Friday, December 14, 2012

The power elite of Dallas will now "interpret" Dealey Plaza for you, whether you like it or not

Landmark Commission task force to take its first look at these interpretive signs proposed for Dealey Plaza

Way back in March, Louise Elam, the Park and Recreation Department manager who’s overseeing the desperately needed Dealey Plaza makeover, told us that new interpretive signs being planned for the plaza would be simple and straight-forward — just the facts,” in other words. Nothing about Umbrella Men or rogue CIA agents or KGB operatives or mobsters or even Lee Harvey Oswald.
See for yourself: Below you’ll find docs going before the Landmark Commission’s Central Business District/West End Task Force this afternoon. Contained within are the proposed signs designed by Woodall Rodgers-based focusEGD, and, for now, they still include Robbie Good’s Dealey Plaza logo, now augmented by the Park and Rec logo.
“We’ll see what the reaction is today,” says Good, who’ll be presenting these to Landmark for the first time. “I stick by my feeling that it’s basically an international destination, so it ought to have its own brand and identity separate from the city but still ID’d as city-owned park land.”
As for the content of the signs, which refer to Abraham Zapruder and the Grassy Knoll and the assassin’s “first shot” but never mention Oswald, Good says the Sixth Floor Museum had a hand in “figuring out what the text was.” Says the designer, “The thought was to avoid anything controversial. So they kept everything pretty to the point about the various facts and kind of as simplified as possible.”
Keep in mind: All of this, including the proposal to move the Texas Historical Commission’s landmark plague from the Elm Street side to Commerce, is just a starting point. Even if the task force signs off on the signs today, they still have to pass through the Landmark Commission. The city council won’t have to approve them.
“There may still be a few refinements,” Good says. “We haven’t incorporated everything from the internal group and the Parks department, so some refinements and adjustments will be made.”

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