Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons for DART
Rose Tulecke for the T
January 18, 2001
Denton Artist Selected to Design Historic Exhibit at Intermodal Center
FORT WORTH, Texas - - Following a year long selection process in which artists nationwide were solicited, Denton artist/sculptor Paula Blincoe Collins has been named to design the historic exhibit at the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center that will open for commuter service in late fall.
The collaborative effort of transportation officials from community leaders including historic preservationists focused on the creation of a unique public art project to celebrate the area's history, its importance in the original development of downtown and the prominence of transportation in Fort Worth's future.
"This has been a very constructive process for us all," said Frank Staton, a member of the T's Executive Committee and its liaison on the Historic Exhibit Committee. "Both the Historic Exhibit Committee and the Artist Selection Committee were committed to giving the city a special public art feature that would connect the thousands of people each day who will walk by with our history."
Both historic business areas were important to Fort Worth in the early 1900s. The intersection of Jones and Ninth streets was the commercial hub for banks, hotels, doctors, lawyers and other establishments catering to the black community. Also, multistory brick warehouses were constructed from 1900 through 1915 and fronted on the rail tracks along the eastern edge of downtown.
"This community wide effort has resulted in an exhibit that will tell a tremendous story," said Frank Moss, Fort Worth city council member and president of the Fort Worth Black Historical & Genealogical Society. Moss served as a member of the Historic Exhibit Committee.
"The African American marketplace and warehouse district are historical footnotes unfamiliar to many Fort Worth citizens. This exhibit will recognize the accomplishments of the African American business community in developing our city. What better place in which to honor their hard work and dedication to community than a rail station. The railroad is at the heart of much of Fort Worth's history and its development into a major metropolitan city. It is only appropriate that a rail station to serve our citizens into the next century be built on this site."
The ITC will be an eastern gateway to Fort Worth for the Trinity Railway Express commuter rail service. An exterior wall of the ITC, adjacent to a covered walkway connecting the terminal building to the rail platforms, has been designated for the historic exhibit.
Collins will create carved and stained brick panels that will trace the history of the eastern edge of early downtown Fort Worth. She will be paid a $40,000 commission.
The artist proposes to create focal points for adults and children alike. "Having a band of details low in the wall will charm the young people and give them a touchable learning experience," Collins said in her proposal. A narrative on each panel will be duplicated with Braille templates.
More than 50 artists responded to the request for qualifications. The selection committee chose five finalists and two alternates. The finalists toured the site, viewing blueprints, researching Fort Worth history and meeting with the architects and the two committees. Designs were submitted late last year.
Members of the Historic Exhibit Committee are Curtis Hayley, Judy Harmon, Frank Moss, Lenora Rolla, Frank Staton, Frank Wallace, Ray Boothe and Libby Willis. Members of the Artist Selection Committee included Curtis Hayley, Curtis Haley, Cecil Johnson, Pat Svacina, Edmund Pillsbury, Susan Pritchett, Joyce Williams and Greg Hughes.
The Intermodal Transportation Center will open in late 2001 and bring commuter rail service to downtown Fort Worth for the first time in 60 years. Thousands of commuters will ride the Trinity Railway Express to downtown Fort Worth each day. Expected to be a destination for business travelers and visitors, the ITC will also house passenger operations for Amtrak, Greyhound and the T. Because of its location on the eastern edge of downtown near Sundance Square and employment centers, the ITC will serve as a catalyst for future development and spur continued economic growth in the city.
Trinity Railway Express service from three Tarrant County stations - Richland Hills, Hurst/Bell and CentrePort/DFW Airport - began in September. An average of 4,200 riders weekday and 1,975 on Saturday have boarded TRE through the first three months of paid service. The TRE is a joint project of the T and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), connecting Fort Worth and Dallas with commuter rail service along a 34-mile rail line.
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