Thursday, March 19, 2015

Why Is Another Million Dollars Needed To Fix Fort Worth's Heritage Park Embarrassment?

This morning Elsie Hotpepper emailed me a link to an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram titled Additional money needed to properly fix Heritage Park downtown.

Reading the article I quickly realized why Elsie Hotpepper sent the link to me.

First off, when Fort Worth turned Heritage Park into a boarded up, chain link fence surrounded eyesore, the park had no problems in need of fixing of the structural sort.

The city closed Heritage Park in an over-reaction to the tragic drownings of four people in a dangerous pool of deep water in the Water Gardens at the south end of downtown Fort Worth.

Heritage Park has multiple water features, very well designed and aesthetically pleasing. None of the Heritage Park water features featured water sufficiently deep to present a drowning hazard.

The Star-Telegram article informs us that $2.2 million has been raised, with another $1 million needed to "properly fix" Heritage Park.

How do you spend $3.2 million to properly fix a park which was not broken til the city broke it?

The paragraph in the Star-Telegram disinformation article which annoyed me the most....

The city park closed in 2007. A chain link fence has kept people out since. A structural assessment of the 112-acre park a couple of years ago found no significant safety issues. All the issues in need to repairs are in the 1.5-acre area at the top of the park, a section designed by famed landscape architect Lawrence Halperin.
Closed since 2007. An assessment of the 112-acre park found no safety issues? First off, while Heritage Park may cover 112 acres in its entirety, the boarded up part of the park, turned into an embarrassing eyesore by the city, is the part designed by the famed landscape architect mentioned in the above paragraph. I would be surprised if the boarded up part of the park covers more than an acre, let alone 122 acres.

As for that chain link fence keeping people out. I easily got around that fence and took a  lot of photos of what I saw on the other side. I made a webpage of those photos, with other information, titled, Fort Worth's Lost Heritage.

An associate of the famed landscape architect, Lawrence Halperin, saw my info about what had happened to the park he had helped design, then emailed me verbalizing his surprise that this was allowed to happen. You can read that email by clicking the Fort Worth's Lost Heritage link above.

Prior to the city turning Heritage Park into an embarrassing eyesore there were some issues that needed addressing. Easily addressed issues which I doubt would cost all that much, certainly not $3.2 million, to address.

For instance, some visitors to Heritage Park complained of not feeling safe, due to the walled nature of the design that separates the park from the street. I think that wall could easily be taken down, opening up the park, making it more connected to the Tarrant County Courthouse across the street.

Lighting should be easy and relatively inexpensive to install. Along with security cameras and alarm buttons. It should be rather easy for Fort Worth police to make a regular stroll though the park, what with a large  Fort Worth police facility being adjacent to Heritage Park. I think that facility is, in part, a jail, but I am not sure about that.

The City of Fort Worth needs to cease with the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle type dawdling and re-open this park. And do so without waiting for another million dollars to waste....

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