For the longest time, the story of how Uptown came to be successful centered around greedy developers wanting to build towers and condos for only those who could afford it. But Patrick Kennedy of “Car Free in Big D” paints a much more nuanced picture of how Dallas’ most walkable neighborhood came about.
Jump for an excerpt.
From his recent post about Uptown:
The assumption is that when the first buildings started going vertical in State-Thomas in 1990, that the neighborhood was still stable as it had always been. The historic aerials show it was still intact and stable up to about 1979. The story as I know it from those who were involved in the early planning and design process aligns with the image shown above. The first developers found vacant land that was leftover after the S&L banks bought up most of the land, cleared the neighborhood to make way for what they expected to be new bank skyscrapers.
Those plans fell the way of the S&L banks. Somewhere in my office I have a picture of the foundation being poured for the very first building, Post Meridian. It looks like it is going into the middle of Detroit.
It makes me wonder if Uptown’s successful transformation into the neighborhood every urban Dallas neighborhood wants is like a omelet: You can’t make it without cracking a few eggs. Seems like West Dallas, North Oak Cliff, as well as the Cedars, Deep Ellum, and Ross Avenue, have all had their uncomfortable periods of growth. What do you think?