New West End Community Group Looking to Create Plaza in Downtown Historic District

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Community activism seems to be in full swing everywhere despite the heat.  Jason Roberts is in New York City, taking part in The New York Times’ Cities For Tomorrow Conference, rubbing shoulders with Julián Castro (secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), William J. Bratton (New York City’s police commissioner), Muriel Bowser (mayor of Washington, D.C.), and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Fox among other VIPs. Roberts is the community activist who ignored city zoning to introduce his “The Better Block Project” — or, as he describes it, “a ‘living block’ art installation” to parts of “light industrial” Oak Cliff. His point was to prove it’s possible to turn an area zoned “light industrial” into something that’s actually livable and walkable.Say hello to new community group named “Friends of the West End Commons” . The group is planning to remake an unremarkable plot of concrete next to the West End DART rail station in downtown Dallas into a new public gathering space.

Neighborhood activists have formed the group, aiming to reconstruct the space, at the corner of N. Lamar St. and Pacific Ave., based upon plans developed over the last year and a half. The plans were created with public input and envision a plaza with trees, planters, seating, a small performance space and other amenities.
The name of the space was been selected by the public last May: “West End Commons” Once complete, it will be the first public space in the historic district.
“This particular space has had a reputation downtown for years as being unpleasant and unsafe,” says the president of the Friends group, Crispin Lawson. “This reconstruction will give downtown residents, workers and visitors an appealing environment and positive things to do there.”
The main focus of Friends of the West End Commons is to raise $350,000 to pay for construction of the new features. It has partnered with the Dallas Parks Foundation – a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization — with the mission of protecting, promoting and enhancing parks and public spaces in Dallas – in this undertaking. Membership information and instructions on how to make a donation are available at the West End Commons website: www.TheWestEndCommons.org
To learn more about the Friends of the West End Commons, contact Crispin Lawson.
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