Park and Rec to Spend Time, Money Looking at Turning Exposition Plaza Into a Monument Park

Categories: Park and Rec
exponight1.JPG
James Pratt Architecture
A few years back there were some questions on the Dallas Historical Society's chatboard about what in the wide, wide world of sports Exposition Plaza's supposed to be. Because, sure, you drive by the circular mini-park at Canton and Exposition all the time if you're heading from downtown to Fair Park or the Double Wide or Mac's Bar-B-Que, say. But, to quote Bill Murray and Steve Martin. The short answer, per the website of James Pratt, the man who designed the thing:
A $10 million urban design and traffic improvement project in honor of the state's sesquicentennial birthday, Exposition Plaza is a ten acre plaza funded through city, county and private contributions. The memorial project includes a realignment of major streets and their intersections to provide a gateway from the central business district to Fair Park.
But that's not enough, not anymore: On Wednesday the city council will vote to pay architect and urban planner Kevin Sloan $35,000 in 2006 bond money to study Exposition Plaza. The reason, per the council agenda:
To accommodate the growing demand for placement of various memorials and monuments in parks within the City, Exposition Plaza has been identified as a candidate park site to accommodate requested installations. The purpose of this master plan is to evaluate the park site for its potential to receive such memorials and to establish a baseline from which to develop design guidelines.
Messages have been left at Park and Rec, where this idea began, but Sloan provided some more details this morning.

expoaerial.JPG
James Pratt Architecture
Says he, Park and Rec's second-in-command Willis Winters came up with the idea after years of grappling with the issue of "accommodating public memorials within some lands of the park system," as Sloan explains.

"Our study will study Exposition Plaza as potentially the setting to become a public place for the establishment of future memorials, whether they're for groups or individuals," he says. "James Pratt's design has an amazing presence to it -- it has an archetypal construction. The study we're doing is exploratory, to see if there's available land, to see if it's appropriate for this type of program."

Are we talking plaques, statues ...?

"We don't know yet," Sloan says. "That's part of the question: How does one accommodate memorials? Park and Rec is approached by groups that want to commemorate a topic, an event, an individual, and right now there's no strategy, no plan in place to accommodate that. Institutionalizing public memory is good for any city. Willis, I think, is really on top of this.

"Outside of the Dallas Police Memorial, which is adjacent to City Hall, the memorials that do exist have happened by circumstance. This establishes a structure, in the conceptual sense, for when someone says: 'We'd like to contribute X to the city. And this could ID Exposition Plaza as a place for such a program -- or not. We're going into this with open eyes, and if the analysis does bear promise, Exposition Plaza could become a new kind of place, not just a landmark or an urban marker but a program that goes with the significance of the monumentation Pratt designed."

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26 comments
Brian
Brian

this intersection also would work so much better as a roundabout instead of what it is. i use it weekly and it is a pain in the ass

Ed D.
Ed D.

I renew my call for Robert to organize the Combined Unfair Park Old Structure Ownership, Upkeep, and Preservation lottery ticket pool.

Ellum08
Ellum08

It actually looks cool from the air. The ground, not so much.....

Guest
Guest

I would have studied that area and offered recommendations that will never be undertaken for $17,500.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

Finally, a place where we can honor Cesar Chavez with a statue or monument!

T. Erickson
T. Erickson

Get the ferris wheel people on the horn - it could go there.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

I have always liked the ADD aspect of that intersection.

William Addington
William Addington

Quick question isn't Exposition Plaza going to be royally chopped up when the new Fair Park CBD connector project starts construction. After all the plans I looked at had to slicing right down the middle so I assume Exposition Plaza will have to be totally re-configured anyways.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

This city acts like an HOA that is fat with cash and just wants to point at things as accomplishments.

Hey lets mow our medians and parks with that money, maybe trim some trees and plant a little fresh grass. Those stone structures fit the bill, durable, maintenance free, interesting enough to occupy the 115 seconds while the light is red .....Done

G_David
G_David

I used to live across the street from that park, and while Mac's, Doublewide and the State Fair were all part of my regular routine, I don't think I once set foot in there.  However, I did see a lot of shopping carts and passed out homeless folks. 

vinny
vinny

Will homeless people still sleep there? 

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

This is a complete waste of money. Fair Park has plenty of space for plaques, statues or whatever else rich white people want to congratulate themselves with. 

And please, there is actually a "growing demand" for placement of memorials? 

Montemalone
Montemalone

Mr. W, next time you're down to the City Hall, please add my name to the list (towards the top, please) of consultants that get paid gobs of money to do silly things. I can collect a check like nobody's biznuss, and I can crack out ideas on how to collect even more checks even better'n that.

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

It will always suck as long as it's in the shadow of I-30. And if I-30 is expanded like planned it will barely even exist!

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

It costs $35,000 to do what's essentially a land survey?

typical
typical

arrrgggg...i'm a blog commenter, and i bitch about everything

B.S. Filter
B.S. Filter

God, aren't rich white people in this town enough of a pain without designating an area where they can build monuments to themselves?  Maybe they should just put plaques on the fancy bridge.

Jason
Jason

You're going the wrong way, Idiot!  You would be nixed immediately because that's too cheap.  They'd think you were hustling them.  I'm about to put my bid in at $43.8k.  I've already downloaded the kindle editions of every Frank Luntz book.  WhyWiseWorldClassMemorialParkStudies, LLP, Inc. is going to be my company name.  I've already created a Twitter account and an FB account.  Indicated my "Likes" as Dickey's, Soul 73, Bridges, Flow Control, Drinking Before Midnight on Lowest Greenville, Urban White Water Rafting, Toll Roads, and Dr. Seuss's The Lorax as one of my heroes.  And I've listed my causes as "Close All Libraries" and "Who Needs a School District Anyway".  Under political views I simply stated that I'm not about politics, I just want what's best for World Class Dallas Memorial Parks.  

And, don't steal this idea, please -- I've already got my mind on insisting Exposition Plaza as a Dallas Destination and have them build a spiral walkway/observation deck that goes as high as Reunion Tower, shooting directly up into the sky!  I'm also working with the local residents to implement resident only parking and getting my mother to start up a tow truck company called Exposition Plaza Towing.  I have a meeting with a neighbor to discuss going into business constructing spiral walkway/observation deck structures.  I'm going to get them to name it World Class Dallas Spiral Walkway Observation Deck Structures Construction Inc. LLP.  Or wait.  Does the LLP go before the Inc?  Or is it just an Inc.  Or just an LLP.  Or maybe it's just an LP.  Oh, well.  I'll win the bid and worry about the details later.I think my next business venture will be to try and franchise a Dickey's Food Cart!  And, I'm working on an original lyric version of "Always Suhmthing There To Remind Me".

cockadoodledoooo
cockadoodledoooo

No, the homeless are being eradicated as we speak. I know that will bring a smile to your face :)

Ellum08
Ellum08

I don't think the Park Department really wants all that junk in Fair Park either.....

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I want to know where the gold Dig 'Em statue is going, yes.

JeromeWeeks
JeromeWeeks

In fact, that's what I always thought it was going to be used for, someday, but the plans must have fallen through. You know, night rallies. Large groups. Torches. Parades. Kristallnacht. The plaza's pillars certainly augment the overall, '30s-ish, deco quality of Fair Park itself, which I assumed was going to be the capital of New Berlin.

me
me

love that. the fancy bridge. like we used to call the"park" the "pretty woods" ...

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Eradicated ? Not so much.Taken to areas where the can free-range yes.

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