The way people have described this park is exactly how I would picture tranquility. Heritage Plaza was built in the 1970's by the famous architect Lawrence Halprin. Halprin is known for his urban landscape architecture and this park is an example of how he used the surrounding environment to create a meditative place for its visitors.
"Because the quality of living with nature and allowing it to manifest itself is different than the quality of living in a city, especially a dense city."
- Lawrence Halprin
In the middle of North Texas existed this beautiful space for people to relax in the shade and listen to the water from the fountains. Halprin anticipated our summer high temperatures and the park produced a cool air from the walls, trees, and fountains.
Heritage Plaza, situated on the bluffs and overlooking the Trinity River, has been closed off since April 2007 due to its lack of maintenance and safety concerns.
On Tuesday, February 11th, Preservation Texas announced Heritage Park on its annual list of Texas' Most Endangered Historic Places for 2009.
The City of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department closed Heritage Plaza in summer 2007. Its fountains are dry, and its walls and walkways are not being maintained. The trees and plantings within the plaza reveal years of neglect, adding to the perception that the park is an unsafe place. The city has not provided any updates on its plans for the park, and it will remain closed until future actions are determined. Rather than being cherished as a community asset, Heritage Plaza has literally been kept in the dark, as have the citizens of Fort Worth.
Heritage Park would be have gone unnoticed to myself and many others had it not been for the advocacy of Fort Worth citizens calling attention to this lost but not yet forgotten treasure. The Park has received strong support from Preservation Texas, Inc., a private nonprofit membership organization committed to preserving Texas' historic and treasured sites that are on the verge of extinction. Even with such an enormous task at hand, Preservation Texas has done amazing work by raising awareness and calls to action to over 70 properties in Texas since 2004.
Since its announcement last week, plans are underway to bring in experts and talk about plans to restoring Heritage Park.
Bravo on progress! Whoo!
- Thanks, Sonja, for bringing this story to life for many people - City of Fort Worth Announces They Have Commissioned Workshop on Heritage Park:
- Photos of the neglected park on West & Clear - Heritage Park - Still Closed
- The Fate of Lawrence Halprin’s Public Spaces: Three Case Studies
Get involved with Preservation Texas by becoming a volunteer. And if volunteering does not do it for ya', make a donation or become a member.
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