The New Urbanism in Addison, Texas

Addison, Texas is an affluent suburb just north of Dallas. The city is known for two things: the corporate headquarter buildings all along the Dallas North Tollway, and the plethora of restaurants along Belt Line Road. Addison is a town built on commerce. Like Manhattan and the City of London, the population swells during working hours. But there are people who live there. Since 2000, the Town of Addison has developed a large mixed-use development known as Addison Circle. Whereas the rest of the town is made up of strip malls and office towers, Addison Circle is built along the lines of the New Urbanism.

Gallery

The Blueprints at Addison Circle

Blueprints at Addison Circle 1

This sculpture, known as the Blueprints at Addison Circle, is the centerpiece of the neighborhood.

Blueprints at Addison Circle 2

Looking at the Blueprints sculpture close up reveals, well, blueprints. Also diagrams and a map of early Addison.

Blueprints at Addison Circle 3

I like how the Blueprints sculpture is framed by the buildings around it.

Blueprints at Addison Circle 4

Apartments and bars overlook the sculpture.

Plenty of Park Space

Addison Circle Park 1

Even though the area is much denser than the surrounding suburbs, there’s still a fair amount of park space.

Addison Circle Park 2

Apartments overlook the park.

Addison Circle Park 3

This seems like a pleasant place to eat lunch.

Addison Circle Park 4

This park provides plenty of shade on hot Texas days.

Addison Restroom Building

At another park nearby, this funky looking building hosts public restrooms. Very useful come Oktoberfest.

Townhouses and Apartment Rows

Narrow Street at Addison Circle

An important aspect of Neourbanism is keeping streets narrow and pedestrian friendly.

Addison Townhouses

These townhouses remind be of Brooklyn brownstones, though it’s all relatively new construction.

Addison Circle Apartments

My one big criticism of the development would be that all the buildings look the same.

Addison Circle Shade Trees

I do like the shade trees along the street.

Office Buildings

Addison Circle Office Building 1

As a mixed-use development, Addison Circle has office buildings mixed in with apartments.

Addison Circle Office Building 2

Another office building, as well as a mini-park in the median of the road.

Street Sign

Goodman and Ringo

This makes me think of John Goodman and Ringo Starr doing a duet together. A strange image indeed.

The New Urbanism in Addison

Started by the husband-and-wife team of Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the New Urbanism seeks to counteract a century of car-centered suburban development. Instead of putting a subdivision here, and office park there and a strip mall down the street, Neourbanist planners try to develop neighborhoods that resemble pre-automotive cities. That means apartment blocks with stores and offices on the lower floors. It means narrow streets interspersed with trees and parks. But unlike a genuine old city, Neourban developments have to make concessions to a car-crazy culture. Most of the apartment blocks in Addison Circle are built around multi-story parking garages, and many of the townhouses have garages on the ground floor. Developments like Addison Circle do a good job of hiding such accommodations, however, and walking down the streets, you could almost pretend you’re in Paris. Almost.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer, photographer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://steve-lovelace.com.

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4 Responses

  1. April 20, 2014

    […] mall will be relegated to those with a lot of expendable income. And even then, gentrification and neo-urbanism will drive the rich and upper middle class into walkable shopping districts, instead of dealing […]

  2. August 1, 2016

    […] and this 300-year-old building houses a “T” station (itself a century old). As both an urbanist and a historian, I like seeing the layers of time and the juxtapositions of an old but modern […]

  3. February 6, 2017

    […] trying to create spaces that are more walkable and more accessible to rail lines, but for every neourbanist development, there’s a gazillion big box stores and gated neighborhoods. The suburban way of […]

  4. February 12, 2017

    […] year, my friends and I go to the Oktoberfest in Addison, Texas. Addison is a suburb north of Dallas that contains a gazillion bars and restaurants. The […]

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