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A simple idea for Burnett Park


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#1 Austin55

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 10:37 PM

Burnett park serves as a nice getaway for office workers of Burnett Plaza and 500 W. 7th, and a nice place for residents of the Neil P and Electric buildings to relax. I think it could be a lot better, there's not much going on with it.  If one wanted to enjoy lunch or something in the park, they'd have to get it elsewhere and go into the park.

 

My simple idea is to eliminate the right-hand turn lane from 7th onto Lamar and the sidewalk island it creates and replace the entire section with a small standalone cafe.

 
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This location would be highly visible from vehicles on the busy 7th street, as it sticks out a bit (perhaps some bollards would need to be erected to prevent any crashes into it) and would be easy for pedestrians to reach. The location is within 2 blocks of several large office buildings, (Burnett Plaza, Fed Courthouse, 500 W 7th, Federal building, ST building, FW Club building, Frost Tower) and immediately across from around 150 residential units.

 

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For the architecture of the structure itself, I imagine something with an open and glassy feel, with lots of outdoor seating in the park. Good examples of in park cafes can be found in Houston's Discovery Green or even in Klyde Warren park.

 

Ideally, the tenant would be a local brand and serve breakfast & lunch. I don’t believe this area has enough pedestrian activity after 5 to support a dinner service. Perhaps there could even be two tenants, for example, an arrangement with a primary food service place and a smaller spot serving ice cream or other desserts. In a lot of ways, I think the Woodshed would be a good example, just in a more parklike setting and without all the tax issues.

 

Overall. I think such an amenity would liven up the park and make much better use of the existing conditions.



#2 Jeriat

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 11:24 PM

What I like most about Discovery Green is the café in the middle that sits next to the pond.

I've had thoughts on what to do with Burnett Park. Little more complex than this, though, but this small change would be a major improvement.


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#3 Doohickie

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 09:10 AM

To start, maybe just cone that section of street off when it's nice and park some food trucks there?

 

I think Planet Sub and Picchi Pacchi in the Neil P, as well as the Subway in the BofA building, would argue that the need for food in that area is already met and wouldn't appreciate the competition.


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#4 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 15 December 2016 - 03:27 PM

I'm not sure removing the turn lane is the best idea, as doing so would create a very sharp right turn for drivers.

 

That said, I'd be happy to see a standalone cafe with covered seating located somewhere in Burnett Park.

 

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Burnett Park is a bit small, but I think it would be neat to have a Discovery Green-style pond here.

 

Also, remove all of the sidewalks in the middle of what could be a large, grassy field.


- Dylan


#5 Now in Denton

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 08:32 PM

Put the cafe on the businessman statue site. I never liked it.



#6 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 09:36 PM

In 1919, Samuel "Burk" Burnett donated approximately 2 acres of his land to be used as a park.  From that time until 1926, the park was just a grassy field.  In 1926, the park was designed by George Kessler.  This was his plan for the park.  When Burnett Plaza was built, the park was redesigned to what it is today, except that had some water and fountains.  Kessler's design for the park featured a large and formal pool.  In the photograph, the pool had been drained.



#7 Austin55

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 10:05 PM

Hey John, I never knew there was a church at the corner of Burnett and 10th. Is there any info on that?

#8 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 10:45 PM

Austin, I was trying to find information on the church.  I can tell you that pictures and information can be found in the Jack White Collection of Historic Fort Worth Photographs on this site.  It was demolished before I was born.



#9 Jeriat

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 11:51 PM

Not sure if the city would even consider it, but I kinda wish they went back to the original setup for Burnett Park. 


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#10 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 09:02 AM

Do you mean the original vacant field of grass with no improvements, or the George Kessler design from 1926?

 

When I was a kid, I used to love the park as it existed in the 1960's and 70's.  My family and I used to go to the fish pond and throw change into it.



#11 Jeriat

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 10:29 AM

Do you mean the original vacant field of grass with no improvements, or the George Kessler design from 1926?

 

When I was a kid, I used to love the park as it existed in the 1960's and 70's.  My family and I used to go to the fish pond and throw change into it.

 

Well, not the "original"... the one you posted. 

I don't see the need for that little playground or whatever it's supposed to be. 


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#12 Austin55

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 10:39 AM

The red ropes are kinda fun. I don't understand the rocks arranged in a circle.

#13 Doohickie

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 04:56 PM

Put the cafe on the businessman statue site.

 

Incorrect.


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#14 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 07:48 PM

In 1919, Samuel "Burk" Burnett donated approximately 2 acres of his land to be used as a park.  From that time until 1926, the park was just a grassy field.  In 1926, the park was designed by George Kessler.  This was his plan for the park.  When Burnett Plaza was built, the park was redesigned to what it is today, except that had some water and fountains.  Kessler's design for the park featured a large and formal pool.  In the photograph, the pool had been drained.

 

I'd prefer a park with more green space and less concrete, but that looks much more interesting than what we have today.


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#15 rriojas71

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 05:05 PM

Such as shame that the Medical Arts building was torn down. Does anyone know if it was done for structural reasons or was it just because they wanted to replace it with the Burnett Plaza?

#16 John T Roberts

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 05:14 PM

I was in high school when the Medical Arts Building was imploded.  Even though I knew that I wanted to be an architect at that time, I was not as much "in the know" as I am now, since I am a professional.  It was mentioned in the paper at that time that the building would be difficult to retrofit for air conditioning, the floor to floor heights were low, and that there were structural issues.  There was also some talk about converting the building to residential, but it would have been a pioneer by about 20 years, so I doubt that the exploration went very far.  Finally, the First National Bank of Fort Worth was the party who purchased the building and demolished it, and even back in 1973, they stated that they cleared the building for the construction of a future new bank building.  Burnett Plaza opened in 1983, but the bank never moved into it due to bank failures and corporate takeovers.  I would almost bet that considering the attitude toward preservation in the early 1970's, the condition of downtown at that time, and the bank already considering a replacement building, the saving of the Medical Arts was probably not seriously considered.

 

I also have a funny feeling that the argument of difficulty to retrofit for air conditioning and the low floor to floor heights really held much water because the Historic Electric Building was converted to residential and it has the same number of floors an is 51 feet shorter. 






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