Thomas Balsley Associates announced the completion of Main Street Garden, Dallas' first new urban-core public park. With the opening of the new two-acre public space, Dallas puts the capstone on an extraordinary initiative to revitalize and enhance downtown life for new residents. "The Main Street Miracle," as the area's recent revival is being called, comprises a resurgence across all sectors of the local community, and Main Street Garden is the catalyst for much of that change.
"The Dallas project achieves one of the primary design goals of our office: fostering the growth of active, thriving public life through the creation of coherent urban environments," said Thomas Balsley, founding principal of Thomas Balsley Associates. "The park's striking public pose gives downtown Dallas a sense of place and a common ground for its diverse constituency of students, office workers, new residents and shoppers."
Resting comfortably in the shadow of its two landmark neighbors, the Dallas Municipal Building and Texas Commerce Tower, Main Street Garden's 21st-century design vocabulary speaks to the city's future. The park features a large open lawn around which a cafe/kiosk, seating areas, tot lot, central plaza, water feature, urban dog run, garden/study rooms and distinctive shade structures are arranged. Linear "bar code" gardens run along the park's borders and are furnished in perennial and ornamental grasses resting beneath a canopy of colorful crepe myrtle trees.
The rows of green glass "study shelters" and double-width lounge chairs arranged in and around the gardens act as intimate vantage points to observe the goings-on in both park and street, while a light installation by artist LSLP incorporated into the garden-room shelters makes the park a bright beacon in the middle of the Main Street nightscape. A diversity of venues for neighborhood and civic events are furnished by multi-sealed, flexible outdoor spaces scattered around the site; as added features to draw visitors from around the city and region, these spaces help make Main Street Garden the engine to return cultural and economic vitality to Dallas' long-neglected downtown.