Back in February, after construction had begun on Woodall Rogers Deck Park, I pointed out that the many hopes and claims for the park as the salvation of the Arts District seemed seriously inflated. This is especially true when you consider that those five acres, just five acres, will feature “ a dog park, a children’s playground, dining options, a performance pavillion, water sculpture, an area for games and much more.” (In the photo, all those attractions, plus the connection between the McKinney Avenue Trolley and the Katy Trail, will fit between those three bridges in the middle.)
What looks like a vast, green expanse in the official renderings will be a space one-fifth the size of Chicago’s Millennium Park (which offers many of the same attractions). Whatever benefits we’ll enjoy from the ‘Woodall Woods,’ as I’ve taken to calling this forest — and surely, there will be some benefits — they won’t really rectify the Arts District’s serious lack of retail attractions. Or downtown’s lack of greenery. Which is what the boosters have been claiming.
Now Joan Arbery at Renegade Bus discusses these drawbacks (and many more) in a wide-ranging Q&A with architect Hans Roegele, while Unfair Park has posted a 1967 photo of a model for the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, which, in the middle, seems to show just what a smidgen of a park the Woods always were.