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gotutex

Member Since 23 Feb 2006
Offline Last Active Apr 13 2006 04:07 PM
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Topics I've Started

The New "City Center" in Arlington

12 April 2006 - 04:10 PM

The FWST announced the project 12 Apr and published a rendering depicting plans for the area near Ameriquest Field (The Ballpark).

Although the writer did not give much information about goals of the developer and/or city, the highlights of the plan include --

* A series of parking garages surrounded by retail/office structures

* A narrower Randol Mill Road

* New thoroughfares (Center St. and Baird Farm Rd.) connecting to I-30

* Re-worked Johnson Creek

* Little or no open space

* Vague mention about this Ballpark development relating to the future Dallas Cowboy complex

* No mention of the long-planned ampitheatre just east of the baseball stadium

QUESTIONS --

* What are the goals of the developer in this project? I've heard everything from inclusion of the Bush Presidential Library to civic structures to hotels/restaurants to offices

* What about the natural features in the area? Does this plan take advantage of the existing features?

* Has Arlington lost its mind cutting down Randol Mill Road to two lanes through the area, given that Randol Mill is one of the most historic and longest thoroughfares in Tarrant County?

* Any effort to make this "city center" something unique . . . or just another Southlake Center?


Picture the US Army's Original Camp Bowie in 1918

28 March 2006 - 06:24 PM


Years ago, somewhere I saw a map of the original Camp Bowie (c1918), and with it came a few landmarks and street names in Fort Worth . . . to help describe exactly where the camp was situated relative to the city.

Going on memory here, the camp generally occupied the high ground west of (what is now) Montgomery Street, east of Lake Como, south of the Trinity Rivere, and north of the T&P tracks along W. Vickery St. Further, I have read somewhere that a streetcar line ran from downtown FW to the camp, and the tracks were situated virtually on the center of what is now Camp Bowie Blvd.

QUESTIONS:

* Does anybody have a map of the original Camp Bowie?

* Was the camp inside the city limits of 1918?

* Is it true that today's Rivercrest Country Club golf course was once the camp's officers club course?

* Where were the barracks?

* Where were the stables?

* Were there any noteworthy structures in the camp or any that that still stand today?

* Did Camp Bowie Boulevard exist as a city street?

* Other than Lake Como, was there anything of interest west of Camp Bowie?

* The war ended in the fall of 1918. How long after the army abandoned the camp did developers begin to plan the Arlington Heights, Rivercrest, and Montecello neighborhoods?


Which Direction Should the New Kimbell Building Face?

05 March 2006 - 10:01 AM

The Kimbell Museum's announcement that it will move forward with their new building and have designated the block where it will be located (southeast of the original building) . . . lots of interesting possibilities may be open.

Should the new building be simply "another jewel" positioned as a beautiful neighbor to the original museum building . . . or should it somehow relate architecturally to the original?

What will the rationale be for positioning the building on the designated site?

(1) Should it face Arch Adams and the "back" entry of the original museum (west or northwest)?

(2) Should it face downtown Fort Worth (east) as a gesture to the home town?

(3) Should it face the intersection of University/Camp Bowie/Seventh/Bailey (Northeast), which some planners are calling the new gate to the museum district

(4) Should it face MOMA (north) in an effort to complement the MOMA?

(5) Should it face W. Lancaster (south) to maximize its presence on the "wide side" of the site, turning it's back to MOMA?

(6) Should the new building perhaps have no obvious "front" and face its own interior court?

What other factors should the planners consider?


Saint Pat's Unfinished Bell Towers

27 February 2006 - 08:24 AM

Seems like I read last year that the Catholic church authorities had announced plans to finish the unfinished bell towers at Saint Patrick Cathedral (downtown). That story and lack of follow through have stoked some interest around town and -- for me -- a few questions:

* With Saint Pat's being one of the oldest church landmarks in the downtown, why has it taken so long for church leaders to move forward toward topping off their historic structure? There's got to be a good story in there somewhere about the church's history or the building history.

* As I recall, no rendering was published along with the topping-off story. What will the new tower(s) look like?

* What will goveren the design for the addition, given the historic status of the building?

* Has any one or any group raised significant objections to altering the building? If so, on what grounds?

* Have the plans been scrapped, or is this project perhaps bogged down in red tape? (Or have the media overlooked the project?)

Why Visitors Can't Get a Good Look at Bass Hall

24 February 2006 - 07:03 AM

Ever since I first read about the design and location of Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall I have been amazed that the architect achieved such a fantastic building without a larger space to build. Compared to the Dallas Symphony Center's Myerson, the footprint for Bass Hall is modest. Nonetheless, the architect met the challenge and prodced a very noteable work.

Somehow, I kept thinking that the undeveloped space immediately north of the Bass Hall site would certainly be used for underground parking and for the Sundance plaza that I had read was being planned for that part of downtown Fort Worth.

To me it seemed fitting that -- given the stature of the new performance hall and limited space in front of the facade -- the architect would suggest "open space" across Fourth Street as an appropriate "approach" to the performance hall.

My "open space" dream was stamped out when I realized the block across Fourth St. was the site of a full block of low-rise retail buildings.

Question is: Why -- when several other blocks were unimproved at the time -- was the retail construction allowd across from Bass Hall . . . in effect blocking an appropriate approach to the building and appropriate sight lines to the front facade? This decision has robbed photographers and visitors of a a good look at a fantastic structure.