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RenaissanceMan

Member Since 26 Aug 2010
Offline Last Active Jun 25 2017 07:23 PM
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Topics I've Started

Quiet But Not Absent

11 August 2014 - 11:44 AM

Just wanted to drop a brief note to the one or two folks who might've noticed or cared that I've been unusually quiet on here lately that this will probably be my last post on here for a while. A recent professional change brings me a bit too close to many of the projects discussed on here to feel comfortable joining in. So I've decided that it would probably be wise of me to sit back and, hard as it might be, not add a five page response to every thread. But not to worry... I'll still be lurking. And to those of you on here who know me personally, I'll just say... I'm back.

Cemetary Thieves (aka scum of the earth)

19 July 2014 - 07:37 AM

So somebody stole the doors off the Waggoner family mausoleum in Oakwood Cemetary and did some other damage there as well.

This type of brazen ignorant irreverence angers me like few things can. Really hope that these scumbag grave robbers are caught and brought to justice.

http://www.star-tele...sp=/99/189/228/

Van Cliburn Movie

24 June 2014 - 02:45 PM

Looks like there's going to be a movie made about Van Cliburn.

https://fwbusinesspr...e.aspx?aid=5922

Good opportunity for the Chamber, Arts Council, The Cliburn piano Competition, the FW Symphony, the City, Downtown Fort Worth Inc., (maybe even) Historic Fort Worth, etc. to work to make sure that the words "Fort Worth" are uttered as many times as possible during the movie and that as many prominent shots of the city as possible are featured throughout. Not many chances to showcase the city to such a wide audience and for such a good reason come along as this one. Time to roll out the red carpet, offer up the state film incentives and lend as many venues and as much local assistance as can be had.


The Cold War and Fort Worth Architecture

20 May 2014 - 06:22 PM

So an article I read recently on a related topic got me to thinking... What are some of the more significant and direct impacts of the Cold War on architecture/city growth in and around Fort Worth? Has there been any kind of thorough inventory or history of that topic that looks specifically to Fort Worth?

I know of a few buildings in the area that have fallout shelters, you've got the former FCDA (now FEMA) facility up near Denton that was ready to serve as one of a handful of "Western White Houses," there are several silos scattered about and, of course, you've got Carswell and the major defense contractors that were of extremely high strategic value (Convair/Lockheed, Bell, etc.). I also understand that UTA had the occasional research project funded.

Are there any other interesting or significant signs of the Cold War's impact on Fort Worth revealed either in buildings, civic design, programs, etc. that can still be found or read about today? Besides, of course, the Interstate Highway System and sprawl?

This seems like a really interesting and important period in Fort Worth's history and I'm always surprised by how little we still seem to know about it or recognize.

Pedestrian Friendliness of the Cultural District and also the Divide Between the Botani...

13 March 2014 - 06:49 PM

There are two things that I've always felt were lacking in and around the Cultural District. The first is the whole pedestrian experience throughout the district, especially walking from one museum to another (perhaps also with a stop by Will Rogers),except for when you happen to be walking across the lawn of the Kimbell (which in itself is a wonderful experience). Yes there are sidewalks on all blocks of the district, but they are your fairly generic standard double-width side walk. I'd love to see a parallel collection of crushed stone or decomposed granite paths also put in place (the kind you'd find in even the lowliest park in Paris or London). For all the talk of the museums being in "a park-like setting," this lack of a more fully developed pedestrian experience to match the grandeur of the monumental buildings in the area takes away from the overall experience one gets while visiting (especially if a tourist looking to make an afternoon of it).

It is almost as if it's always been assumed (probably because I'm sure it was) that people would almost universally drive there, park and go into their desired museum and therefore, not a whole lot of thought was deemed necessary for a more cohesive walking experience throughout the district.

One great model that I keep thinking back to is Chicago with the experience you get walking around the Art Institute of Chicago over to Milleneum Park to see "the bean" and then on to Buckingham Fountain and other cultural assets in the area which are all stitched together in a wonderful way that is amazing for pedestrians. It would be great to move a bit more in this direction with Fort Worth's Cultural district. Of course this would also mean addressing the issue of the giant parking lots that flank University creating a terribly underwhelming gateway to the district on Lancaster. Of course this could already be on the docket (I don't know if I've ever seen a master plan of the district, if there is one).

The other thought I've had for a long time is how nice it would be to have some appropriate and even beautiful pedestrian link between the Botanic Garden and Trinity Park across University. It would be nice on many occasions to be able to walk from the Botanic Garden into Trinity Park by crossing University without taking chances with your life. I hate the idea of a typical pedestrian overpass (which are almost universally hideous and almost never used) but perhaps someone more creative than I could think of an elegant solution. A grand tunnel with plenty of natural light or a giant stone bridge perhaps. It just seems like there's an opportunity there to solve this issue elegantly and even iconically and mark the gateway to the district for drivers on University. Again, don't know if this has ever been proposed.

One of my dreams for Fort Worth would be for a tourist to be able to hop off in the W7 area (by streetcar of course), grab some lunch and then walk through the cultural district on over to check out the new Colliseum, then walk through the botanic gardens over to Trinity Park, walk along the river back around to where they started and have it all feel like a natural pedestrian experience. It's not out of the realm of possibility (Google says that'd take about 1.5 hours by foot), but there are some critical areas that could really use an upgrade from a pedestrian standpoint.

Any thoughts or comments? Are there already big plans that I just don't know about? Was this once considered and then killed by Council in the dead of night with three council members tied up in the basement of the Hilton Annex? I need some perspective on this.