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Let's Do It right This time: Reopen Heritage Park Plaza


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#1 djold1

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:12 PM

From The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Online Edition:

FWST ~ Heritage Park May Repoen


We should definitely reopen Heritage Park Plaza on the Trinity Bluffs. But please, scrap the inappropriate structures by Lawrence Halprin. Just use the natural beauty that is there along with a refurbished viewing platform. This area is so beautiful and historic that we don't need any kind of architectural statement. And we definitely don't need the tacky, drippy, claustrophobic concrete walls that existed before.


While Halprin may have won many awards and may be considered a major architectural figure of the past, in my opinion he fumbled Heritage Plaza badly. Those that allowed the design to be built were not paying attention to what the site really needed, which is just simplicity by itself. I walked this area several times before it closed, sometimes with out of town guests. Most of them asked why all these structures were necessary when the Trinity Bluffs are stunning all by themselves. I always got a creepy feeling when I walked around there.


I did and do love the overlook. Let's turn the Halprin hulks into rubble and do it right this time with a sustainable, natual design.

Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
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#2 John S.

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 12:15 PM

Pete,
I couldn't agree with you more. Early accounts of Fort Worth tell of City leaders and pioneer business people taking visitors to the edge of the bluff to show off the beautiful river and landscape below. The persistent desire to "improve" the iconic bluff with modern construction seems to be instinctively counterintuitive; as you correctly point out nature's beauty does not need to be "improved" with the transient creations of man. However, I think you and I may be in a minority opinion here as the bluff slowly disappears under the guise of "progress". If the town lake project ever reaches fruition, likely nature's remaining beauty along the Bluff will disappear into clouds of construction dust as we attempt to "tame" nature and create the perfect city of the 21st century. I'd like to think Fort Worth is better than that.

#3 John T Roberts

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 08:59 PM

On Wednesday, May 14th, Historic Fort Worth, Inc. held a tour of Heritage Park Plaza.  Their Facebook page has some excellent photographs of the plaza. 

 

Below is the link:

https://www.facebook...8297593?fref=ts



#4 JBB

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:52 PM

I know there are probably unseen issues under the surface, but it doesn't look as bad as I expected.



#5 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 07:50 AM

It's not as bad as most people think.  I have toured it twice in the last six months. 



#6 djold1

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 03:52 PM

Excellent pictures.  I think they show the overlook platform fairly well.  And the interior pictures show the claustrophobic, overpowering and thoughtless design of the "water structure".  I spent some time today looking at this small top of the bluffs place on Google Earth.  It is such a small area and the concrete rubble that remains looks like a crazy maze from above.  It completely overpowers the space, In addition, it is inappropriate in design and it wastes useful selectively shaded areas for strolling and sitting. The overlook is the main feature here and with the development of Panther Island, it will  be superb.  With the historic bluff and the overlook there is no need for gratuitous enhancements that cramp and distort the area.

A couple of questions:

 

1. In its previous existence, where were the most accessible parking places that visitors could easily find and use?  Was the the parking garage that is just to the west and appears to have no easy access or was there somewhere else?

FWIW, I note that the construction of this big parking facility cleverly hid the bluff and river view from the southern face of the historic 1917 Sanguinet and Staats Courts building. Another thoughtless structure which is right in the face of a building that was obliviously designed to have a view from the bluffs.  

2.  I have heard over the years that the because of some alleged pressure by so-called powerful people that there is no way that the little park/overlook area will ever be reopened without a rehab of the execrable "water feature".  I hope that this is just one of those stories that has become lore.  Is there any truth in it? 


Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#7 Fort Worthology

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 03:59 PM

What you call "execrable," some of us think is a sadly neglected diamond-in-the-rough that could become something very cool with proper attention paid to it.


- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

Fort Worth District 9 Zoning Commissioner


#8 djold1

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 06:55 PM

Perception is everything.. And yours is just as valid as mine.. 


Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#9 youngalum

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:04 AM

Why is it closed?



#10 Volare

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:24 AM

It fell into disrepair from lack of funding and was closed due to safety concerns.



#11 Mr_Brightside526

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 12:18 PM

Here is a history of Heritage Park Plaza and the mention of it reopening later this year.

 

The city's website reports it in the "Design" phase.



#12 renamerusk

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 12:55 PM

A jewel! We should all be excited about its rebirth. :wub:






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