Carpenter Park’s Redevelopment Unveiled

After years and years of planning and development, Carpenter Park is finally opening to provide different types of amenities and open spaces for the people of Dallas according to a Dallas Morning News article from May 3. They say, 


“It took a lot of people to get us to today,” Amy Meadows, Parks for Downtown Dallas’ president and CEO, said as she welcomed the crowd Tuesday for the opening of the third of four green spaces the nonprofit foundation is building through its public-private partnership with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.


The park’s size allows for all sorts of experiences: open and shaded lawns and walking paths, a dancing interactive fountain and children’s play space. A dog park, basketball court, pavilion and food-truck space sit under the elevated southbound lanes of I-345.


“I hope everyone will experience it after dark as well as during the day,” Meadows said. “Especially for the magical lighting under the freeway and the bird’s-nest effect of the fountain.”


The park is a reimagined and vastly enlarged green space from what was originally John W. Carpenter Plaza, dedicated more than 40 years ago to honor the legendary Dallas businessman who shaped the future of utilities and steel in Texas and created the Southland Life Insurance Co.”


Amazingly, the park does not only feature grander and bigger spaces as it will also be featuring Robert Irwin’s 700 foot long sculpture called Portal Park Slice according to a Dallas Morning News article from April 28 which reports, 


“Irwin chose a more productive path, instead re-conceptualizing the piece, which knifes through the hilly site, a steel plane framing views of the park and the downtown skyline. Although it is shorter now, it is also more complex, with a section of leaf-like filigree apertures cut through the steel plate at its eastern edge. These abstract forms add a new dimension to the play of light and shadow that is essential to Irwin’s work. According to his biographer, critic Lawrence Weschler, the exploration of “the sheer marvel of human perception” is the root of Irwin’s artistic project.


Portal Park Slice makes for a compelling contrast with Robert Berks’s mottled bronze statue of John W. Carpenter, which stands beckoning visitors into the park at the corner of Pearl and Live Oak streets. The park’s namesake just might be the last man in Dallas with a cowboy hat.


Among those discoveries is the view from the rectangular portal of Portal Park Slice. Standing within that threshold, and looking along the piece’s perpendicular axis, it practically disappears from view, becoming a sharp vertical line dividing one’s field of vision. With a step to either side, its length in elevation is dramatically revealed, a canny optical effect.”


The redevelopment of Carpenter Park amounted to $20.1 million dollars and it was made possible through the donations of private donors as well as Parks for Downtown Dallas who oversaw the development and funding as well. 


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