenders and other tourists.  Whenever I've walked through it, I haven't seen congested foot traffic. But I've observed families with kids playing on the "Mountain" or descending the rocks to the pools, and their parents taking pics of them with their tablets or smart phones, and some law students sitting around studying prior to class (which is what I did when attending Wesleyan across the street).  I remember years ago that a band or two was invited to play during lunch time.  Anyone know if that's still the case?



#10 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 12:03 AM

Why on Earth are people pushing for more crowds at the Water Gardens? :wacko: Only a few people can be walking on those narrow stairs at once.

 

The Water Gardens are fine the way they are now except for poor access from Lancaster.


- Dylan


#11 johnfwd

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:33 AM

Last night I was walking back from a party along Lancaster a block west of the Water Gardens.  A couple of camera-toting women stopped me to ask "Where's the Water Gardens."  Of course I courteously pointed to the clump of trees overhanging the wall facing Lancaster and said, "over there."

 

Yes, there are those who advocate removing the wall to expose the Water Gardens to pedestrian and auto traffic on Lancaster.  I can understand advocacy based on environmental aesthetics or architectural taste.  But my disagreement is based on what I believe would be the adverse consequences of exposing this heralded monument of exclusivity, privacy, and meditational enjoyment to the noise and commotion that will be Lancaster Avenue when all the proposed residential and commercial projects in that area are fully developed.



#12 JBB

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:44 AM

Why on Earth are people pushing for more crowds at the Water Gardens? :wacko: Only a few people can be walking on those narrow stairs at once.


You do realize that there's more to the Water Gardens than the active pool, right?

#13 Fort Worthology

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 09:20 AM

The Lancaster wall needs to come down.


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#14 RD Milhollin

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 10:31 AM

Think that a gateway incorporating water movement could be designed to welcome pedestrians into the Gardens from Lancaster. A circular walk around a gyre pool, shallow, running-water canals on each side of the walk, a "water curtain" in front of the portal with entrances around the sides... any of these would help to invite people into the gardens and yet keep some of the noise out. How much more noise would be generated right at the most likely Lancaster Street -facing entrance? I don't think there is enough room to build an office or apartment block there, and the existing trees provide some sound curtain. The small lawn on the south side of the "mountain" seems largely unused, another landscape architect might be able to transform that small space into a great new entrance... with ADA access of course... and that could mean some real changes.



#15 Volare

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:21 AM

The Lancaster wall needs to come down.

 

Why some drunk in his F-450 hasn't smashed into that thing already....



#16 JBB

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:24 AM

It's far enough off of the street that said drunk would have to have some pretty serious intent to get over there.

#17 Volare

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:27 AM

You'd be surprised. My friends who live on College in the near southside once had a pickup truck end up in their living room. That's a residential street and it's about a 5 foot rise from the street to their front door.



#18 JBB

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:32 AM

Well, there's also the guy that plowed into one of the courts buildings a few years ago. Someone died in that crash if I'm thinking of the right one.

#19 Volare

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:40 AM

Well, there's also the guy that plowed into one of the courts buildings a few years ago. Someone died in that crash if I'm thinking of the right one.

 

You are correct!



#20 Austin55

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 12:34 PM

Volare and JBB- I posted this picture in the daily digital yesterday. This guy managed to take out a lightpole, head on, going the woring way down Commerce (this is the Bass Hall garage)

 

1656324_379288815568948_7629345225684570

 

Requires just the right amount of alchohol to bring that thing down! Or maybe we'll get another big windstorm, worked well for the stockyards. 



#21 JBB

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 12:38 PM

That's crazy. I couldn't place where that was when I saw it yesterday.

To get things back around to the topic at hand, I really need to put a trip to the Water Gardens on my agenda. My wife and I did engagement pics there in 1998 and I think I've been back once since then. And that was just a fly-through visit during a break in a conference I was attending at the convention center.

#22 Jeriat

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 03:11 PM

 

The Lancaster wall needs to come down.

 

Why some drunk in his F-450 hasn't smashed into that thing already....

 

 

That's solid concrete.

 

Anyone who "smashes" into it will GET smashed first and barely put a dent into that thing.

Unless they have a truck made with adamantium bumpers...


7fwPZnE.png

 

8643298391_d47584a085_b.jpg


#23 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 09:26 PM

 

Why on Earth are people pushing for more crowds at the Water Gardens? :wacko: Only a few people can be walking on those narrow stairs at once.


You do realize that there's more to the Water Gardens than the active pool, right?

 

Yes, but the active pool is by far my favorite part, and tends to be the most popular feature.


- Dylan


#24 Austin55

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 01:31 AM

A relevant picture

 

fq3QyBR.jpg



#25 John T Roberts

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 07:25 AM

It was very barren when it was first completed.



#26 SurplusPopulation

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 11:24 AM

Maybe someone has already suggested this, but why not open up the Lancaster side to create an entry plaza with a fountain similar to the one in Sundance? Would give the kids somewhere to play.

#27 dangr.dave

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 01:23 PM

I think someone mentioned it above, but if the wall on Lancaster came down it would not affect the major pools and water features because they would be north of the mountain and many trees which would block out any street noise. 



#28 McHand

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 11:10 PM

 

 

Why on Earth are people pushing for more crowds at the Water Gardens? :wacko: Only a few people can be walking on those narrow stairs at once.


You do realize that there's more to the Water Gardens than the active pool, right?

 

Yes, but the active pool is by far my favorite part, and tends to be the most popular feature.

 

 

It's brilliant, because those who come to see the active pool will find the reflecting pool and other features while they're biding their time for the active pool to be less crowded.


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#29 johnfwd

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 05:46 AM

Walking through the Water Gardens yesterday afternoon, I re-read the "Philosophy" statements at various points.  The active pool was intended to be the "noise" point, apart from the rest of the area.  I was also impressed by the architect's (Johnson and Burgess) intent to have the walk be like going through a maze, and that's what it seems to be.  I believe the architect's intent was to have these Gardens be secluded from the Lancaster Avenue traffic--why else would they have had a wall and the "mountain" erected on the south side?  That question should be pondered by those advocating removing the wall.



#30 mmmdan

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 06:35 AM

I think adding a couple of entrances off Lancaster wouldn't ruin the effect.  As it is, the view from Lancaster is not inviting at all.  I would think that if sound on the south end is a problem, they could build a little zig-zag into the entrance so that sound doesn't have a straight shot in.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that when the Water Gardens were built, there was a highway running over Lancaster.  I'm sure the wall and mountain were to protect itself from the highway and not Lancaster.



#31 renamerusk

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 12:01 PM

....I was also impressed by the architect's (Johnson and Burgess) intent to have the walk be like going through a maze, and that's what it seems to be.  I believe the architect's intent was to have these Gardens be secluded from the Lancaster Avenue traffic--why else would they have had a wall and the "mountain" erected on the south side?  That question should be pondered by those advocating removing the wall.

 

Yes. Somehow the idea that the original needs improving is being accepted generally when after all is said and done, why fix something which is not broken.  It is hidden and this in many respects makes it a real jewel.



#32 Fort Worthology

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 09:49 AM

I'd argue that the Lancaster frontage *is* broken, though - it's unwelcoming and deadening and makes the little grassy amphitheater so secluded as to be underutilized and threatening to people who are afraid of wandering back there, unsure of what (or who) they'll find, and unseen by others.

 

It was a typical reaction of architects to the kind of soul-crushing garbage streets and spaces we were building in the era of '70s "urban renewal" - streets and spaces like the Lancaster of old, excessively widened and killed by an overhead freeway.  The street was awful, so wall it off.  That approach is not beneficial nowadays.


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#33 renamerusk

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 01:57 PM

I'd argue that the Lancaster frontage *is* broken, though - it's unwelcoming and deadening and makes the little grassy amphitheater so secluded..It was a typical reaction of architects to the kind of soul-crushing garbage streets and spaces we were building in the era of '70s "urban renewal"

 

We should be careful in our critique of this part of the Water Gardens.  Mr. Philip Johnson was an outstanding architect who would have understood the grassy amphitheater and more than likely created the seclusion as a feature instead of as a trap. 

Tranquility created by walls is a long standing principle which can be more desirable than unlimited access.  Would pedestrians using the WG as a shortcut to their final destination be worth the sacrifice of a quiet oasis for those enjoying the park?

 

I am one who believes that you don't know what you will unleash once you open the southern perimeter wall by removing it.



#34 Austin55

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 02:29 PM

The urban context of the watergardens is much different now than it was Mr. Johnson designed it. The large U-turn at the south end of the convention center is gone, and the elevated highway at the south end of the WG is gone. Lancaster is an avenue now and looking to build up, having the watergardens have access to that would be great. 



#35 renamerusk

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 10:25 PM

The urban context of the watergardens is much different now than it was Mr. Johnson designed it....

 

All true. Yet the purpose of the WG is to be a place for contemplation, an achievement that is ever more present today some 40 years later.  I don't think that Mr. Johnson would agree with a plan to remove or alter the south perimeter wall.  Prior to designing the WG, he was commissioned to design the JFK Memorial in Dallas, a design that prominently features the use of walls to guard against urbanization (skyscrapers, streets, etc.)

 

The WG is iconic and ought to be maintained but not reinvented.



#36 Now in Denton

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:35 AM

Funny you mention the JFK Memorial in Dallas . Most Dallas urban forum members hate it. With all due respect to the late Mr. Johnson. That is his interpretation and opinion of a Memorial of JFK.  A Giant concrete block . Not to mention. If you Goggle the memorial .You get tons of websites and posters who slam it. In my opinion. Mr. Johnson did not understand the concept of invitation.

 

So in my opinion. Water Gardens needs to be redone to draw people in. The inside is fine. JFK in Dallas ? Get rid of that concrete block and put a statue of JFK. Nothing wrong in honoring people in that way. Been done that way for thousands of years.



#37 renamerusk

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 04:37 PM

... In my opinion. Mr. Johnson did not understand the concept of invitation.....So in my opinion. Water Gardens needs to be redone to draw people in.....

 

I would not want to be the architect redoing the WG:

 

http://www.nytimes.c...7bern.html?_r=0



#38 RD Milhollin

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:28 PM

On the contrary, this might be a great way for a young, up-and-coming-architect to make a name for oneself. Few things in life stand still, look at the New York State Pavilion in the article you quoted. If it had been repurposed several years ago into something more relevant and useful it would not be facing the possibility of demolition today. As far as the concept of invitation; Johnson designed the Amon Carter Museum... very inviting indeed!



#39 Austin55

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:42 PM

The Water garens doesn't need anything significant. It just needs a a better entrance to Lancaster. A copy-paste style of what the North convention center entrances is all it needs.

#40 renamerusk

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 07:54 AM

On the contrary, this might be a great way for a young, up-and-coming-architect to make a name for oneself. Few things in life stand still, look at the New York State Pavilion in the article you quoted. If it had been repurposed several years ago into something more relevant and useful it would not be facing the possibility of demolition today. As far as the concept of invitation; Johnson designed the Amon Carter Museum... very inviting indeed!

 

Who would you trust to make a name for themselves and why?  The Kimbell did not go recklessly to an unknown for its alteration; and I don't think that the Carter Foundation will either.

 

Upkeep is totally different than the repurposing of the garden. It would be news to me, if the gardens were suffering from a lack of upkeep.  A repurpose would be an irreversible mistake and ought not be considered even though it has become a popular suggestion.

 

One of the secrets about Downtown Fort Worth is its functional blending of the old and the new; and with the recent addition of Sundance Plaza, downtown now has a functional blend of the “inclusion” (Sundance Plaza) with an iconic instrument of  “seclusion” (Water Gardens). It is equally desirable that the downtown population be able to enjoy two very different experiences that the plaza and the gardens provide.  

Walls are traditional to gardens; consider the ancient and mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon. So the suggestion that Philip Johnson may have felt intimidated by an overhead and an avenue, hence the wall, is uncertain and seems dubious if one considers the gardens' towering mountain, a summit from which views of the highway and avenue are possible.  Instead, Johnson’s Water Gardens wall seems to me to be his permanent solution to insuring the experience of seclusion.  The demolishing of the overhead actually increased the magnitude of seclusion and we would be taking a step back by nullifying any gains in seclusion resulting with the end of the overhead.  The prospects of tearing down the wall to invent a dog park, bicycle park or other activities that can be experienced elsewhere are unjustified.  Ask yourself, to what unique benefit is another venue for live entertainment and what is it worth to sacrifice one of America’s most unique public spaces.  And if such is preferred, then instead of a garden, we should appropriately renamed it the “Water Park”, for it will no longer be a garden but another "Kyle Warren" amusement park with food vendors and the likes.
 
Johnson may have understood, I am guessing, that there must be a place to escape from cars and urbanization; and that this understanding applies to an escape from people noise too.  I imagine that most of us have seen a "meditation/prayer" spaces in every hospital and understand its purpose.

 

To enjoy the benefits of seclusion and should I be in need at the time, I would walk the extra distance to enter through one of the existing portals knowing that once there I could experience the tranquility of the gardens for which no other spaces can equal downtown or elsewhere in the city.  In his own words, Johnson iterates that the gardens must be experience by entering the space at important points so as to get the true effect of the gardens.  Entering through an opening from the avenue and instantly encountering the mountain for the would negate the subtle impact of feelings the gardens provide to the visitor.

 

Now that the Water Gardens has it complimentary partner in the form of Sundance Plaza, a place teeming with inclusion, why change this fortunate pairing.  If the Water Gardens is not broken, and substantively it is not, then why alter its current state?

   
http://en.wikipedia....dens_of_Babylon



#41 RD Milhollin

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 07:10 PM

KERA will re-broadcast a film made on the water gardens 10th anniversary (1984) entitled Water Gardens tonight, Sunday October 26, at 9:30 PM. The 30 minute film is also available at this link:

 

http://keranews.org/...0th-anniversary

 

I haven't watched it yet, but I believe Philip Johnson appears in the film to discuss his inspiration for the gardens. 



#42 Volare

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:27 PM

Awesome tip! I saw this post with just minutes to set my DVR to record! Thanks!



#43 johnfwd

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:18 AM

I don't know if any other downtowners noticed yesterday there was a mini arts and crafts fair--with a band--at the "Mouintain" amphitheater.  First time in my memory of a commercial operation of that scale in the Water Gardens, except for the occasional noon-time band years ago.



#44 Austin55

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:28 AM

Was this the spooky bike and ball?

#45 John T Roberts

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 07:29 AM

Yes, last night was the Mayor's Spooky Bike Ride and Ball, and the last of the Rolling Town Hall Meetings for the year.



#46 renamerusk

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 07:59 AM

 

......Ask yourself, to what unique benefit is another venue for live entertainment and what is it worth to sacrifice one of America’s most unique public spaces.  And if such is preferred, then instead of a garden, we should appropriately renamed it the “Water Park”, for it will no longer be a garden but another "Kyle Warren" amusement park with food vendors and the likes.

 

 

 

I don't know if any other downtowners noticed yesterday there was a mini arts and crafts fair--with a band--at the "Mouintain" amphitheater.  First time in my memory of a commercial operation of that scale in the Water Gardens, except for the occasional noon-time band years ago.

 

 

Yes, last night was the Mayor's Spooky Bike Ride and Ball, and the last of the Rolling Town Hall Meetings for the year.

 

What we really need next is a corporate sponsor and of course a delivery dock, dumpsters and potty-ports. 



#47 Volare

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:34 PM

That documentary is terrific. Lots of architecture in it from around the state. A few tidbits:

 

- Some video of the remnanats of Hell's Half Acre and rejoicing that it's gone.

- I-30 overhead (and noise) visible in some of the clips

- Lots of talking by Philip Johnson about his goals and inspiration.

- Lots of views of the skyline. Other than the additon of the Omni, and the loss of the CNB building, pretty much what it looks like today- filmed 30 years ago.

 

http://video.kera.or...deo/2365348326/



#48 JBB

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 09:22 PM

Yeah, I finally watched it earlier this week and it is great. I was amazed at how much Johnson talked about drawing inspiration from Walt Disney. I always thought that Disney was not thought of very highly in serious architecture circles.

#49 RD Milhollin

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 10:18 PM

I remember lots of discussion on how the scale of Disney attractions appealed to visitors who came back year after year from when I first started reading about the tenets of "New Urbanism". The lack of vehicular traffic, streets designed for people, storefronts appealing to people... these were some of the aspects that suburban dwellers in the 50's and 60's saw in Disney "towns" that they didn't see in their own places of living and work; they didn't realize that they wanted to live in a place like that or that it was even possible to. 



#50 mmmdan

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 07:26 AM

I finally watched it recently too.  I didn't see/hear anything in his vision that would preclude an entrance on/near Lancaster.  He mentioned that his goal was to make it so that you never knew what was around the corner and you wanted to explore.  I don't see where signage on Lancaster and an entrance would kill that vision.  You would be walking into a park area with this big mountain in front of you.  I know I would be curious what was behind the mountain and where the water was.

 

Being an engineer I loved seeing the worker going underground and turning everything on.  Would have been interesting to hear how much water is circulated, the number/size of the pumps, etc.






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