Fort Worth Park Faces Extinction

Heritage Park offers one of the most spectacular views in all of Downtown Fort Worth, overlooking the Trinity River on the bluffs near the Main Street bridge.

The problem is, few people ever knew it even existed.

"It's sad, I didn't even know there was a park there and now it's being closed apparently," said Arianne Moreno.

An effort is now underway to save Heritage Park from the ravages of time and neglect. It's been closed for the past two years because structurally it is considered too dangerous for the public. But the manner in which it was closed bothers some local historians.

"The park was closed without any kind of public process and it certainly is a red flag to us," said Lisa Lowry, of Historic Fort Worth Inc.  She said Heritage Park meets all the criteria for National Recognition. 

"What we would like to see is sensitive rehabilitation of the park," she said. "This park has been determined to be eligible and (to be placed) on the national register of historic places."

City leaders said they do not want the park destroyed.  It opened in 1980 and was designed by Lawrence Halprin. At the time it was thought to have challenged the Water Gardens in beauty and prestige in Downtown Fort Worth

"We are embarked on an effort to restore and improve Heritage Park," Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa said.

But while the city has its concerns about the park, there are also funding issues.

"We're going to have to explore various potential funding sources to determine which might be most appropriate for improving the park," Costa said. He added that it's possible that oil and gas lease money could be used to restore the park.

There is no timetable for restoration work to begin.

On Thursday, Historic Fort Worth, Inc. will hold a press conference announcing efforts to restore Heritage Park while publicizing the plights of three other historic sites in the city that may be endangered.

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