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Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

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R1070
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby R1070 » 09 Dec 2017 23:11

Yep! There was a re-do in the works, but that just disappeared. It needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 10 Dec 2017 00:55

R1070 wrote:Yep! There was a re-do in the works, but that just disappeared. It needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt.


The rejuvenation is still planned, but can't proceed until funds are raised (apart from operating funds). The first step is finalizing the construction documents with the City of Dallas. In the mean time infrastructure fixes that can move forward separate from those plans (like restoring fountains, etc) are being worked on incrementally. In addition to the fountain work the exhibit area in the Hall is being cleaned and refreshed so it can reopen to the public starting in January. By showcasing the original vision alongside renderings and plans for the rejuvenation it may help add value for potential donors.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 10 Dec 2017 01:08

Hannibal Lecter wrote:I visited Thanksgiving Square today for probably the first time in almost 40 years. Absolutely disgusting and embarrassing. They need to just lock the gates.


Primarily from the dog waste and surrounding dog owners, or more? The main fountain was cleaned a few weeks ago and the giant sediment tank emptied for the first time in about 15 years, so the water is cleaner than it has been in a long time (cost: about $20k in deferred maintenance). Several of the smaller fountains will not be operational until their pumps are upgraded. Additional landscape lighting was added in November thanks to a donor. And the sprinklers are regularly repaired so the grass is much healthier. If your last visit was 40 years ago when it first opened and the trees much smaller, then I'm sure it looks quite different as it has aged! There is a long list of infrastructure issues that need to be fixed. If there are specific things that stood out to you as easy fixes, I'm happy to pass along feedback so they can be addressed.

Below: photo showing one section of the pump room from a few weeks ago (there are 7 pumps; 2 fully upgraded and the others awaiting repair).

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 10 Dec 2017 01:24

Sharing a few Philip Johnson photos and sketches I found in the archive recently. Many pieces will be digitized and placed on the Portal to Texas History in coming months (funded through a grant).

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby CTroyMathis » 10 Dec 2017 01:58

There are actually very many current forum member names displayed on a wall at Thanks-Giving Square near the office entrance thanks to Noah's initiatives. People who have donated. This is a place that is particularly special to so many, and, it is well-known that there are issues. It has been worse, yet, much improvement yet to come. I will do anything to make or help it improve. I'm not the only one in my family, or, on this forum that has or will put it all down on this Square. (Triangle) Let's get the UN Flag up where it's supposed to be when we're really cleaned up and flowing properly. And, green.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby willyk » 10 Dec 2017 04:17

Raising money from a lot of small donors has a low chance of success without a lead donor. The park needs to find an invidual or corporation to lead the renovation, and even grant naming rights if necessary. Kelcy Warren for KWP, Robert Decherd for the Belo Gardens and the recently approved parks, AT&T for the PAC. These are examples of how these projects get done.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 10 Dec 2017 14:09

dfwcre8tive wrote:Primarily from the dog waste and surrounding dog owners, or more?


The first thing you see walking in the west entrance is the gravel area covered in dog waste. Not one of the water features was working. What are supposed to be grassy areas are as much mud as grass. Lots of dead vegetation. The waterway coming down the hill from the west was full of mud where it is crosses under a sidewalk -- it obviously hadn't worked in a long time. The large gold sculpture at the west entrance looks badly scratched up. The entire park has a feeling like something from a 10-years-after-the-zombie-apocalypse movie. We didn't see one other person the entire time we were there -- on a very nice afternoon with lots of folks around downtown. I guess that's a good thing, because it would be embarrassing for tourists to see it. Hell, I was embarrassed for my son to see it.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 10 Dec 2017 15:26

I wish we at least put some fresh white paint on the chapel. It's a faded white color.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby jrd1964 » 10 Dec 2017 16:47

When I worked downtown, Thanks-Giving Square was an automatic go-to for dog-walkers. They didn't try to go anywhere else.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby jrd1964 » 10 Dec 2017 16:49

CTroy, I'll have to find the pic, but the donor list sign has a typo. I don't remember what it was off-hand.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby jrd1964 » 10 Dec 2017 16:52

willyk wrote:Raising money from a lot of small donors has a low chance of success without a lead donor. The park needs to find an invidual or corporation to lead the renovation, and even grant naming rights if necessary. Kelcy Warren for KWP, Robert Decherd for the Belo Gardens and the recently approved parks, AT&T for the PAC. These are examples of how these projects get done.


Well, Toyota seems to be helping and naming quite a bit around here (one of the food banks, the Music Factory, the downtown Christmas Parade) of late...

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby f4shionablecha0s » 10 Dec 2017 17:54

Phillip Johnson was such a hack. I don't think Thanksgiving Square can be saved from the incredibly stupid design choices. Why not bulldoze it and start over? Hell, with so many other parks going in why not just sell it to someone so they can put a new tower on the site?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 11 Dec 2017 09:18

I am glad to hear the Thanksgiving organization is working towards a brighter future. As a commercial property neighbor who looks out on the park it is improving and I know they are working with nearby property owners on promotion and improvements to address complaints. I used to manage the coffee shop at the Mosaic years ago and watched dog owners send Thanksgiving Square into further disrepair more than previous lack of maintenance. The thing about dog owners is they follow where their dog goes as soon as they walk out the door. No matter what signs, walls are erected and that's not going to change unless you station a permanent security guard at the Mosaic/Republic Tower sides of the space.

New signage was erected, new furniture has been put in place and they have a long-term plan for cleaning all the systems that had gotten well past their expiration date. Also, lots of improvements inside the chapel have been made since it is a rather important landmark that keeps people coming back. I do see lots of people use the park day to day so I am not worried about its future any longer.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby lakewoodhobo » 11 Dec 2017 09:46

I'm not a fan of Philip Johnson's public spaces, but this place is worth saving. Thank you Noah for all your hard work and dedication to Thanks-Giving Square.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Matt777 » 11 Dec 2017 10:16

cowboyeagle05 wrote:I used to manage the coffee shop at the Mosaic years ago and watched dog owners send Thanksgiving Square into further disrepair more than previous lack of maintenance.


Mosaic has a huge empty terrace area near the pool terrace that could be converted into a dog park. They could build it to where it can be easily cleaned by power hose and then drained. They should be forced to do it.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 11 Dec 2017 11:22

Matt777 wrote:
cowboyeagle05 wrote:I used to manage the coffee shop at the Mosaic years ago and watched dog owners send Thanksgiving Square into further disrepair more than previous lack of maintenance.


Mosaic has a huge empty terrace area near the pool terrace that could be converted into a dog park. They could build it to where it can be easily cleaned by power hose and then drained. They should be forced to do it.


They had a dog park/run when I worked in the building but it was rarely used cause humans tend to do what they want and take their dogs out to the street.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 11 Dec 2017 15:46

jrd1964 wrote:CTroy, I'll have to find the pic, but the donor list sign has a typo. I don't remember what it was off-hand.


If you remember, let me know. I will take a closer look as well.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 11 Dec 2017 15:55

willyk wrote:Raising money from a lot of small donors has a low chance of success without a lead donor. The park needs to find an invidual or corporation to lead the renovation, and even grant naming rights if necessary. Kelcy Warren for KWP, Robert Decherd for the Belo Gardens and the recently approved parks, AT&T for the PAC. These are examples of how these projects get done.


Agree, and that's why the larger campaign hasn't yet been announced. Private individuals are being approached to help kickstart the program with large donations/matches. Naming rights would be a challenge since it's a private facility. The initial donors included a list of nearly every major downtown company in the 1970s, and every feature was named in honor of those donors. Can you "re-sell" something after a certain amount of time (perhaps)? Many (but not all) of the original supporting families have moved on or now want to give to larger, flashier projects in the region.

Individual donations from members in the community have helped with many small improvement projects.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 11 Dec 2017 16:02

jrd1964 wrote:When I worked downtown, Thanks-Giving Square was an automatic go-to for dog-walkers. They didn't try to go anywhere else.


A few years ago there was a survey/count and it was estimated that there are about 800 dog visits to the space per day. The three residential properties (LTV, Mosaic, Republic) have a loose agreement to provide minimal cleaning support since they don't provide a space for their residents. Until a new dog relief area is built on city ROW along Bryan it's either: try to concentrate/limit landscape damage and allow dogs in one area only (hard to enforce, but most owners are respectful), or ban dogs completely, which requires hiring a patrol person 24/7. There's not really a winning solution.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 11 Dec 2017 16:14

f4shionablecha0s wrote:Phillip Johnson was such a hack. I don't think Thanksgiving Square can be saved from the incredibly stupid design choices. Why not bulldoze it and start over? Hell, with so many other parks going in why not just sell it to someone so they can put a new tower on the site?


You have to remember that the visible portion is the top of a multi-level facility. The garden is basically a deck park on top of a parking garage. The City of Dallas owns the underground structures but pays a lease to the private foundation for usage, and the surface structures are privately owned. It's a complicated arrangement. Any rejuvenation is at the private owner's expense and can't alter the underlying structure, but things like lowering the walls, adding access points, decreasing the grade of the landscape, etc would make it more connected to the surrounding streets. Johnson designed it as a formal garden space with gated entries, processional walkways, etc but most people just want it to be a park.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 11 Dec 2017 16:37

Hannibal Lecter wrote:
dfwcre8tive wrote:Primarily from the dog waste and surrounding dog owners, or more?


The first thing you see walking in the west entrance is the gravel area covered in dog waste. Not one of the water features was working. What are supposed to be grassy areas are as much mud as grass. Lots of dead vegetation. The waterway coming down the hill from the west was full of mud where it is crosses under a sidewalk -- it obviously hadn't worked in a long time. The large gold sculpture at the west entrance looks badly scratched up. The entire park has a feeling like something from a 10-years-after-the-zombie-apocalypse movie. We didn't see one other person the entire time we were there -- on a very nice afternoon with lots of folks around downtown. I guess that's a good thing, because it would be embarrassing for tourists to see it. Hell, I was embarrassed for my son to see it.


All very real observations; thank you. You also forgot to mention the lack of accessibility (typical for its age), uneven pavement, and worn interiors. The downturn in garden maintenance started about 10 years ago when metal thieves stripped away copper electrical wiring (lighting), bronze drain grates (preventing lightweight sandy soil from clogging and breaking fountain pumps), and dedication plaques (identifying the place). Excessive dog usage combined with shade (Thanksgiving Tower blocks all sunlight in winter) results in regular mud runoff. Skateboarders use the gold ring as a ramp. While many of the causes have been identified and are now being funded/addressed (sprinklers, fountain pump replacement, lighting, signage, security) the major issues like adjusting the landscape slope and improving accessibility require a larger redevelopment plan.

Thanks-Giving Square does receive a lot of visitors and people leave rave reviews, despite the obvious issues that are present. The space is frequently being used for rallies, prayer vigils, worship services, and community gatherings, so more people are seeing the value in the place.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 11 Dec 2017 16:51

CTroyMathis wrote:There are actually very many current forum member names displayed on a wall at Thanks-Giving Square near the office entrance thanks to Noah's initiatives. People who have donated. This is a place that is particularly special to so many, and, it is well-known that there are issues. It has been worse, yet, much improvement yet to come. I will do anything to make or help it improve. I'm not the only one in my family, or, on this forum that has or will put it all down on this Square. (Triangle) Let's get the UN Flag up where it's supposed to be when we're really cleaned up and flowing properly. And, green.


Thanks for the reminder about the UN Flag. Should we start a forum collection and purchase a new one to be displayed?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Austin55 » 11 Dec 2017 18:31

Hannibal Lecter wrote:I visited Thanksgiving Square today for probably the first time in almost 40 years. Absolutely disgusting and embarrassing. They need to just lock the gates.


I take it the chair and lights initiative success hasn't lived on?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 11 Dec 2017 19:11

Austin55 wrote:
Hannibal Lecter wrote:I visited Thanksgiving Square today for probably the first time in almost 40 years. Absolutely disgusting and embarrassing. They need to just lock the gates.


I take it the chair and lights initiative success hasn't lived on?


The chairs/tables are still in place, though someone broke all the "dedication tags" off and these will be replaced with a more durable solution (a lesson in which materials survive vandals). Additional landscape lights were donated and installed high in the trees a few weeks ago, too.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 11 Dec 2017 20:55

dfwcre8tive wrote:All very real observations; thank you. You also forgot to mention the lack of accessibility (typical for its age), uneven pavement, and worn interiors. The downturn in garden maintenance started about 10 years ago when metal thieves stripped away copper electrical wiring (lighting), bronze drain grates (preventing lightweight sandy soil from clogging and breaking fountain pumps), and dedication plaques (identifying the place). Excessive dog usage combined with shade (Thanksgiving Tower blocks all sunlight in winter) results in regular mud runoff. Skateboarders use the gold ring as a ramp. While many of the causes have been identified and are now being funded/addressed (sprinklers, fountain pump replacement, lighting, signage, security) the major issues like adjusting the landscape slope and improving accessibility require a larger redevelopment plan.

Thanks-Giving Square does receive a lot of visitors and people leave rave reviews, despite the obvious issues that are present. The space is frequently being used for rallies, prayer vigils, worship services, and community gatherings, so more people are seeing the value in the place.


Thanks for the detailed response. It's good to know that someone really is working on the issues!

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby jrd1964 » 12 Dec 2017 06:35

dfwcre8tive wrote:
jrd1964 wrote:CTroy, I'll have to find the pic, but the donor list sign has a typo. I don't remember what it was off-hand.


If you remember, let me know. I will take a closer look as well.


Found it. I'd taken pix of all the new signage one day and meant to post it to the forum but didn't get to it. Anyway, toward the bottom of the original donors list:

"John & Jode Johnson / Johson & Gibbs, P.C."

Shouldn't it be Johnson & Gibbs?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 12 Dec 2017 11:48

jrd1964 wrote:
dfwcre8tive wrote:
jrd1964 wrote:CTroy, I'll have to find the pic, but the donor list sign has a typo. I don't remember what it was off-hand.


If you remember, let me know. I will take a closer look as well.


Found it. I'd taken pix of all the new signage one day and meant to post it to the forum but didn't get to it. Anyway, toward the bottom of the original donors list:

"John & Jode Johnson / Johson & Gibbs, P.C."

Shouldn't it be Johnson & Gibbs?


It should be. Thanks for passing that along and I'll make sure it gets corrected in the next printing.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby lakewoodhobo » 12 Dec 2017 13:33

My favorite typo is DALLLAS on a plaque at Pioneer Plaza.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby jrd1964 » 12 Jan 2018 17:32

https://www.dallasnews.com/obituaries/o ... re-dies-97

The man who conceived the idea and early work of Thanks-Giving Square, Peter Pauls Stewart, has died. He was 97.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Tnexster » 12 Jan 2018 17:45

lakewoodhobo wrote:My favorite typo is DALLLAS on a plaque at Pioneer Plaza.


They couldn't fix that?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 20 Mar 2018 20:09

Cafe Momentum is building a 4,500 sq. ft. Community Services Center in the Pedway retail area (former bank space) at Thanks-Giving Square.

https://dallasinnovates.com/from-cafe-m ... e-funding/

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby lakewoodhobo » 21 Mar 2018 09:31

dfwcre8tive wrote:Cafe Momentum is building a 4,500 sq. ft. Community Services Center in the Pedway retail area (former bank space) at Thanks-Giving Square.

https://dallasinnovates.com/from-cafe-m ... e-funding/


Great news and perfect use of that tunnel space. Does Cafe Momentum ever host outdoor dinners in the square? Seems like it would be a great way to raise funds for both organizations, but particularly park maintenance and renovations.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 21 Mar 2018 11:43

lakewoodhobo wrote:
dfwcre8tive wrote:Cafe Momentum is building a 4,500 sq. ft. Community Services Center in the Pedway retail area (former bank space) at Thanks-Giving Square.

https://dallasinnovates.com/from-cafe-m ... e-funding/


Great news and perfect use of that tunnel space. Does Cafe Momentum ever host outdoor dinners in the square? Seems like it would be a great way to raise funds for both organizations, but particularly park maintenance and renovations.


They do host pop-up events, but primarily along the Pacific Avenue sidewalk. With this community services center there will be new opportunities to use park maintenance as a new skill-building/training opportunity. Thanks-Giving Square was not awarded TIF funds to support the larger renovation program, so an incremental renovation strategy will get things moving faster (one focus being the triangle nearest Cafe Momentum).

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 21 Mar 2018 11:50

There are two exhibits on display at Thanks-Giving Square through June 3rd.

The first is Enoc Perez: Liberty & Restraint in partnership with Dallas Contemporary. Have you spotted all the artwork at Philip Johnson-designed spaces? There are pieces at Thanks-Giving Square in the Chapel and the Hall.

Link: http://www.dallascontemporary.org/enocperez.html

Image

The second is a small exhibition of architectural models and artifacts that I put together to showcase the history of Thanks-Giving Square. This is in the Hall of Thanksgiving, which is now open Wednesday and Sunday from 11:00a.m. - 3:00p.m. Free admission.

Link: http://www.thanksgiving.org/home/progra ... -programs/

Image

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby mdg109 » 21 Mar 2018 12:33

What renovation is planned for the triangle nearest Cafe Momentum? Are there any long term plans to shorten the wall along Bryan Street?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 21 Mar 2018 15:39

mdg109 wrote:What renovation is planned for the triangle nearest Cafe Momentum? Are there any long term plans to shorten the wall along Bryan Street?


Make it less hostile, improve the landscaping, eliminate odors and repair fountains. The tall wall along Bryan was built in 1996 by DART to control noise levels.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby ArtVandelay » 22 Mar 2018 14:43

My kiddo loves the water features (that are in working order). The litter box is off putting as are the junkies/bums lurking around the blind spots. I hope the renovation happens.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 22 Mar 2018 14:52

There is a lot of fundraising that has to happen to make all these plans happen last I heard. So people will have to be patient.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby joshua.dodd » 22 Mar 2018 22:56

ArtVandelay wrote:My kiddo loves the water features (that are in working order). The litter box is off putting as are the junkies/bums lurking around the blind spots. I hope the renovation happens.


I've also noticed that the bums and junkies are becoming a progressively huge problem in the city.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 21 Apr 2018 13:48

Gravel in the temporary dog area has been replaced with new turf thanks to volunteers from Cafe Momentum. The immediate goal is to get everything green and fountains operable over the next several months.

Image

Image

Also, here's an open invitation to any designers/architects (or enthusiasts) for an informal reception coming up. It will be a great time to ask questions, voice opinions, or just network. Feel free to share.

Architecture Reception.jpg


Link: https://conta.cc/2vpu2WU
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby jrd1964 » 11 May 2018 10:17

This week, 41 years ago, Thanks-giving Square opened. The DMN looks back...

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/from-th ... ublic-1977

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 11 May 2018 20:56

^ Thank you for the reminder that I'm getting old.

Not.

:)

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Tnexster » 12 May 2018 14:17

Great news on the effort to green up the square. I walk by there several times a week and the neglect is very noticeable.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Tnexster » 14 May 2018 20:30

Does anybody know if they have any plans to clean up the water in the fountains so it doesn't look brown?

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby willyk » 15 May 2018 02:56

Sempra Energy just closed their deal to buy Energy Future Holdings, the tenant in the Pei tower, for $9.5 billion. Has anyone in Dallas ever heard of them?—no. That’s why they should adopt TG Square and fund the redevelopment.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby exelone31 » 15 May 2018 12:04

"Energy Future Holdings" has to be one of the most company-name-slot-machine names I've heard in a while.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 15 May 2018 13:12

EFH failed and moved out of Downtown a long time ago so you don't have to worry about them too much longer since whats left of them were bought up as mentioned above. There is a reason Energy Plaza has been pretty empty looking for over a year now.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby lakewoodhobo » 16 May 2018 12:37

I believe the triangle in the center of this photo is Thanks-Giving Square in its previous life.

15ea8df31f2ab8e818c135e844bfbdd8.jpg


http://library.uta.edu/digitalgallery/items/show/72425
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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 16 May 2018 13:51

^ Yup. Prior to the construction of the Republic complex. That's Medical Arts in the top center.

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Re: Downtown Dallas: Thanks-Giving Square

Postby dfwcre8tive » 16 May 2018 15:46

Tnexster wrote:Does anybody know if they have any plans to clean up the water in the fountains so it doesn't look brown?


Thanks-Giving Square just received a matching grant for landscape improvements, which I believe will help repair all the fountains. Are you talking about the large cascade and grove water wall (which have been repaired), or the stagnant/empty pools that have yet to be fixed?


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