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Downtown Design District Expansion


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#1 AndyN

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 09:16 AM

I received a post card telling me that Downtown Fort Worth Inc. will be holding a stakeholder discussion on expansion of the Downtown Design Standards into the Rock Island/Samuels Avenue and Greenway areas.

 

Expansion Zone Map: http://tinyurl.com/oaa2os7

 

The meeting will be held Thursday November 12, 2015 6-8p at Charles Nash Elementary School on Samuels. RSVP is requested to Melissa@dfwi.org

 

I kind of wondering who or what is pushing this. It seems like new projects have stalled out lately.


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#2 John S.

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 11:24 AM

Andy,

We too received the same invitation to RSVP. I did send a message to Melissa confirming our intent to be at the meeting. I did expand a bit on the current state of things on Samuels Avenue/Rock Island and mentioned the empty promises we had received from developers about retail amenities that were supposed to be an integral part of the apartment and condo construction projects. The housing units were built, but no retail venues came with them. The new design guidelines draft sets up standards for construction and additions and specifically bans vinyl siding in most cases. On the plus side, the City proposes to expand neighborhood sidewalks to 7 feet wide with pedestrian lighting every 60 feet. I went on to mention to Melissa that when Mayor Barr came through the neighborhood years ago, I suggested to the mayor that we could perhaps have historic style lighting, brick pavers, and a short trolley line between downtown and the Stockyards via Samuels Avenue.  Historically, a horse drawn trolley traveled down Samuels Avenue from the Courthouse to The Pavilion, a Victorian era park and beer garden close to Traders Oak Park on the north end of Samuels. Today, we have several horse drawn carriages going down Samuels which come from the Stockyards to Sundance Square and then back several times a week and on weekends.  With the proposed Stockyards redevelopment I can't imagine Samuels Avenue not being part of that Western themed renaissance connecting the Stockyards with downtown. I know, I'm a dreamer and dreams seldom match reality, but if I were a hard core realist I'd never moved to Samuels Avenue 26 years ago. As for new projects, I feel a catalyst is needed. Perhaps that catalyst could come from David Weekley Homes which is building some luxury ($760k and up) urban single family spec homes near the Hillside Addition. A neighbor who is also a realtor, has been trying to get someone interested in single family housing construction on Samuels. If a custom builder were willing to take a chance, that might move things forward. I've also had the idea of in-fill housing based on historical antecedents that would compliment the historic character of this oldest of Fort Worth neighborhoods. Should any preservation minded developer want to bring in some nice genuine Victorian era houses, I have a long list of houses primarily in the Midwest to choose from like this highly endangered 1870's Italianate in Jacksonville, IL where we visited a few weeks ago: https://flic.kr/p/AfAYDy

It's possible to cut these houses into flatbed trailer size sections and transport them to a new site for re-assembly. A similar house, the early 1880's Italianate style Isaac Foster House, since demolished, once stood at 761 Samuels next to the endangered Garvey House. But years ago I realized how unlikely it was that the Victorian era survivors remaining on Samuels would ever become part of a historic district. (worth noting is that the proposed draft guidelines are far stricter than most historic district guidelines) But some long-time residents objected to such changes in the past; however, they are no longer part of the neighborhood having either passed away or moved. Samuels Avenue-Rock Island is like a half-finished painting showing great potential yet still waiting to be completed.  Andy, we'll see you at the meeting...



#3 AndyN

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 01:39 PM

Reminder Stakeholder Discussion

 

Samuels Avenue - Rock Island Neighborhood

Draft Downtown Design Standards: Expansion Area

 

Thursday November 12, 2015

6:00pm-8:00pm

Charles Nash Elementary School

401 Samuels Avenue

 

RSVP to Melissa@dfwi.org

 

Draft Standards are available at http://www.dfwi.org/...-we-do/projects


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