Parkland Wants to Build an $18 Million Pedestrian Bridge Modeled after the Calatrava

Categories: Healthcare, News

ParklandPedestrianBridgge.jpg
Moody Nolan Texas (via The Dallas Morning News)
It was something of a surprise when Parkland Hospital officials announced that, though they're finishing construction on a brand new $1.27 billion facility, the decaying old campus across Harry Hines would need to remain open as an outpatient medical clinic.

It was an costly proposition. Parkland would have to spend $25 million refurbishing two buildings, then build a pedestrian bridge across Harry Hines, linking the old hospital to the new.

And of course, a simple, utilitarian span wouldn't do.

Parkland's board decided it needed an extra flourish, a signature architectural element commensurate with the size and majesty of the new hospital. Never mind that it would bump the cost from $12 million to $18 million. And the unique $6 million embellishment officials decided on? A swooping Calatrava-like arch.

"We're beginning to have arches all over the city," board member Patricia Rodriguez Gorman told The Dallas Morning News as the design was unveiled yesterday. "It really is a cohesive statement to have an arch ourselves."

Whether the arch actually gets built depends on whether the Parkland Foundation can raise private money to pay for it, which is no sure thing given the $34 million it has yet to raise for the construction of the actual hospital and the difficulty of getting philanthropists to hand their cash to an institution that's been so badly tarnished. But foundation head David Krause remains optimistic.

"I think it would be a very attractive naming opportunity," he told a board committee yesterday, according to the News. "There's a lot of flash in this town. Somebody might be interested in the bridge."

What he and Parkland officials seems not to realize is that they've made one disastrous miscalculation. To design the bridge, they've hired a respectable but-not-really-famous architecture firm out of Atlanta. And no self-respecting Dallas philanthropist wants to put his or her name on an American bridge.

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26 comments
dfwbill71
dfwbill71

A pretty bridge to nowhere is still....a bridge to nowhere.

kendallpete
kendallpete

Dallas Morning News reporters will be required to use Harry Hines crosswalks

Nathaniel Heidenheimer
Nathaniel Heidenheimer

"Right. Which reminds me that RFK Jr. made some extraordinary comments about the assassination in Dallas recently. But we haven’t been allowed to hear what he said. That was remarkable, but again, this is Charlie Rose who’s asking the questions, and Charlie Rose, or his network, or Charlie Rose incorporated, whatever it is, they will not release that interview. I know people have been trying to get it to get the exact words, because it’s very, very important. He’s out there saying that his dad didn’t agree with the Warren Report, which isn’t a secret, but this is the first time RFK Jr or a member of the family is saying that. That is big news, except that it’s no news." http://www.straight.com/life/360251/vancouver-bound-author-james-douglass-jfk-and-unspeakable

devtrentner
devtrentner

Nothing say prudent management of a failing unsafe county hospital than spending millions on a tacky Calatrava knock-off bridge, with money that the hospital doesn't even have, and failing a last ditch effort safety inspection at the same time. Worse, the management at Parkland are trying to reinstate their bonuses for the all the bad work that they do. The people at Parkland are obviously trying to soak the taxpayers of Dallas as much as they can before they go under.

mcdallas
mcdallas

Can we please also add sequins to all Parkland Hospital gowns?  Thank you.

Gangy
Gangy

How about paying for healthcare for all those people who will be without healthcare because the state government refuses to accept an expansion of Medicaid eligibility.  County taxpayers are going to be coughing up funds for their care when they show up in the emergency room.  The federal government would pay 100% of the expansion cost for the first 3 years, then 90% after that. 

Americano
Americano

Why don't they buy new equipment?


FEDUP
FEDUP

You run like a Banshee across our borders, run your criminal 

ass across Harry Hines

Rix1
Rix1

I still think funding could have been found for a Calatrava-style bike/hike bridge over Central linking the Katy Trail and Mockingbird Station. That would have been cool!

Obummer
Obummer

Yo Illegals reap mucho rewards, isz ruining our country, an' need ta bees deported.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Pig, We give you:...... Lipstick.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

The should get the podiatrists to foot the bill.

Put up a sign that guarantees safe crossings: Our Arches Never Fall.

manpanties
manpanties

nothing like a shiny arch to emphasize how depressing it is to be anywhere near that place.  

anon
anon

I appreciate their candor about the fact that their target donor base would rather throw money at this completely unnecessary bridge embellishment than pay for something that has actual value, like a hospital that can treat patients.

Steve Portch
Steve Portch

That's really the best use of that money?

Rex Curry
Rex Curry

To these people not realize with this being a public hospital this is our money they are squandering. With all your bad press if late the last thing you need to be thinking about is a fancy bridge.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Rex Curry Obviously not. That was a board member enthusiastically speaking...

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