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Power elite of Dallas want to "interpret" Dealey Plaza for you


Joseph Backes
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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.”

Dealey Plaza Interpretive Signage

Edited by Joseph Backes
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I prefer Don Roberdeau's signage

These should be handed out to the public with a poll on the reverse

No way not from there

They say he did it so he musta did it.

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The March article referenced in the above article

Yesterday an old friend of the show, Robbie Good, tweeted the image you see above: a conceptual rendering for a Dealey Plaza logo, along with the explanation that he’s “currently working on one of the most controversial public spaces on Earth.” Good, it should be noted, works for Woodall Rodgers-based graphic-design firm focusEGD, and as Good explained when we spoke this morning, the firm’s been hired to create interpretive signs for Dealey Plaza as part of the much-needed multimillion-dollar makeover being spearheaded by the privately run Dealey Plaza Restoration Committee. The city is also kicking in $750,000 in matching funds.

The logo, Good says, isn’t officially part of the restoration, which is being led by architect Jonathan Rollins of Good Fulton & Farrell. FocusEGD has actually been hired by GFF to create the signs, the content of which is still being determined by, among others, the city’s Park and Recreation Department and the Sixth Floor Museum.

Says Good, the signs will be “very carefully thought out in terms of what the graphics will be. Right now there’s the historical marker that’s been defaced where it says ‘Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly …’ They want to avoid that type of situation, so it would be historically based signs that say things like, ‘This is the Texas School Book Depository,’ ‘This is where Abraham Zapruder was standing,’ that kind of thing.”

Louise Elam, a manager in the Park and Recreation Department who’s leading the project from the city’s side, says the signs will contain “just the facts.” As for the logo, she says Good “presented it for the first time yesterday, and we haven’t even had the chance to discuss or digest it.”

The logo, says Good, could still be worked into the interpretive signage. Or not. He just wanted folks to see it and talk about it, which is why he put it out there yesterday. Says he, if nothing else it’s just one “way of ushering in a new era for the plaza.”

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