Kiest Park pergola among topics on June 12 council agenda

Oak Cliff residents pose before the pergola at Kiest Park in the 1940s.
Oak Cliff residents pose before the pergola at Kiest Park in the 1940s.

Here’s a quick look at what city council members will discuss Wednesday, regarding Oak Cliff.

The council will look at authorizing two construction contracts: one for a new park pavilion at Kidd Springs Park, to be completed by January 2014, and one to rebuild Kiest Park’s historic pergola that dates back to the 1930s. The latter is something neighborhood volunteers have been working on for years. We ran a series of old aerial photos last year in which you can see how the park developed around the pergola. Advocate columnist Gayla Brooks also wrote about the park’s history in her June 2010 Back Story. The new pergola should be finished by October. Both projects are funded with 2006 bond money.

The Oak Cliff-Marsalis Neighborhood Investment Program may expand to include the 200 block of West Seventh, so the area can benefit from the NIP’s federal grants that help fund Bishop Arts District improvements such as street enhancements and gateway features.

Speaking of streets, the Colorado/Beckley/Zang area may receive some updates. The city has some ’06 bond money left over from eight street projects that were canceled after Methodist hospital bought much of the property. The idea is to keep the money in that area to help support the Union Station to North Oak Cliff Streetcar project, which broke ground last month.

During a public hearing, Jonathon’s Oak Cliff, the popular neighborhood brunch spot on Beckley near Zang, is applying for an alcohol variance to allow the restaurant to continue selling alcohol even though the building lies within 300 feet of James S. Hogg Elementary. The school is just one block away, but Jonathon’s doesn’t face the property. Plus, other nearby restaurants operate with alcohol permits just outside that 300-foot rule.

Before construction begins on making the Continental bridge a park and pedestrian thoroughfare, someone may have to save the threatened mussels that call the Trinity River home. With guidance from Texas Parks & Wildlife, the native, freshwater mussels might have to be relocated. The council will vote whether to spend $147,512 for Halff Associates Inc. to investigate what could become a costly issue.


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