The downtown park, designed by Lawrence Halprin, has just been placed on the National Register of Historic Places — the announcement was made in D.C. today. This comes slightly over a year after it was also named one of Texas’ most endangered historic sites. The 112-acre park next to the Tarrant County Courthouse has fallen into disrepair, has structural problems — which is why it’s currently fenced off and closed to the public as unsafe.
Heritage Plaza is considered one of the finest examples of modernist landscape design in the U.S. Charles Birnbaum is president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, which just held a regional symposium in Dallas-Fort Worth on post-war Texas landscape and which has an online oral history of Halprin. Birnbaum says the Heritage registration is an honor for Fort Worth. He also hopes it will energize fundraising to restore the park.