La Bajada Stories

Learn more about Neighborhood Stories and POP Dallas.

The event celebrated this century-old Mexican American neighborhood.
The event celebrated this century-old Mexican American neighborhood.

View more photos of the event on our Facebook page.

On the evening of  November 17th, the first exhibit was held in La Bajada, a residential neighborhood dating back to the 1930s just west of Downtown Dallas. La Bajada's story was told through an exhibit of the events that shaped the neighborhood and a short film that featured interviews with neighborhood residents: Pete Martinez, Anita Martinez, Gloria Lopez, Ysidro Huerta, Sr. and Ysidro Huerta, Jr., John Zapata Gonzalez, and Felix Lozada. Guests had opportunities to contribute their own personal stories and memories about the neighborhood through recorded interviews and enjoyed tacos, tamales, and pastries from Taquería La Chilanga and La Estrella Bakery. By far the most popular activity was sledding down the slopes of the Trinity River levees, a common neighborhood recreation first enjoyed more than 60 years ago.

Neighborhood Stories: La Bajada was presented with the assistance of the Dallas Mexican American Historical League and the West Dallas Community Centers.

Neighborhood Stories - Arts District

Learn more about POP Dallas and Neighborhood Stories.

On October 27-28, 2012, bcWORKSHOP was a part of a monumental project for Dallas: the grand opening of Klyde Warren Park. The celebration commemorated an innovative park that decks over a portion of Woodall Rodgers Freeway, providing valuable new civic space and connecting Uptown and the Dallas Arts District.

bcWORKSHOP had a substantial presence at the park opening, engaging visitors on Harwood Street around our POP [People Organizing Place] Dallas initiative as they passed between the new park and the Arts District. The centerpiece was a Dallas Neighborhood Stories exhibit inside our 45’ retrofitted shipping container that examined the evolution of today’s Arts District from its origins as the juncture of the Freedman’s Town/North Dallas, Little Mexico, and Ross Avenue neighborhoods, and how major interventions - the construction of Central Expressway, the construction of Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and the master plan for the Arts District - affected physical and social change.

The POP City Map also made an appearance; more than 200 people marked their Dallas neighborhoods, with dozens more showing their pride in places from Irving and Lancaster to Brazil and France. Finally, hundreds of revelers shared pictures and stories about where they live on the container itself and on camera in the Story House.

The weekend affirmed how strongly people identify and connect with their neighborhoods as well as the importance of understanding the decisions and actions that have shaped our city over time. We had a great time at the opening and look forward to bringing our exhibit back to the Arts District soon!

Neighborhood Stories

Learn more about Neighborhood Stories and POP Dallas.

Neighborhood Stories is an effort of bcWORKSHOP to strengthen awareness of our city, celebrate the diverse places that give it character and texture, and create a platform for active dialogue about its history and future. Neighborhood Stories celebrates individual voices through interviews with residents and other neighborhood stakeholders as part of bcWORKSHOP’s POP Dallas (People Organizing Place) initiative, a public interest design effort to strengthen the identity and vitality of our city’s neighborhoods. Neighborhoods are the scale of space where we most naturally interact--the space of our everyday lives--and where we form the communities that help shape ourselves. The stories people share about where they live--their memories, their concerns, their dreams--show us why place matters.

Welcome Jennifer Dowland!

Jennifer Dowland studied architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she completed her Master of Architecture with an emphasis on preservation. Her graduate thesis combined interests in housing and community issues, particularly for the underserved, with the preservation of the existing urban fabric of Skid Row, Los Angeles. She explored the critical lack of housing stock and how it can be preserved by designing creative, alternative solutions as opposed to demolition, particularly pertaining to the SRO (single room occupancy) building type. After graduating, her interest in community service through architecture led her to work at the Los Angeles Community Design Center. As project designer, she explored her passion for research-driven design, preservation, urban planning, environmental design, and social equity. Some of the projects she worked on at the design center included low income and senior housing with services, mixed use and workers’ housing, and a downtown community recreational center. Convinced that design centers will lead the way in altering the profession’s dependency on market forces while helping communities meet their needs, Jennifer has joined bcWORKSHOP where she hopes to explore better ways to serve communities through design.