Will mean easier, cheaper commute to State Fair, shows and museums.
The greatest ride at the State Fair—and Fair Park in general—is almost here. You can hear the cheers from the remote parking lots and crowded expressways. DART Light Rail is coming in 2009!
Think added convenience from almost anywhere in the Metroplex, saving visitors hours of commuting time. Stations will be exceptionally safe, clean and attractive for visitors to Fair Park events, the State Fair of Texas, Dallas Summer Musicals, Smirnoff Music Centre, Fair Park museums and the largest collection of art deco buildings in the world. “Many folks who wouldn’t otherwise drive over will want to take DART to Fair Park when it arrives in time for the 2009 Texas State Fair,” believes Willene Watson, DART Community Affairs Representative.
Considering that Fair Park already attracts over 6 million visitors annually, DART will really boost numbers. “The Dallas Zoo had a great increase in visitors after we opened the Dallas Zoo station in 1996,” states Ms. Watson. “The possibilities for Fair Park are huge and will open the door to many more events held at the park.”
Two stations will make and reflect history.
Conception and planning have been 9 years in the works—from acquisition of property and receiving Federal funding to actual construction, which began in August, 2006. “Everyone is so thrilled,” says Ms. Watson, “we wish we could open both DART stations sooner. But we are now charging full speed ahead.”
There will actually be two DART light rail stations that stop at Fair Park: the Fair Park station at the original 1936 Centennial gate entrance and the Martin Luther King Jr. station at MLK, Jr. Blvd. and Trunk Street. In designing the look of each, Ms. Watson says, “Our artists met with local community leaders. They first did both a neighborhood collage and historic collage to make sure local flavor was captured.”
The Fair Park station will be grand and unique. Artists Brad and Diana Goldberg will recreate the art deco look that made the 1936 Centennial State Fair so memorable. This will be one of the few DART stations that feature lighting as art: recessed, bolt and pole lighting.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. station will tell a past and present story with black-and-white photos of the African American community by noted photographer R.C. Hickman, flanked by a “Walk of Respect” that uses symbols such as vessels to represent the concepts of unity, respect, wisdom and other values.
“Craig Holcomb of the Friends of Fair Park was the bridge that connected DART with the community,” states Ms. Watson. “He ensured that both Fair Park and the surrounding neighborhoods’ needs were reflected in the station designs.”The bigger the increase in gas and commute times from all parts of the Metroplex, the more attractive the idea of riding DART to Fair Park becomes. The countdown to the Fair Park and Martin Luther King, Jr. stations has begun!