Heritage Park Plaza

CATEGORY: Parks/Public Space

Address

300 N Main Street View on Google Maps
Fort Worth, TX 76102

Details

Rediscover Heritage Plaza

Heritage Plaza sits on the natural bluff to the Trinity River. Located Northwest of the Tarrant County Courthouse, the park serves as a connection between Downtown and the Trinity River. At 112 acres, Heritage Park, which includes the plaza, is Downtown's largest open space and features some of the most scenic views in Fort Worth. 

Heritage Plaza Renovation Project

The Fort Worth City Council has committed to reopen Heritage Park Plaza. As part of the larger renovation concept, the City of Fort Worth and DFWI have engaged partners to help restore the plaza while upgrading features, making better connections, and expanding the nearby green space, while preserving the original Plaza concept. 

Renovation plans and construction drawings for the restoration of the original Heritage Plaza are complete and this project is “shovel ready.” The broader area’s planned improvements are needed to ensure that Heritage Plaza no longer operates in isolation from both the River and downtown.

A New Vision for Heritage Park Plaza

Current conceptual plans for the greater Heritage and Paddock Park improvements include:

Pedestrian Improvements 

Making the pedestrian crossings at Weatherford and Belknap easier, the plan envisions “bump outs” that reduce the crossing distance by two lanes on each street. The bump outs will also increase pedestrian visibility to motorists and vice versa. These pedestrian improvements will reduce the barriers created by the Weatherford and Belknap one-way pairs, better knitting together the north and south ends of downtown.

Paddock Park

Paddock Park would be transformed from a glorified median into one of the most picturesque green spaces in all of Fort Worth. The renovation envisions capturing the “bail out lane” to the north of the park and the concrete triangle into the park itself. This not only increases the size of the park for users, it provides a graceful crossing of North Main to Heritage Plaza. The renovation would also include a significant water feature on axis with the Tarrant County Courthouse, creating a striking public space that both celebrates the courthouse and takes advantage of the Trinity River valley view. Creating a usable green space at Paddock Park not only improves downtown’s park inventory, it creates another attraction linking Heritage Plaza to the rest of downtown.

River Stairs

The River Stars would create a formal transition from downtown to the River on axis with Houston Street. The stairs would celebrate the bluff, providing opportunities for rest, entertainment, exercise, celebration and a place to enjoy river views. The base of the stairs could also be designed to receive the downtown end of a new pedestrian bridge to the north side of the river.  

Canopy Walk

The Canopy Walk creates an accessible alternative to the River Stairs. The walk will zig zag down the bluff at a modest slope, descending through the tree canopy and providing a new visual and perception experience at every turn. The Canopy Walk gives us a rare opportunity to tell the Fort Worth story using the geography and geology of the original fort’s site. From the bluff top story of the fort itself to the limestone outcroppings and our region’s prehistoric history as a low inland sea, then shale, oil and gas and then to the river and its use in the cattle industry, the Canopy walk is both an educational opportunity and an elegant attraction in itself, adding energy to Heritage Plaza.

Funding Goals

The Amon G. Carter Foundation, Streams and Valleys, and the Sid Richardson Foundation have contributed funds allowing for a number of charettes and design workshops, structural and geotechnical investigation, and tree and soil survey and design services related to the plaza. 

In May 2014, the City of Fort Worth initiated a bond package that included $1.5M for the restoration efforts.

In August 2016, the Downtown TIF approved an additional $1M towards the project. 

In August 2020, the Regional Transportation Council approved $8M in improvements for intersection improvements surrounding the Tarrant County Courthouse and Heritage Park Plaza.

The DFWI fundraising goal (at the concept stage) is $20M. This includes $5M to establish an endowment for long term maintenance and repairs. We are hopeful that our capital contribution will be matched in the City’s 2022 Bond election.

Help us preserve an important piece of Fort Worth's heritage.

 

 

Our Partners

City of Fort Worth

Amon G. Carter Foundation

Streams and Valleys

Sid Richardson Foundation

Historic Fort Worth, Inc. 

Cultural Landscape Foundation