Yesterday, I attended the “groundmaking” for the Woodall Rodgers Park, a 5.2 acre deck park that will be constructed above the Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul streets.
I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation (the non-profit that has raised private funds for the park and which will operate and maintain the park). Over the last several years, I’ve worked with the Foundation to ensure that the park was included in the 2006 bond program, to make Harwood Street pedestrian-only within the park, and to coordinate with surrounding stakeholders. In 2006, I joined them in visiting Millennium Park in Chicago and Bryant Park in New York City. In addition to touring the parks, we visited with community leaders who had been key to the parks’ creation.
The Real Estate Council sponsored a breakfast before the groundmaking ceremony. TREC has been instrumental in the park’s creation — originating the concept and providing seed money. The breakfast featured Tony Jones (pictured), Chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, who gave a very engaging presentation on “Millennium Park, Chicago: Art, Entertainment and Economics, a model for Woodall Rodgers Park and Downtown Dallas.”