This week's topics include DART downtown, the Meadows Building, and boathouses on White Rock Lake. We also learned what a "borrow pit" is. Here are the top stories in Dallas:
Dallas Area Rapid Transit held public meetings about its plans for a second rail line through downtown Dallas. Most of the route — from Victory Park to Deep Ellum — will be on street-level; one half-mile will be underground, including an underground station near the West End station. DART opted for street-level trains because they’re more affordable than underground subway lines.
Dallas' Park and Recreation Board voted against a boathouse being built on White Rock Lake. The boathouse was approved three years ago, but the board had the option to sever the contract, and sever it did. The boathouse was going to be built by Dallas United Crew, formerly Highland Park Crew, and in the past three years, it raised only $230,000 towards the millions it needed to get the thing off the ground.
Protests against it touched on how expensive it was and how it was basically handing over access of a city-owned lake to a private group. "I didn’t like the fact that it was a private boathouse that served 120 children who could afford to pay $5,000 a year to row," said Mark Clayton, city council member for District 9 where White Rock Lake resides.
Borrow pit breech
Nature activists Hal Barker and Ben Sandifer are concerned about flooding down by the golf course being built in the Trinity Forest. Barker wrote a letter to the Trinity Watershed Management Dept. (TWMD) about Borrow Pit A, an excavated area filled with water that is possibly leaking into the Trinity River.
TWMD interim assistant director Susan Alvarez acknowledged that a breech developed at the northwest corner of Borrow Pit A, and that the agency is working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to execute a repair.
Sandifer compares the borrow pit to the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in size. "Northwest wall breached and apparently busted loose into Great Trinity Forest," he says. Barker says that it is basically "an approximately 700,000 cubic yard hole in the ground that is now home to a lot of water that has nowhere to go except over a small cliff on the western edge of the lake and into the Trinity Forest."
Meadows Building demo
A portion of the iconic Meadows Building is in peril. Chicago-based GlenStar Properties, who bought the building on Greenville Avenue in November, sent out an email to tenants saying they planned to demolish the two-story annexed portion of the building, to make room for a driveway. Sara Dement, a preservation-minded tenant, says she hopes that people can band together and prevent this from occurring, calling the building a "treasure of modern architecture and a Dallas icon." Cosmiccool.com calls it "one of the few examples of original classic 50's era architecture left in Dallas."
The landlords insisted that the threats to the annex were "misinformation," but then seemed to confirm that the threats were real.