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The Sad State of Heritage Park

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#51 djold1

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 02:36 PM

Absolutely..  The concrete water mess that's in there is totally inappropriate to the site.  I doubt there's room for much of a Fort, but even so the area could stand on it own with anything as a place for people to gather and enjoy teh view..


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#52 Fort Worthology

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 04:05 PM

"Concrete water mess?"  I think that's really unfair.  Heritage Park needs TLC and maintenance - it's only a mess because it's trashed.  Looking at photos of it when it was new and maintained, and even strolling through it before it was closed, I felt like one could just feel the potential for a really cool place to be.  It can be that again with some attention paid to it.


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#53 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 05:00 PM

Y'all are think way too small-time. Put the fort at the bottom of the vortex in the water gardens. It's Logan's Run meets The Old West!

#54 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



#55 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.



#56 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. 



#57 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? 


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#58 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.


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#59 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
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#60 youngalum

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:04 AM

Why is it closed?



#61 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.



#62 Austin55

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 11:20 AM

Did I miss this or what?  Posted way back in June on DFWI's site. 

 

 

We are pleased to announce that as part of the May 10 City 2014-2018 bond package, Heritage Park Plaza was approved to receive $1.5M for restoration. Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc. (DFWII), in partnership with the City of Fort Worth and the Heritage Plaza Steering Committee, is leading the efforts to reopen the park. In March 2014, DFWII issued a Request for Proposals for the provision of landscape architecture and other related services for the restoration of Heritage Park Plaza. Responses have been received and are under review. DFWII hopes to make a recommendation to the Heritage Plaza Steering Committee this summer.



#63 Austin55

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 01:40 PM

Article posted in the ST a few days ago clarifying some things. 

 

http://www.star-tele...le15398360.html

 

Quick summary- Amon Carter Foundation has put 700k towards restoration and the city ha put 1.5 million forward, but another million is needed. 



#64 McHand

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Posted 27 March 2015 - 02:39 PM

 

 

Sitting on the bluff overlooking the West and Clear forks of the Trinity River, the scenic wooded area is located on the site where the original fort named for Gen. Williams Jenkins Worth was built.

 

This site is historic for the site itself and the architecture.  Could the Texas Historical Commission pony up some funds?


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#65 Austin55

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 05:32 AM

The TIF might help, "asked to contribute $1 million".

 

http://www.fwbusines...1bae929ea0.html



#66 beverlyb

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 08:13 PM

There is a walking tour of Heritage Park tomorrow 9/23/15. 6:30 - 8 pm

$5.00 at the gate. 

More info here: https://www.eventbri...984?aff=efbnreg

 

I already have plans or I would attend.



#67 rriojas71

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 10:08 PM

That is great news... Hopefully I can alter my plans a bit to attend. I'm excited to see what they have in store for the remodel. I'll definitely try and take pics if I'm able to make it.

#68 Austin55

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 11:50 PM

Hopefully the day comes soon where you don't have to pay to get in. 



#69 beverlyb

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 06:45 PM

Headline - Restoration of Downtown Park is set.

http://www.star-tele...le40541103.html

 

The 3.4 million project is about $244,035 short. 



#70 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 08:09 PM

Beverlyb, thanks for posting the link to the article.  Getting to this point has been a long road. 



#71 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.



#72 renamerusk

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 12:55 PM

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



#73 Austin55

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Posted 12 July 2016 - 07:57 PM

Not sure what it will be focused on, but there will be a presentation of Heritage Park at next monday's Art Council meeting. Hopefully this will reveal some of the plans and timelines of the park.

 

Presentations a. Heritage Plaza Project Update (Council District 9) i. Staff Report – Martha Peters ii. Presentation - Andy Taft, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. iii. Discussion



#74 johnfwd

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:19 AM

My last visit was with one of Judge McGowan's historical tours a few years ago.  Glad to see restoration of this Park.  It could become a downtown showcase rivaling the Water Gardens.



#75 Austin55

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 12:56 PM

Downtown TIF approves design for restoration. 

 

http://www.fortworth...59161c06f5.html



#76 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 08:21 PM

Great! This is something that needs to be done.



#77 Austin55

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 08:47 PM

I'm having trouble picturing this though. Can nyone clarify on this?

"To improve accessibility to the park, Bennett suggested a reconfiguration of Main Street, removing Paddock Park east of Bluff Street behind the Tarrant County Courthouse"

#78 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:27 PM

The old configuration of the streets made more sense than it does today.  Right now, the lanes of Main/Commerce/Houston split and converge on Bluff Street.  Bluff used to continue eastward and Houston continued northward and then turned northwest and became Franklin Street.  To put it simply, the street grid continued one more block northward from the Courthouse than it does today.  The thinking is that if Main Street ended at Belknap, then the split and convergence at Bluff Street would be eliminated.  This would put more green space in front of Heritage Park Plaza.  If it were landscaped and planted, the thinking is that it would draw foot traffic toward the plaza. 



#79 Austin55

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 10:45 PM

So essentially, Main street would end on Belknap as a T?



#80 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 07:40 AM

Yes, the intersection would be very similar to the one on the south side of the Courthouse where Main ends at Weatherford.



#81 Dylan

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 05:03 PM

I'm not exactly sure that's a good idea. It would add more traffic to Belknap behind the courthouse.


-Dylan


#82 Austin55

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 06:22 PM

I'd definatly see a lot of pushback on that idea from car commuters, those types of right left turns are always problematic to. Also, I'd hope the existing vehicleur ROW will be left clear in case streetcars ever run up Main.



#83 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 07:15 PM

I'm not sure what the final designs will be for this, but I'm pretty sure there will be some gentle curves in this to allow for right and left turns in automobiles and the turning radii for streetcars. 



#84 Volare

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 08:06 PM

"A portion of the southern wall that reads “Heritage Park” will be removed to improve visibility inside the park"

 

OMG are they sure this is in keeping with the architect's vision??!!!


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#85 Austin55

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 08:10 PM

"Iconic Fort Worth park to tear down wall at southern end" is a headline which would nicely fit two different parks. 



#86 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 08:42 PM

Volare, members of Historic Fort Worth, including myself, have been actively involved with keeping as much intact as possible.  There is only a small portion of the south wall that will be removed.  That is right next to the southernmost entry, and just to the left of the southern water wall.  Also, the wall will not be completely removed at that location.  About 2 feet of the lower portion of that segment of wall will remain, so you will still have to walk around it rather than through it.  The section of wall being removed aligns with the walkway that leads to the lookout on the bluff.  When people see the alignment, it might encourage more folks to come into the park.

 

Even though only a few feet of the wall is coming out, its removal is probably not in keeping with the architect's vision.  However, if this is the only compromise made in getting the park open and restored, then I'm all for it.



#87 Volare

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 01:09 PM

...  However, if this is the only compromise made in getting the park open and restored, then I'm all for it.

 

As am I! You saw the sarcasm font, right?



#88 John T Roberts

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 04:45 PM

I saw it, but I wanted to explain some of the thoughts behind removing part of the wall. 



#89 Austin55

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 07:23 PM

Plan view

 

CxqZ_ILUAAA7tSy.jpg



#90 renamerusk

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:53 PM

Plan view

 

CxqZ_ILUAAA7tSy.jpg

 

Glad to see the effort to improve Heritage Park, but isn't this plan view shown in reverse? :huh:



#91 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:08 PM

It is oriented in the right direction.  The Tarrant County building complex is on the left, which is to the west.  The large parking garage is shown in the correct relationship to the park.



#92 Austin55

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:28 PM

It's interesting that this turned into a much larger project than just restoring the Halprin plaza itself. Here's what it looks like to me

 

Green = New open space, new Paddock Park area.

 

Red = The Halprin Plaza itself. 
 
Purple- the existing brick heritage trail, which is in poor shape, it will likely get restored. 
 
Orange - Forested area along the bluff, probably no changes here.
 

 

Yellow- Looks like a new plaza area in the former Houston street righ of way, possibly serving as a main entrance to the Halprin area.

 

Blue = Not sure, it seems to be some sort of new construction? It looks like it leads all the way to the water, I'm thinking, could be a place to dock boats? Maybe even a downtown "station" for a water taxi or ferry of some sort going through the TRV?  

 

Another thing about this, the new Main interchange would make it easier for both Houston and Commerce to be converted to 2-way streets in the entirety of their downtown lengths, from Belknap to Lancaster. It seems this has is a goal long term as sections of Commerce were just recently made 2 ways through the Sundance area. I wish Belknap and Weatherford could be made into 2-way streets as well but that would probably be more difficult to implement. 

 

The wide turns on and off Main also seem like they would make pedestrian crossing a bit harder, but should make for ease of use for public transit like buses (or something more permanent someday....)



#93 John T Roberts

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 07:34 PM

I believe the blue is a walkway down to the water.  Some of that is the construction of the part of the park plan that was never built.  The walkway leads to a boat dock, which was part of the original design.



#94 rriojas71

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 12:04 AM

 
The wide turns on and off Main also seem like they would make pedestrian crossing a bit harder, but should make for ease of use for public transit like buses (or something more permanent someday....)


Austin you are right about the green being an open space, but it is for the upper part of the park (which is currently the area just north of the courthouse). They plan to get rid of the wide turns on and off main and make the Main Street a a T intersection with Belknap.

I was at a Downtown Inc. meeting about residential marketing and the head of the company spoke to us about this design plan and how to make that area more pedestrian friendly. It will help create more green and open space east of the TCC campus and at the top of the bridge.

#95 Austin55

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 08:46 PM

Seems this thing is ballooning in cost. Back in 2015, they needed 3.4 million. Now the plan is up to 20 million! Honestly, I'd like to just see the park get reopened ASAP, and not worry about any rerouting of roads, staircases to the river, or anything like that. 



#96 Volare

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:39 AM

That is a ridiculous increase in the scope of the project. Requiring $20 mil is only going to guarantee that this disgrace never gets fixed. I'm gonna keep Heritage Plaza along with T&P Warehouse and the old Public Market building on the list of things that will kill you if you're holding your breath to see restored.



#97 rriojas71

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:06 AM

As much as I would like to see this open I do want them to do a proper job and not just cost-cut and value engineer it so that it can be closed again in 10 years because it has fallen into disrepair. I would like to see it done right or not done at all.

I am perplexed on how it has ballooned in price from just adding the straightening out of Main Street north of the courthouse. I think there must have been other amenities added or they under-estimated what the true costs would be. Either way it's not a good look.

#98 renamerusk

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 03:46 PM

"I dunno". :unsure:



#99 beverlyb

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:21 PM

From what I understand, the balloon in cost is the straightening out of Main Street. I thought that was awful expensive when I heard it. I think they should just fix the park and deal with the street later.



#100 jefffwd

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:21 PM

I agree Beverly but if they can't fix it for a reasonable price just take everything out and return the cliff to nature.  As it is now it is about as valuable as the T&P warehouse.  ;-)  Meanwhile, in Dallas, Ross Perot Jr. has proposed the tallest tower in Dallas.  Whether it comes to fruition or not remains to be seen but if anyone can get it done it is him.  http://www.bizjourna...developing.html







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