Imagine a Museum

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New Texas Rangers Ballpark rendering

Location

With a little imagination, the Texas Rangers stadium (Globe Life Park) can be converted into a spectacular museum and center for cultural and educational activities. The concourse levels offer more than 250,000 sq ft of potential exhibit space. The field may be used as an enclosed three-acre festival site for music, festivals and other traditional cultural activities.

The facility is equipped for restaurants, one being 9,100 sq ft, as well as venues for distinctive labs, classrooms, small vendor operations and gift shops. It even has a theatre that is the proper size for documentary film screenings (though additional media and theatre space is needed).

At this stage, making the leap from a sports facility to a museum may challenge the imagination for many. But consider several factors in the way facilities are being innovated all over the United States and the world. Train stations make great history and heritage museums. Warehouses are retrofitted to become galleries and children's museums. New York City turned a railroad spur, the "High Line" trestle, into a spectacular park and international attraction. The potential is limitless. And with such an interesting facility and ready-made activity center, the potential funding models are abundant, following the examples of many known successes across the nation.

With minimum levels of success, the traditional museum component will attract 1-2 million visitors and the activity center component (greatly enhanced by festival grounds) will attract 1-2 million visitors.

Design considerations include full enclosure for most or all of the remaining open-air portion of the concourse with windows and glass doors. A section of the concourse may potentially remain open for large and quick-turnaround exhibits, and possible vendor activities during festivals. A section of seating may be enclosed and upgraded for "four dimensional" and I-MAX films.



Metroplex

The population of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area is over 7 million people, ranking it as the fourth largest in the nation. The people of the region not only deserve such an innovative World Class museum, but can also easily support and utilize it, and offer its benefits to the world.

The Metroplex is extremely well connected to the nation and the world with international airports and growing transportation infrastructure. The potential for a rail stop in the vicinity of the museum is a win-win situation for it and the adjacent cities of Arlington and Grand Prairie. For ridership, the stop needs year-round activity and immense visitor interest, and a major museum needs transportation options. A growing district of new businesses and cultural activities in the center of the Metroplex can thrive around the rail stop.


Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport near the Arlington Entertainment District
The Texas Rangers stadium and other attractions in the Arlington Entertainment District (marked with a red "X") are in close proximity to DFW International Airport and about half way between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. It takes approximately 40 minutes to drive to Arlington from most outlying communities in the Metroplex, about 20 minutes from the centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Additional rail and bus transportation is projected to serve the Entertainment District in the future.

Should Arlington not want to move in the direction of cultural and educational institutions, many other locations in the Metroplex are capable to build and support such a flagship museum. Cultural institutions are the major attraction for visitors to most of the world's great cities; There is no doubt that Dallas, Fort Worth or one of the densely-populated, inter-urban cities of the Metroplex is prepared to take this bold step. However, the availablity of an exceptional facility in Arlington makes it the most prepared location at this stage.


Options

The development of a major museum requires several important steps and opportunities:

1. An exceptional vision and concept
2. A great location and facility
3. Funding and support
4. Expertise and interest
5. Audience and marketing

There is an exceptional vision and concept to locate in Arlington or a surrounding city, or any great city in Texas, for that matter. The potential to serve millions of Texans and attract visitors from around the nation and the world is undeniable.

The most significant Texas cities have the visionary leaders and available support of donors, sponsors and foundations. With forty universities in the Metroplex, including the University of Texas system, and numerous others across the state and surrounding states, the expertise and connections to many of the world's great cultural institutions exists. The diverse communities throughout the Metroplex and other Texas cities offer abundant interest and potential activity.

The regional population from which the museum will draw visitors and members (drivers and commuters) is over 7 million. Establishing a highly interesting museum about the civilizations and ways of life of people around the world - considering the past, present and future - will attract national and international visitors.

While there are numerous potential locations throughout the Metroplex, as well as others in Texas exploring the concept of museums of
Culture, Arlington has the makings of a significant visitor district, coming transportation, and it is ahead of other Texas cities in that it has an excellent facility that is likely to be available.

Those who support the concept of a great Museum of Culture in Texas will see the potential of Arlington as a central location in the Metroplex, and recognize the exciting prospects of converting the Texas Rangers stadium into one of the most provident museums in the nation.

But rather than an all-or-nothing prospect that is available only in Arlington, supports should view the creation of such a modern and innovative museum as inevitable, even if it ultimately springs to life from another Texas city. The most significant impetus is to ensure the populations of Texas and the world have access to a great museum about: the history and progress of civilizations; diversity, quality of life and healthy ways of life in the present; and, the prospects for peaceful coexistence, cultural self-determination and common good across the world's regions in the future.

Looking several years into the future, the best option is Arlington. But other regional or Texas cities may step forward with similar cultural and educational initiatives to become World Class cities in the future, as well. These options indicate that the possibilities for collaboration, increased audiences, support and interest will grow through many partnerships.



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Imagine a Museum is hosted by the Digital Story Resource Center



The above rendering reveals a concept that is in development for a hotel and entertainment center to be connected with the future Texas Rangers stadium.

The potential for a major, interntionally recognized museum in the existing Texas Rangers stadium is necessary to anchor the district with the level of activity on a year-round basis that is needed for other visitor attractions and successful transportation to thrive.

Additional aspects of a provident museum of culture, open and active 360 days per year, include diverse interests, economic activity, better quality of life, improved education, academic participation, and increased opportunity for new businesses and cultural institutions across the Metroplex.



GALLERY AND LINKS


Caddo dwelling in East Texas
The Mid Cities, between Dallas and Fort Worth, are among the most diverse in the nation. The collective population of Arlington, Grand Prairie, Irving and their neighboring communities is greater than Fort Worth and roughly the same as Dallas. Their population density is greater than Dallas and Fort Worth.

Caddo dwelling in East Texas
A reconstructed Caddo Indian dwelling in East Texas demonstrates the lifeways and living conditions of the historic cultures of the region.

Visionary artist and architect Doug Michels
A recorded interview with Doug Michels, the visionary artist and architect who founded the Ant Farm Collective and conceived Cadillac Ranch, is a critical resource for understanding modern Texas art.

The Texas music legacy
The Texas music legacy is among the strongest in the nation (most certainly, the strongest), though it remains the most underutilized aspect of our diverse cultures for purposes of educational and visitor interests.



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