Saturday, November 30, 2013

A River Runs Through Fort Worth's Other New Downtown Plaza

Yesterday, Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I was walking on a newly asphalted trail on the south bank of the Trinity River, when a short distance past the Paddock Viaduct, also known as the North Main Street Bridge, I came upon the flight of stairs you see to the left, rising from the banks of the Trinity River to one of the downtown Fort Worth Tarrant County College campuses.

Back when this particular campus was under construction, before it became one of Fort Worth's more infamous boondoggles, a controversy arose from someone named Ed Bass over something that was known as the Sunken Plaza.

If I remember right the Sunken Plaza sank as a result of the Bass interference.

So, I was a bit surprised when I reached the top of these stairs to find myself looking at what looked to me to be a very big plaza, situated between two big buildings which formed a sort of canyon, which I imagine provides good shade on a HOT day.

What follows is a look at the Tarrant County College downtown campus plaza from the top of the stairs til exiting the plaza at street level.

Above we are looking south from the north end of the plaza. Below we do a 180 and look north, with a view of the Trinity River flowing below.

A river-like water feature runs the length of the plaza, beginning at the south end with a waterfall falling from street level to the plaza.

The water in the water feature is shallow, with multiple cement "benches" in the water which look like they'd be a pleasant place to sit on a HOT day of summer, spring and fall. Below is another look at the TCC Plaza's river and its "bench" islands.

Below we are looking south at the aforementioned waterfall cascading down into the plaza.

Below we are at street level, looking down on the TCC Plaza waterfall and south end of the plaza.

After seeing what looked to me to be a very well designed plaza I can not help but wonder what this would have been like if the Sunken Plaza had been allowed to be built.

In addition to being surprised by the TCC Plaza I was also surprised by the size of the buildings that make up this college campus.

Surprised and confused.

It has been a few years, but the way I remember it the price tag for this college campus escalated to horrific heights, the project was behind schedule, what with it being a complex engineering task, building above the banks of a river.

And then the Army Corps of Engineers would not sign off on the plan to build a bridge across the Trinity with more campus buildings on the north side of the river.

At some point in time after Radio Shack found it could not afford its new corporate campus, located a short distance to the west of the then under construction new TCC campus, Tarrant County College decided to amp up the boondoggling by spending a few hundred million dollars more for some of the Radio Shack space to turn into its downtown campus.

With the original new campus turned into some sort of medical training facility.

Yesterday it looked to me that the original new downtown Fort Worth TCC campus is a completed structure. A very large completed structure.

Is this building being fully utilized? What is the current status of this particularly bad Fort Worth boondoggle?

I could not help but notice that I did not notice a single other person, anywhere, in the TCC Plaza zone yesterday.

But, Fort Worth's downtown did not have a lot of people on the streets yesterday, what with it being Black Friday, maybe the TCC plaza sees more activity on a school day....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty cool photos, brah, and thanks for posting them.