Heritage Park

CATEGORY: Parks/Public Space

Address

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

Details

Rediscover Heritage Park

Heritage Park sits atop the Trinity River bluff where the original Fort Worth was built. 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 Heritage Park Plaza, is Downtown's largest open space and features some of the most scenic views in Fort Worth. The Plaza has been closed since June 2007, fenced from public use due to safety concerns.  

Heritage Park Renovation Project

Renovation plans and construction drawings to restore the original Heritage Plaza is 95% 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 but serves and is served by both. 

A New Vision for Heritage Park Plaza

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

Pedestrian Improvements 

Surrounding street intersections, which are challenging for pedestrians to cross, will be narrowed. The pedestrian crossings at Weatherford and Belknap will include “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 end of Downtown.

Paddock Park

Paddock Park, serving today as a nearly two-acre traffic median, will be reconfigured into a new, elegant park space at the foot of the Tarrant County Courthouse. 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, but it also provides a graceful crossing of North Main to Heritage Plaza. The renovation may also include a water feature on axis with the Tarrant County Courthouse, creating a striking public space that 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 but also 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 stairs' base 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 intersects the stairs at several points, offering everyone the same opportunity to enjoy the stair experience. The Canopy Walk gives us a rare opportunity to tell Fort Worth’s unique stories. 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 the Heritage Park and Plaza experience.

Funding Goals

In May 2014, the City of Fort Worth initiated a bond package that included the Amon G. Carter Foundation, Streams and Valleys, and the Sid Richardson Foundation have contributed funds allowing for several 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 $7.3M for pedestrian 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.

Please help us preserve an important piece of Fort Worth's heritage. Contact Becky Fetty at Beckyf@dfwi.org to contribute or donate today. 

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

DFWII, the City of Fort Worth, and MIG hosted virtual public meetings on April 20 & 21 to discuss design concepts, park enhancements and receive community feedback. Click here to view the meeting presentation: Public Meeting Presentation 

The attached images provide an overview of the existing design concept. 

Our Partners

City of Fort Worth

Amon G. Carter Foundation

Streams and Valleys

Sid Richardson Foundation

Historic Fort Worth, Inc. 

Cultural Landscape Foundation 

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