City Hall

Dealey Plaza Needs Another Makeover. Let's Look at the Proposed Plan For Phase Two.

Remember how offended everyone got when Los Angeles-based photographer Donald Barnat penned his dispatch from Dealey Plaza back in March? Sure you do. Wrote Barnat, who'd been here during the Super Bowl, "The place is in such a miserable state of disrepair that it amounts to a disgrace for the city of Dallas, the state of Texas, and the United States of America." At which point everyone told him to stick it where the California sun don't shine.

Only, you see, Dealey Plaza is a mess -- a paint-peeling, graffiti-covered, falling-apart mess. Which is why tomorrow the city council's Quality of Life Committee will be treated to this very cool historical-photo slide show by Good Fulton & Farrell's Jonathan Rollins, who will then spell out what needs to be done in the second phase of Dealey Plaza renovations. And by second phase I mean the stuff that needs to be done following the 2008 clean-up wherein the city spent 'round $900,000 to spruce up the sidewalks around the fountains, which also got a tending-to.

Three years ago the north and south plaza pergolas didn't get touched; neither did the pavement in and around the pavilions. The city also wants to plant new way-finding signs, along with some interpretative histories-of, and make the thing ADA-compliant, which it ain't. Because, remember, we're but two years from the 50th anniversary. And as one Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum dweller pointed out back in March, "I'm sure all the usual conspiracy junkies will be there in force, but there will also be more national attention due to the landmark anniversary. I do think Dallas ought to show more respect for the site and finish the job of sprucing it up."

That's the plan -- at a cost of around anywhere from $1 to $2 million, depending on how extensive the redo, and, yes, those fountains could use another touch-up. (That's not counting the additional $1.5 mil needed for further renovations.) Where's the money coming from? Where it always comes from: magic. Or we'll just find out tomorrow.