Goals for Dallas, or: A Look Back at When a Mayor Dreamed The Possible Dreams


While we await confirmations and return calls, let's take a look at this short film I just found (again) featuring one John Erik Jonsson and, specifically, the former mayor's creation of something called Goals for Dallas, which I really never knew much about till coming across a copy of a close-to-400-page 1982 tome called, well, Goals for Dallas: The Possible Dreams at the Half Price mothership Monday night. (I paid $5.98 for a book someone bought from Cokesbury for $5, hunh.)

Turns out, it dates back to '64 and stayed on life support till the early '80s, at which point ... that, as they say, was that. I did a little more digging, found a case of related docs in the James Pratt Collection at the downtown library and a 1985 paper on the subject written for Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, for which I just paid $3.95.

So far, the tome's an intriguing read, what with its references to "the lack of perception of teachers as professionals" and its call to create "a revitalized central business district and inner-city neighborhoods" and turn the Trinity River into Town Lake "between the I-45 bridges and the Sylvan Bridge" and the inclusion of Pauline Medrano as a member of the Public Safety Committee. Timeless literature, in short. I've scanned the introduction and cover, which you'll find on the other side. More to come? What -- you new around here? Goals for Dallas

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

The Goals for Dallas Were replaced by the "Tri-Ethnic-Committee"

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

I did what I could. Will you please stop whipping my ass about the downtown tunnels now?

Andrew
Andrew

Many goals to be achieved from the actions of individuals...This city will be great if we will only allow ourselves to be. Up with Council Urban Innovation Zones (bureaucracy free areas)!

LogiRush
LogiRush

Jonsson was quite busy in the mid-1960s working to advance DFW Airport, the University of Texas at Dallas and planning for the new city hall. Yes, he did tell Clint Murchison to get lost with his (Murchison's) plans for a downtown Cowboys stadium. That was in 1966 (not 1964). Jonsson was working with big-name urban planners at that time (Vincent Ponte, Warren Travers) who advised against the stadium because it would be "dead space" the vast majority of time.

So what's the deal with Jonsson's super-black eyebrows? Not very Swedish-looking.

HomelessBumatCliffManor
HomelessBumatCliffManor

Mike Rollings and his Preston Hollow Billionairre friends will save us!!

All the homeless bums move to Oak cliffHis billionaire friends like Roger Staubach are smarter than us so they will give us all jobs delivering pizzas

Don Abbott
Don Abbott

Erik Jonsson's most fateful decision was not to buck the shadow government (the Citizens' Council) when they told Clint Murchinson to forgetaboutit when Murchinson asked for a downtown stadium in 1964. Of course, just before Thanksgiving in 1967, Murchinson dropped his bomb: the Cowboys were moving to Irving.

Along with the ill-fated crippling of Love Field, the seeds were sown for what we now know as "North Texas"-a decentralized block of vaguely-related muncipalities that long ago abandoned Dallas as the lead dog. Today, Erik Jonsson's Dallas is Daltroit with flat to negative population growth, no leadership, and a declining quality of life.

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

Robert, Goals for Dallas was BIG back then. It was a brilliant, inspiring way to help get Dallas out of the JFK doldrums.Even as a kid, I remember it being a big deal at home, in the media, and literally everywhere you looked. If you can, why not scan the whole damn thing and let everyone read what a 'real mayor' could do with the proper foresight and inspiration. Something that is on short supply these days. Speaking of, just what is 'Senator wanna be Skeletor' doing these days? Poor ol' Erik has probably rolled over so many times, he is just dust now.What a guy.....

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

Flat-line growth? So what happens to Plano now that it is built out? Or other suburban cities as they get built out? Are the suburban Detroits as well?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I just may do that. In the meantime, here's a Greg Curtis piece on Goals from Dallas from the August 1982 Texas Monthly:

http://books.google.com/books?...

See, I was a high school freshman at the time. And I didn't know nuffin bout it back then.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...