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September 4, 2001
Opening September 24
Look of New White Rock Station Reflects Community Input, Surroundings
Customers using the new White Rock Station will enjoy the natural design of DART's newest light rail station when it opens September 24.
The station, west of White Rock Lake on East Northwest Highway, will extend DART's blue line three miles from Mockingbird Station toward Garland, northeast of Dallas. The station carries on the same environmental tradition of blue water and growing greenery as its inspiration, White Rock Lake. Input from the community and help from artist Philip Lamb determined the design and environmental theme of soft blue hues and natural greenery.
Community involvement is always critical in deciding the design of DART light rail stations. It ensures a unique look for each station and establishes a feeling of community ownership of the new facility.
"We were really excited to incorporate the history of the area into White Rock Station," said Cliff Franklin, a volunteer who was part of the citizen's committee involved in developing the station's distinctive look. "We're also excited to have the light rail so close by."
Many ideas about the location and layout of the station had to be considered before construction could begin. "We were very happy to influence not only the theme of the station, but also the layout," said Franklin. "We think the stairway leading to Northwest Highway east of the light rail bridge is essential to allowing pedestrians to easily utilize the light rail."
Lamb, the design artist of White Rock Station, also enjoyed the theme behind the art of the station. "The White Rock Lake theme best reflects the history of the area."
The three major artistic ideas involve the cornucopia covering the walkway, the spillway of greenery and the cap of the retaining wall.
"The cornucopia covering the walkway is reflective of the history of the lake," Lamb said. "The blue arches will be covered by green vines and will open up toward the platform."
The spillway of greenery runs parallel to the boarding platform, allowing the area just in front of the platform to be covered in greenery. "The plant life surrounding the platform enhances the feel of a rich, natural environment," Lamb said.
The cap of the retaining wall is not visible from the platform. It faces Northwest Highway in an attractive cascade of earth tone blocks with pockets providing areas for plants between the stones.
Many other small references to the history of White Rock Lake could go unnoticed to the untrained eye. "The columns on the platform are referenced from a 1930s boathouse on White Rock Lake and the soft blue hue was a color they used for area houses to prevent wasps from forming nests around the house," said Lamb.
DART is building almost 24 miles of extensions to its five-year-old, 20-mile light rail starter system in Dallas. Construction continues on an 11.2-mile rail extension stretching northeast from Mockingbird Station at Mockingbird Lane and North Central Expressway to White Rock Lake September 24 and to Garland in fall 2002. The 12.5-mile extension of the North Central rail line runs north from Park Lane Station. Light rail arrives in Richardson in summer 2002 and in Plano in summer 2003. Construction of the North Central extension is funded by a combination of local and federal funds. The Northeast Corridor extension is funded completely by local sales tax revenue.
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