The renaissance in Dallas’s central business district is well under way. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being pumped back into our city’s core. It’s a wonderful thing to see. I read about the many high-profile projects in the CBD … the Omni Hotel, The Joule expansion, new commercial projects, multifamily residential buildings, and our many wonderful additions in the Arts District. They’re all very worthy projects and deserving of the accolades and the praise that they receive .
But there is one treasure that seems to have been left behind, one that’s need of a huge makeover. It sits close to the epicenter of downtown Dallas has a huge fan club here locally with the city’s urbanites, the CBD workforce, and visiting tourists. Thanks-Giving Square is a unique pocket park with spiritual roots that connect with all who visit. Its valiant mission is to “promote the spirit and unifying values of giving thanks in our community.” The square’s appeal crosses all ages, denominations, and ethnicities.
However, on a recent visit to the park, I was disturbed by what I discovered—a park in serious disrepair. What I found was really a dog park that’s now masquerading as a quiet place to unwind, reflect, and relax. Although the architectural spiral and stained glass continues to mesmerizes and dazzle all those who visit, the overall experience is muted by the neglect and dilapidated conditions within the park.
From the enclosed street wall with chipped paint, that does—and shouldn’t—block the views from the street level to the green space below, to the cracked pavers, the park is in serious need of some immediate TLC. I also found steaming fresh dog biscuits strewn throughout the square that were left behind by disrespectful and lazy owners. Finally, to top it all off, the experience was further diminished by the overwhelming foul odor of canine or human urine—or both—that permeated the square.
It’s time to revamp this incredible jewel in Dallas’ CBD. This 37-year-old gift to our city is in need of financial support in order to restore it back to its full glory. If not, the park and the experience of visiting it will continue to deteriorate.
We can’t afford Thanks-Giving Square to become our “Stonehenge.” It’s time to take action.