If Klyde Warren's too crazy for you lately, then head to Deep Ellum this week for a novel concept called a pop-up park. We've seen pop-up shops, but the Crowdus Park Pop-Up is a temporary park, set up on Crowdus Street between Elm and Main, beginning April 29.
The park is conceived as a way to show the neighbors and the city what it would be like to have a plaza in the heart of Deep Ellum.
It's one of a series of events around Dallas being coordinated to coincide with the 23rd Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), an annual event that brings together planners and other urban-minded individuals to talk about the restoration of cities. The 2015 CNU is in Dallas for the first time, and it takes place from April 28-May 2 at The Adolphus.
The Crowdus Park pop-up will entail shutting down that stretch of Crowdus for four days, to install seating and other pedestrian-friendly features, says Brandon Castillo, of Ash+Lime Strategies, one of the groups that's organizing the park, which was designed by architecture firms TBG and Callison.
"The idea of a park on Crowdus is something that's been percolating in the neighborhood," Castillo says. "Rik Adamski, my partner at Ash+Lime, worked on a planning committee for CNU, and we decided Deep Ellum would be a perfect place to do a demonstration of a temporary public place."
Crowdus Street will be shut down from April 29 to May 2. Programming will include food trucks, live music and performers. There'll be two film screenings: Book of Life, a locally produced, family-friendly movie by REEL FX, will be shown on Wednesday at sunset, with an introduction by director Jorge Gutierrez. Napolean Dynamite will be shown on Thursday at sunset.
The pop-up is similar to the "better block" concept, in which a block is taken over for a brief period of time, usually a day, and re-cast with pedestrian-oriented features, to help inspire new ways of looking at neighborhoods. Dallas hosted a couple of better-block projects in 2012, including one on Knox and one in Oak Cliff.
"Doing the park for four days is stepping it up," Castillo says. "But events like these are tools that people use to enliven their neighborhoods. It isn't going to necessarily impact the street itself, but the goal is community engagement, and making our city better."