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Putting the heritage back in Heritage Park

October 7,2022

Reposted from FTW Today.

The city is moving forward with a $34.2 million renovation of Heritage Park near the Tarrant County Courthouse to be the gateway to the future Panther Island development. Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. president Andy Taft presented the updated designs at the Tues., Oct. 4 city council meeting.
About Heritage Park
The park at 300 N. Main St. celebrates the founding of Fort Worth, referencing an 1849 US Army outpost on the bluff of the Trinity River that would one day become Cowtown. 
Designed by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, Heritage Park Plaza was built to commemorate the US Bicentennial but was closed in 2007 due to safety reasons. Despite its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, the plaza has been surrounded by a chain link fence for 13 years. 
The designs
Bennett Partners and StudioOutside are designing the renovated Heritage Park Plaza + MIG is managing the rest of the park revitalization. In addition to reopening the plaza, the plans include improvements for updated streetscapes and pedestrian crossings at Weatherford and Belknap Streets. 
Paddock Park — which currently serves as a two-acre traffic median — will become a usable space at the foot of the Tarrant County Courthouse with a water feature that will connect downtown with the Trinity River. 
A Canopy Walk will zig-zag down the bluff, mediating the slope to the river. Visitors will descend through the tree canopy and experience the unique history of the land that was once covered by the sea.
At the base of the Canopy Walk, a set of terraced Spanish-style stairs will step down to the Trinity River Trails as a place for rest and connection. 
Plans to revitalize the park date back to the 2014 bond package + the city has been working to raise money for the project since then. The next steps include fundraising and community outreach about the proposed designs. 
Construction is expected to start in January 2025 + be completed in July 2026, with a grand opening estimated for November 2026. 

Locations Mentioned: HERITAGE AND PADDOCK PARKS PROJECT, Tarrant County Courthouse