It's Official: The Trinty Trust Gives $2 Million to Set Up "CityDesign Studio" in Dallas City Hall

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Speaking of the Trinity Trust, they've still got those T-shirts available.
The suspense is over. (See what I did there?) Following up its September 24 announcement concerning $10 mil going toward turning the Continental Avenue Bridge into a pedestrian pathway-n-park, the Trinity Trust this morning trekked to Dallas City Hall to highlight yet another donation: $5 million, courtesy Rusty and Deedie Rose. Friends of Unfair Park are by now well aware that part of that gift -- $2 million -- will go toward the creation of the Dallas CityDesign Studio, which will set up shop in City Hall to "advise, plan and consult with public and private entities on the importance of urban design in a 21st Century Dallas," per the official release this morning. "This resource center will engage, advise and support work focused outside the levees, particularly as potential development occurs, as well as on the Trinity River Corridor Project itself."

In other words, the Trinity Trust, HQ'd on Oak Lawn Avenue, now has an office on Marilla Street: The Dallas CityDesign Studio "is not a separate entity," says City Manager Mary Suhm in the Trust's release, "but it shows that the City of Dallas will work collaboratively across a number of departments to create and implement great design for the City." To which Mayor Tom Leppert adds, "This gift will be a true catalyst toward helping us transform Dallas into an even more appealing city for business, residential, and environmental marketability and to showcase its true spirit and character."

As we mentioned earlier, the Trinity Trust will fund DCDS for five years, and it will also pay for three more full-time architects who've not yet been named. But after the initial investment runs out, the city will pick up the tab. Re:Vision Dallas and bcWORKSHOP's Brent Brown, as we said yesterday, will serve as its director, while former Vancouver city planner Larry Beasley, who's been to town on several occasions to talk to city officials about how to develop West Dallas, will serve as special adviser. David Whitley, currently the assistant director of the Trinity River Corridor Project, has been named the DCDS's assistant director.

We'll have more with Brown later, as we visit about specifics. (As one Friend of Unfair Park pointed out yesterday, this sounds, in some respects, very much like The Dallas Plan.) Till then, The Official Word follows.
The Trinity Trust and the City of Dallas Announce $5 Million Gift from the Roses to Fund the Creation of Dallas CityDesign Studio

DALLAS, Texas, October 6, 2009 - At Dallas City Hall's Flag Room today, The Trinity Trust Foundation and the City of Dallas announced a $5 million gift from Deedie and Rusty Rose, of which $2 million will be used to establish the Dallas CityDesign Studio to expand the city's design efforts for planning and development.

Housed in Dallas City Hall, the Dallas CityDesign Studio will work collaboratively to advise, plan and consult with public and private entities on the importance of urban design in a 21st Century Dallas. This resource center will engage, advise and support work focused outside the levees, particularly as potential development occurs, as well as on the Trinity River Corridor Project itself.

The new Dallas CityDesign Studio will be funded for five years with three full-time positions created and paid by The Trinity Trust until the 2014-2015 fiscal year. At that point, the city will assume the entire cost of operations.

This gift follows the September anonymous donation of $10 million, given in honor of Mary McDermott Cook, to convert the Continental Avenue Bridge into a green space and pedestrian bridge.

Deedie Rose said, "I believe in the Trinity River Project and how it's going to change our city. I'm excited to imagine what's ahead, and we all realize that this it's imperative that Dallas plans now for the very best design, to bring thoughtful and imaginative planning to our neighborhoods. Great urban plans make enormous impacts on the way we live, work and play. I'm excited about how this gift will be used and to see the progress of community design."

Mayor of Dallas Tom Leppert said, "We appreciate the support and generous giving of civic leaders like Deedie and Rusty Rose. This gift will be a true catalyst toward helping us transform Dallas into an even more appealing city for business, residential, and environmental marketability and to showcase its true spirit and character. Thanks to The Trinity Trust Foundation for securing this gift and for being a major partner with the City of Dallas."

The Trinity Trust Foundation President Dr. Gail Thomas said, "Next week, we celebrate the opening of the AT&T Center for the Performing Arts. Three persons in this room dreamed, took action and made it happen: Bess Enloe, Caren Prothro and Deedie Rose. And what a remarkable treasure their hard work is offering to our city. We now live in the only city in the world with four buildings on one block designed by Pritzer architects. Imagine what we can do along the Trinity River and outside the levees with great urban design."

Thomas added, "This gift is a result of Deedie Rose's combined passion for great art, architecture and urban design. I have known Deedie and have been dreaming with her for many years. Thank you, Deedie and Rusty, for this inspired gift that will keep on giving to our community in years to come."

City of Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm remarked, "I want to extend my thanks to Rusty and Deedie Rose for this generous and special gift to the City. It gives us the opportunity to create the Dallas CityDesign Studio, which will be housed at Dallas City Hall. It is not a separate entity, but it shows that the City of Dallas will work collaboratively across a number of departments to create and implement great design for the City."

Larry Beasley, world-renowned urban planner and former city planner in Vancouver, will be the special adviser to Dallas CityDesign Studio. Suhm added, "Vancouver is the best prototype any of us have seen for this type of transformation, and Larry will lead this effort and bring best practices from around the world to our Texas doorstep."

Brent Brown, AIA LEED AP, will serve as the director of Dallas CityDesign Studio. As founder of buildingcommunity Workshop, an architect and planner, Brown is focused on innovative community design, larger scale and sustainability. "The studio will bring together a multidisciplinary approach of thinking outside the box when it comes to the areas along the Trinity. As we work, this is going to be about good design and how to build a more beautiful city outside the levees."

David Whitley has been named as associate director of the Dallas CityDesign Studio.

Todd Howard of t. howard + associates and American Institute of Architects Dallas president, said, "AIA Dallas is an avid supporter of the development. Our members worked on the Balanced Vision Plan, which provided the framework for development. The establishment of this department serves as one more step on the road to the success of this project, and we applaud the city for appointing Brent Brown, one of our members, for this pivotal position."

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