It has been three weeks but it still feels like yesterday. The tornado tracked a path of destruction along 16 continuous miles beginning near Dallas Love Field airport and ending in east Richardson. Some of the worst damage occurred in the neighborhood where I grew up, where my parents still live, and a place that I still consider my home.Read More
A lot of people care about road design, apparently... Earlier this week I attended the third in a series of public input sessions hosted by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to allow residents to express their support or concerns for the redesign of the Garland/Grand/Gaston (3G) intersection in East Dallas. Between 300 and 500 people crowded an event space at the Dallas Arboretum on a frigid autumn evening. The rework of this intersection should be about common sense, efficiency, and the neighborhoods but to TxDOT it's just about traffic volumes.Read More
You've likely seen the colorful bikes scattered around the city. You've likely complained about the unorganized mess they have created. But, you've likely also been wanting better bike infrastructure in the city of Dallas. After I went to the "Let's Talk About Bike Share" event hosted by The Better Block Foundation this week I walked away hopeful that things are about to change for the better.Read More
Each day of our trip to New York City brought with it a new sense of invigorating excitement and wonder. Our fourth - and final - day in New York City did not disappoint and did not lack excitement. When I woke up on the final day, I truly had no idea what lay ahead.Read More
For a third day in a row, we were graced with absolutely beautiful weather, which made the jam-packed agenda a little more bearable. Our third day was going to be just as busy as our first and second, but it was planned to start with a much more somber tone. After two days of exploring the sights of midtown Manhattan, we were headed downtown and to Ground Zero.Read More
I've loved architecture and building since a young age, but my true first love will always be cars. My dad and I have visited the Dallas Auto Show since I was 4 years old, only missing a few years right after college. Lately, my friends and I regularly attend the local Cars & Coffee gathering. When I heard about the Concours d'Elegance of Texas, I had to go see it for myself. Needless to say, it was well worth the price of admission.Read More
I awoke in New York City on our second day like a kid on Christmas morning; I was incredibly eager to see more of the city. We had a whirlwind day ahead of us, and after a quick breakfast at the hotel we set out to explore the city.Read More
As our plane approached the Manhattan skyline from the south, I was able to catch a quick glimpse of Lady Liberty standing proudly in the harbor before the plane turned and flew directly over top of the infamous symbol for welcome, liberty, and freedom.
For our final tourist activity in New York City we took a boat tour of lower Manhattan down the Hudson River and East River. It was neat to have a different perspective of the city after excitedly wandering through the forest of buildings for three days.
I was overcome with emotion as the boat approached the Statue of Liberty. Quite honestly, I wasn't expecting to be near tears as I looked up at her mild eyes and her out-stretched torch. I reflected on the history of the countless families who came to this country hoping for a new beginning as they fled oppression. After weeks at sea they were welcomed to their new home by the statue and the words carved into her granite pedestal:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
~Emma Lazarus, 1883
During the 2016 election, these words were on my heart as presidential candidates called to cease the acceptance of refugees from war-torn areas of the world. And now, on January 28, 2017, it seems that these words have become empty and hollow. President Donald Trump no longer extends the "world-wide welcome" promised by Lady Liberty's torch.While Lady Liberty welcomed the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses with her silent lips, President Donald Trump is rejecting the exiles, the refugees, and the immigrants with his loud Twitter tirades.If the United States of America - a nation founded by immigrants - cannot accept these people, who will? Where is the compassion? Where is the hope for new beginnings?
After the circus of the 2016 Presidential Election, appointments to the local transportation board might not seem like a big deal. However, ensuring that my city changes and grows in the correct manner starts with local politics and not with Washington, DC.
There are currently two people vying for votes from Dallas City Council to sit on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board. One person is an advocate for public transportation; an advocate for providing citizens with mobility options; an advocate for what is best for the city of Dallas. The other person is a lawyer who isn't familiar with DART; someone who has never ridden DART; someone who is self-proclaimed non-expert about DART.So, here is my letter to my city councilperson. I'm hopeful that they will make the correct decision. I'm hopeful that they will vote for the person with the most experience. I'm hopeful that they will vote for the best interest of the City of Dallas. If you live in Dallas, I encourage you to contact your city councilperson before Wednesday.
Good evening. I am writing to you about Wednesday's vote between Mr. Patrick Kennedy or Mr. Howard Gilberg to serve on the DART Board. To put it plain and simple, I encourage you to cast your council vote for Patrick Kennedy.
Ever since the suburbanization of our great city in the 1950s following the creation of Central Expressway, our city has become ever more reliant on the personal automobile. Our highways continue to expand while traffic continues to worsen. The modern city of Dallas has been constructed to favor those who have a personal automobile.
This type of mobility is not sustainable nor equitable. Many families struggle to make ends meet. Simply owning one vehicle is an uncomfortable financial burden for the household, but is a better option than unreliable or non-existent public transportation. While a personal vehicle may not be a burden for you or for me, others in our city are not so fortunate.
We need to prioritize reworking our bus routes around the city. This will provide thousands of people better and more financially responsible options for getting to work or getting to school or visiting family. The City of Houston revitalized their bus network for pennies on the dollar and their residents are enjoying a better public transportation system.
We also need to prioritize building a second DART Light Rail line through downtown. This additional line needs to be constructed below grade to not disrupt the street life of our great downtown. Some say that Mr. Kennedy is only concerned with the downtown core, but he believes in "doing the right thing for the right place and appropriating the right resources for the best outcomes for all" to quote a recent Dallas Morning News article.
For many years, Mr. Kennedy has been a vocal advocate for providing options for mobility around and through our great city of Dallas. Mr. Kennedy knows from first hand experience how troubled our public transportation system is in it's current state. Mr. Gilberg has said that he has never ridden DART. He doesn't know where it goes. He doesn't know the people who rely on DART and are ultimately let down. He might be an excellent lawyer, but he has no experience when it comes to public transportation.
Mr. Kennedy might not be the "typical Dallas" status-quo choice, but he is the best man for the job. His experience and vision would be a breath of fresh air to the DART Board and I encourage you to cast your vote for Patrick Kennedy.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss this issue any further.
Thank you for your time,
Nick Thorn, AIA
You might think that this is a lengthy letter to address what might seem like a minuscule issue. But, I'm passionate about my city and what happens here. Dallas has been undergoing a lot of change lately, and there are a lot of big things happening here. There are a lot of small events that lead up to the big things. We have to get the small things correct to make sure we get the big things correct. And getting the right people on the necessary boards is an important first step.
Fifteen years ago, I was a sophomore at Hillcrest High School. All of the events of September 11, 2001 will forever be burned into my memory: watching the second plane hit live on the news; hearing my principal announce over the loudspeaker that a plane hit the Pentagon; watching the towers fall as I walked into Dr. McGaffey's second period english; and my mom telling me about how my uncle was supposed to be in the World Trade Center but his meeting in midtown ran late. The weeks following were a complete blur. Needless to say, that fateful September day was a very emotional day for all Americans.Read More
Howdy! For those of you who don't know, I'm an architect in Dallas, Texas. I spent all of 2015 studying for, taking, and passing all seven of the Architectural Registration Exams on my first attempt. All of my free-time was spent studying and preparing for those tedious exams. Now with that major milestone behind me, I have a sizable amount of free-time on my hands and my girlfriend suggested that I start a blog to write about being an architect. So, here we go.Read More