There’s a new vision for Heritage and Paddock parks
Published on October 10, 2022
The City Council last week heard updated plans to connect downtown with the Trinity River by redeveloping Heritage Park and adjacent Paddock Park.
Heritage Park is at 300 N. Main Street. Paddock Park is just north of the Tarrant County Courthouse at the base of the Main Street Bridge, which is commonly known as the Paddock Viaduct.
Heritage Park was designed and built to celebrate the founding of Fort Worth. Its location, on the high bluff of the Trinity River, celebrates the outpost built by the U.S. Army in 1849. The plaza was built to commemorate the U.S. Bicentennial, but in 2007 it was closed for safety reasons.
Since then, community leaders have been working on its refurbishment and reopening. That will require addressing several major challenges that kept the park from being successful.
Project costs are estimated at $34.2 million, which would include a $5 million endowment for ongoing maintenance. Project costs are expected to change as amenities and designs are fine-tuned.
Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc., updated councilmembers on plans for the Heritage and Paddock park improvements:
Pedestrian improvements. Funding from the North Central Texas Council of Governments and Tarrant County will improve the configuration of Weatherford and Belknap streets.
Paddock Park. Serving today as a nearly two-acre traffic median, the park will be reconfigured into an elegant park space at the foot of the Tarrant County Courthouse. The renovation envisions capturing one lane of roadway to the north of the park and the concrete triangle into the park itself. Plans may also include a water feature that celebrates the courthouse and takes advantage of the Trinity River valley view.
Canopy Walk. Zigzagging down the bluff at a modest slope, the Canopy Walk will descend through the tree canopy and provide a new visual at every turn. The Canopy Walk will allow visitors to enjoy the bluff itself while telling the Fort Worth heritage story.
River Stairs. At the bottom of the Canopy Walk will be the River Stairs, another new, grand public space where people can relax and celebrate special moments.
Organizers are looking at an opening date for the renovated Heritage and Paddock parks in November 2026.
Photo: The Canopy Walk will wind through the treetops, ending in a grand public space at the River Stairs near the banks of the Trinity River.
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