Page 17

lefT: The Trinity River Plan by the City of Dallas and WRT was the result of advocacy by Dallas architects and local philanthropy to invest in and improve the Dallas floodway into a great public space for the citizens of Dallas.


beloW: The first Neighborhood Stories activity was held November 17, 2012, in La Bajada, atop the West Dallas Levee. As part of the POP (People Organizing Place) Dallas Initiative, bcWorkshop is engaging Dallas’ diverse communities in an active dialogue about the cultural and physical history of neighborhoods, building capacity to shape the city forward.

Local history. Local Advocacy. Arch Swank, FAIA, is well known and respected today as the architect of many fine homes and buildings, including Denton’s subtle and lovely Little Chapel in the Woods, designed by Swank with O’Neil Ford in 1939. But as good as this and his many other commissions were, it can be easily argued that his work as a courageous and dogged urban design advocate has had a larger, more lasting impact on Dallas. In the late 1950s, the political landscape of Dallas was not kind to dissenters, with civic power held tightly among a select few community and business leaders. When a proposal arose to widen Turtle Creek Boulevard (effectively destroying the Turtle Creek greenbelt), Swank led a determined resistance, ultimately defeating the ill-conceived initiative. Swank ‘s victory, however, came with a cost. Those in power never forgave him for his efforts and for his success. Commissions were few and far between in the coming years and his practice took a blow from which, by many accounts, it never fully recovered. Conversely, because of his efforts, our city is blessed with a green chain of parks, pools, and woods that run along Turtle Creek from the Park Cities to Uptown, creating some of the most walkable, livable, (and expensive) neighborhoods in our community.

• William McDonough reshaping the fundamental way we and our clients think about materials • Andres Duany and Peter Calthorpe changing the very shape of our communities For many of us, though, the opportunities to act as citizen architects lie at home in our own communities. Our closeness to these opportunities is particularly useful as our familiarity with the problems faced by our cities and neighborhoods allows us to delve more deeply, counsel more wisely, and advocate more effectively. We can also enjoy the impact of our work with an immediacy not available for those working far from home. The Dallas we know today—and the Dallas we aspire to be as a community—has been shaped by many such architects working on their home turf in just this manner for many years. BCwORKShOP COLUMNS |


Summer 2013 issue – AIA Dallas ‘Columns’ magazine  
Summer 2013 issue – AIA Dallas ‘Columns’ magazine  

Join in the celebration as Columns magazine recognizes the spirit and design that is uniquely Dallas! And there’s much more: • Learn how D...