Moments after I posted that piece on the Living Plaza in front of Dallas City Hall a few weeks ago, one Friend of Unfair Park took a look at the commissary and crowd and proclaimed it little more than "a bit" -- a one-time-only event after which "the plaza will return to its usual desolation." And, indeed, for several weeks afterward, the City Hall Plaza has been little more than its usual self -- a barren concrete expanse with no one to keep it company. But Brent Brown, one of the masterminds behind the April 27 event, sends word this afternoon: The Living Plaza will return next Wednesday.
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Brown, the head of the CityDesign Studio who plays a major role in this week's cover story, says this time there's a group of city staffers "leading this charge" -- which is to say, City Hall workers who likewise didn't want to see April's momentum dissipate into the summer's hot, thick air. Which is why, Brown tells Unfair Park, "next Wednesday's Living Plaza won't be the last."
Arturo del Castillo, an urban planner at the studio, has more or less taken over the event with Amanda Popken, who works in the Office of Economic Development. And while this one may be a little more "scaled-down" than April's event, expect at least three food vendors -- two of whom will likely come from Dallas Farmers Market, all of whom will be nailed down tomorrow -- and more shade, since Wednesday isn't likely to be as chilly as the initial Living Plaza.
And who knows -- there may even be something in the pool, permits permitting.
"It was always our intent to have this be a city-led initiative and not one that requires help from the outside," says del Castillo. "This is something we've been talking about for so long. It's something the city needed to pursue, and we wanted to keep the momentum going and have enough of this going to where it's not just a few of us leading the effort, but even perhaps a revolving door of folks here who want to make this an ongoing thing with the idea that these ideas may become more permanent and a bigger part of the plaza as opposed to one-day-only, lunch-time-only."