L.A.-Based Photograper Insists "The Disrepair at Dealey Plaza ... Is An Insult to History."

Categories: Park and Rec
dealeyplazaxmarksthespot_picnik.jpg
Photo by Harry Wilonsky
Vanity Fair's Jim Wolcott directs our attention today to a dispatch from Los Angeles-based photographer Donald Barnat: "Disappointment at Dealey Plaza," posted yesterday. Long story short: Barnat was in town during the Super Bowl and, like most visitors to our city, found himself at the corner of Houston and Elm to see where President Kennedy was shot to death in November 1963 -- a spot, Barnat writes, that has become "a vortex of negative energy" for a number of reasons, chief among them ...
It comes from the fact that the place is in such a miserable state of disrepair that it amounts to a disgrace for the city of Dallas, the state of Texas, and the United States of America. ... Paint is chipping badly. Rust stains are everywhere. The grass is trodden over, smashed down to dirt and mud under the feet of visitors. Graffiti covers key components of this historical site including the picket fence behind the Grassy Knoll where some say a second shooter may have fired shots at the president's motorcade.

But there's one thing even worse than the disrepair at Dealey Plaza and it is an insult to history and everyone who visits the place as well as to the memory of the slain president and of the events that happened there.
That's but the warm-up. No mention of the gift shop and cafe, surprisingly.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
37 comments
Joshua
Joshua

Dealey Plaza looks a LOT BETTER than most of JAPAN right NOW.

Joshua
Joshua

YEAH...and Haight-Asbury has GONE TO POT TOO (clever little snide mj joke there).

Isn't Vanity Fair the gay and lesbian rag that had the black model get naked and walk down Dealey Plaza awhile ago....

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

I've always thought that Dallas played down the spot out of shame.The memorial square thing is non-descript. The actual spot is not even actually very exceptional. It reminds me of the military cemeteries I saw in Luxembourg. The American cemetery (battle of the bulge casualties, and Patton's grave) is lovely and well maintained. The German one cemetery barely has a sign and is very pedestrian looking.

Lastangelman
Lastangelman

He came during the Super Bowl? Of course it looked like crap, the place had been under a ton of ice and snow for a week. Godddam brie eating sniffy shit breathed coffee dung drinking elitist out of town shithead.

ocdawg
ocdawg

typical tourist response. This assclown is still feeding off the "City of Hate" crap heaped on Dallas unfairly so many years ago. All streets are mean streets in a large city.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Dealey Plaza? No, we must preserve all of Dallas just as it was on that fateful day in 1963 so that tourists may gape at the site and experience the entire city just as it was. Yes, this means doming the city so the weather will be as it was on 11/22/1963 every day, evacuating a few million residents to the suburbs and replacing them with actors willing to live out that day over and over in a "Mad Men"/"Groundhog Day" mashup, and of course tearing down everything built after 1963 and replacing it with authentic replicas of the skyline as it was. Good news for the rotating Pegasus, not as good for Reunion Tower.

If that works out, we can seal off San Antonio and roll it back to the days of the Alamo siege, figure out how to set Chicago on fire anew every day, flood New Orleans, burn Atlanta, shake San Francisco to rubble, then clear out the entire northeast to preserve it as it was when the Pilgrims first landed. We can have a new set of riots in Los Angeles every day on a rotating schedule: this week Rodney King, next week Watts, and so on.

Sure, it will destroy the whole country and cost trillions of dollars but won't it be worth it for all of the tourists, amateur photographers, and the children? Why won't anybody think of the children?

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

City of Dallas does not take good care of older buildings as they should. That plaza needs to be painted routinely,so does building at Fair Park and etc.

crispinTx
crispinTx

LOL. He wants us to close that street?

The stupid. It burns.

G_David
G_David

Sounds like some sort of New Age drama queen to me.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

But we have a signature bridge!

Allan
Allan

This is a pretty elaborate excuse for the mediocrity of the photography he perpetrated that day (except the one of the train tracks, which is decent if a little trite).

Craig
Craig

But won't j'alls bridges look grand?

scottindallas
scottindallas

Rob't, you need to send the photog. Harry's pic that you posted above. The grass looks great. Our lawns don't look good after inches of ice and snow. Even if they had been overseeded with Ryegrass it would've looked like hell after that week of weather. The dude has zero awareness of seasons--must be a native of LA. I also would argue that Dallas and LA are probably on par with regard to landscaping. I would say Dallas is better landscaped than any city in the region other than Houston or Atlanta. I KNOW for a fact that Dallas landscaping is a 5 times more sustainable than LA's.

Geez
Geez

The fruits, nuts, and flakes need to stay in California.

Doug
Doug

"that has become 'a vortex of negative energy'"...bwa ha ha...wtf? This clown actually said that? Tells me everything I'd ever want to know about him...God knows I'm so ashamed I'm going to run right down there and fix it so it's just the way it should be...according to HIS standards...bwa ha ha!!!!

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Shouldn't we dig out the crater in the Yucatan where the asteroid/meteor/comet obliterated the dinosaurs and altered the entire history of the Earth?

It's an insult to history we didn't preserve the exact spot of that significant historical event from millions of years ago.

Ellum08
Ellum08

Funny, because I thought the City had just started, or maybe just completed, a major restoration of the pergola, fountains and other historic features of Dealy Plaza.

Pretty much everything looks like shit after a six inch snowfall has melted off.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

That is the single stupidest idea I've ever heard about Dealy Plaza, and I used to hang out at the Conspiracy Museum.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

The disrepair (i.e., potholes) on my way to and from work are an insult to my tires and suspension.

JimS
JimS

Well, yeah, but L.A. demo'd the Ambassador Hotel where Bobby Kennedy was shot, built a fancy school there, took apart the food pantry where he died and put it in storage. So if you take into account the 6th Floor Museum, the gift shop across the street, the library on the first floor of the Records Building and te fact that the site has not been demo'd, i'd say we have done a hell of a lot more for preservation than L.A. did.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Hey, it looks like any other park in Dallas, second rate.

People in Dallas don't have a clue what a park should look like.

Bob
Bob

Pedestrian comments from a pedestrian photographer.

DK
DK

That area was a dump when Kennedy was shot and it's been preserved as such.

Jay D
Jay D

Yes, Mr. Barnat, the grassy knoll in February is downtrodden and muddy, because it was winter, it was cold and wet, and tourists like you stomp around off the sidewalk until what's left of the grass becomes a muddy quagmire.

And seriously, are you a Jay-Walker? Do you seriously believe that fence is the original picket fence, from nearly 50 years ago? Really?

The only thing I find odd about Dealey Plaza is all the tourists standing in the middle of the street dodging traffic while standing on one of the three spots marked in tape. To what purpose?

Keith
Keith

I am so glad that someone from the beautiful city of LA, where nothing is ever allowed to become in disrepair and where graffiti is removed before the paint has a chance to dry, is able to point out our shortcomings.

jibberish
jibberish

we shot jr, now THAT'S funny...

Frank
Frank

It's disgrace some one from somewhere else can come to our city and knock our unfortunate tourist spot. I went through there yesterday. Except for one pothole on Elm it's all the same as it ever was, just a place where folks walk around and point at a window or an X on the street. I mean what are we supposed to do, sell bullets engraved w/ JFK on 'em or set up a Wii like virtual shooting gallery? Maybe we should simply sell bumper stickers that say 'DALLAS - We shot JR & killed JFK'... Oh hell, let's just go to LA and point out what a cozy, little, lovely city he has.

TimCov
TimCov

If he feels it is such a disgrace to the country, why doesn't he pull money out of his pocket to fix it? Oh, as to his complaints about traffic, to bad. This is a major intersection. Traffic throughout downtown Dallas would be snarled if they shut it down just so some tourists can play in the street.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I mean, lets close down the freeway the OJ chase happened on....for historical purposes of course.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

That's a good point, Craig. I bet if we had all three signature bridges and that highway on the Trinity riverbottom built this guy from California would've been suitably impressed.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Leppert said, all you need to do about pothole ,is call 311 ,and the hole will be fixed in 3 days.

JimS
JimS

By the way, when is D.C. going to shut down 10th Street NW in front of Ford's Theatre?

observist
observist

Sure we do - it should look like a floodway or a slab of concrete suspended over a 6-lane highway.

Thelisma "Harvey" Partridge
Thelisma "Harvey" Partridge

News flash: tourists DO play in the street. I have to dodge multiple touristic morons every day as they stand smack dab in the middle of Elm so they can have their photo taken while standing on those dreadful Xs in the road.

Just remember, when I finally run one of them down with my magic car, I acted alone.

scottindallas
scottindallas

by your sarcasm I see that you don't believe in Dallas.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...