The Living Plaza Folks Want to Make Shade, But First They Need Your Money

Categories: City Hall

RethinkingShade.jpg
Amanda Popken, with the structure she built for the first Re-thinking Shade event.
The Living Plaza project, the temporary installation of people, food and miscellanea in front of City Hall, has been breathing life into the desolate concrete wasteland at 1500 Marilla for more than a year now. It's fueled by the type of creative energy one doesn't expect from the great edifice of bureaucracy in whose shadow the plaza sits. But there's a problem there. There's really not much shadow at noon on a summer day and not much shade to speak of.

The lack of cover inspired the Living Plaza folks last month to try to rethink shade by creating shade structures, which resulted in a whopping two installations. Seems that the 13-day heads up wasn't enough for a lot of folks to put together the elaborate contraptions they'd envisioned. Then there was the lack of funds.

They've fixed the first problem: Re-thinking Shade 2 is set for September 26, and many of the designs are already completed. The second part, they're still working on. City workers Patrick McDonnell and Amanda Popken just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help turn those six designs into actual things. And what happens when the plaza reverts to its natural state? Plan is to keep the portable shade to be deployed on other city property.

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15 comments
rowingisfun
rowingisfun

just what that big oven of a plaza needs, seats to better take in the wafting aroma a pee and hobo turds. 

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

If just going out and setting up chairs tables benches and shade was the actual starting point  I have no doubt .it would be great Idea  . To bad it is a distant finish line

The reality is there is a lot of work that needs to be done  just to get these  projects started I wonder how that phase is coming along ?

stealth
stealth

This shows how out of touch city employees are. 1500 Marilla is full of homeless.  You don't see Dallas workers sitting outside because of the number of homeless who are loitering there and panhandling. If you make shade it will just fill up with more homeless looking for shade. The City of Dallas just removed all of the benches in front of the Library because all the homeless were congregating there all day to drink, smoke pot and loiter.  It became such a nightmare for police and scared away patrons of the Dallas library when several hundred people would congregate their daily to loiter and drink. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

That desolate space in front of the City Hall monster makes me cringe.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

See, this is what I like about you, Eric.

New to Dallas (relatively) and you reference the "desolate concrete wasteland" that stands in front of City Hall.  Many of us have always felt that way.

 

YES we need shade.

YES we need patio dining without City Hall butting in.

YES we need food trucks.

etc

 

Thank you, young Dallasites, for accomplishing what was not possible when I was in my 20s (the 1990s).  We wanted to, but we were shut down.  I guess we were not bold enough.

 

Back then, the people who are STILL ruining things were much younger and more powerful.  

(At my first editing job, I was told that if I worked hard, I could be promoted to be a "manager".  I would get my own parking spot AND I COULD PICK 2 PIECES OF "ART" FROM THE WAREHOUSE).  Ahhh... the 90s. I quit and shortly after the company (Lomas Mortgage) went under.  Or whatever.  I wonder what happened to the "art").

 

So I went into teaching.

 

I will be donating.

Eric--you are doing a great job.  Keep it up.

BumPiss
BumPiss

How soon before those ugly things stink of bum piss?  I give it one day tops.

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@oakclifftownie Do you live in Oak Cliff? What placemaking projects have you been involved with there?

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@stealth You've got it backwards. The homeless are there because the space died. Homeless people don't kill vibrant spaces. They simply fill in places that are dead. Patrick and Amanda are working to reactivate an important space in the core of your city. (Or, an important space in the core of the city near the adjacent burb in which you reside.) Obviously this isn't a project you find worthwhile. So what community building or place-making projects are you involved in? (Here's where anonymous comments sections ate loads of fun, Observer team.)

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@DISDTeacher Agreed. Thanks for caring about your city.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@MikeDunlap@oakclifftownie

 MikeDunlap  oakclifftownie I guess you must see questioning of any kind implies that I am anti this kind of project ?

No I am not .

 

So Can you answer my question ?

 

LiberalInfection
LiberalInfection

There is also the possibility that not many people are clamoring to spend time at City Hall.. you know unless they need to? It's not exactly a destination. But if it helps you feel like you are "community building" then go for it, you smug little turd.

stealth
stealth

 @MikeDunlap I never understand the bashing of suburbanites who come downtown to spend money and support the downtown economy.  Mike, you seem to do that a lot in your posts. Whether it is to work, business or entertainment.  It is like some of the downtown residents think it is a special club for the "cool kids".  Well, look around friend, I think you need those suburbanites to fill your empty space. Number one item for people to come is safety and right now downtown dallas has some major issues with the homeless and quality of life. Number two is economic developement and to experience something wonderful and unique (Klyde Park, Nylo, Arts District, Etc). Shouldnt the goal be to convince people to want to come downtown for a great experience and eventually want to move there? 

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