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Dr. Gail Thomas

 Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing public education about architecture, design and the urban environment, is pleased to present  “Engaging the Trinity: a Panel Discussion” on November 5, moderated by Gail Thomas, Ph.D. 

The Dallas Architecture Forum Panels are offered at no charge to both Forum members and to the general public as a public outreach of the Forum. Join us for a cold beverage and lively dialogue!   The venue for this Panel is the Trinity Trust Office, 1444 Oak Lawn Avenue, #200, Dallas, TX 75207. This free Dallas Architecture Forum Panel will be held at 6:30 pm, with an informal reception beginning at 6:15 pm.  No reservations are needed to attend the Panel. 

 “The Dallas Architecture Forum is pleased to present the next event in its 2014-15 series of thought-provoking Panel Discussions on topics impacting the citizens of Dallas both locally and globally” stated Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly. 

The Trinity River Corridor Balanced Vision Plan is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious urban park plans in the world.  The Trinity River Corridor is one of the world’s largest urban parks, and the plan addresses the integration of flood control, transportation needs, recreational and aesthetic amenities, environmental preservation and functional design elements to ensure that the development represents the highest and best aspirations for the citizens of our community for generations to come. 

Many major milestones for the plan have been successfully achieved.  In March 2012 the City of Dallas celebrated the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.  Additional key accomplishments include the renovation of the Continental Bridge, the opening of the Skyline Trail, and the design and construction (currently in progress) of the Margaret McDermott Bridge.  The Trinity Forest Spine Trail will open a treasure of undisturbed forest to the citizens of Dallas. Traveling south from White Rock Lake past the Trinity River Audubon Center extending to IH-20, this 17.5-mile hard-surfaced trail will be a unique passage to the unspoiled outdoors and the beauty and discoveries it provides.   The Trinity Trust is also collaborating on the design of a series of lakes and recreation amenities for the Trinity River basin area.  Gail Thomas, Ph.D., President of the Trinity Trust, is a guiding light for the plan, both in casting vision and securing funding for these important projects.   She will moderate this comprehensive update of the major achievements and continued unfolding of the vision for the Trinity Corridor Plan 

About the Moderator:  Gail Thomas, Ph.D.

Dr. Gail Thomas serves as President and CEO of The Trinity Trust Foundation in Dallas to remake the Trinity River Corridor. After directing the Center for Civic Leadership, a Master’s program at the University of Dallas, she was a co-founder in 1980 of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and served as its Director for seventeen years. She continues as the Director of their Center for the City where she teaches and conducts seminars and conferences.  

Dr. Thomas represented one of the three organizations that led the creation of the “Balanced Vision Plan” for The Trinity.  After the plan’s unanimous adoption by the City Council, the Mayor of Dallas asked Dr. Thomas to create an entity to raise private funds to implement the plan.  She works with The Trinity Trust Board of Directors to introduce the project to the entire community and to raise private funds to ensure that the Trinity River is the centerpiece of the city. 

Dr. Thomas’ life work has been the study and transformation of cities. Through her teaching and lecturing, she has been a catalyst for change in the inner city.  For over twenty years she has conducted seminars and conferences on cities and city life not only in Dallas but also in cities as diverse as Montreal, Portland, New Orleans, Santa Fe, Denver, and Devon, England. She began in 1982 a series of conferences called, What Makes a City?, attended by city planners, artists, scientists, poets, teachers, business and civic leaders.  The effect of these conferences has been profound. 

She was instrumental in the creation of Pegasus Plaza in downtown Dallas and co-chaired the Dallas Millennium Project to restore Dallas' icon, Pegasus, the Flying Red Horse. Through the Dallas Institute, she hosted a five year urban design for Dallas called Dallas Visions, directed by James Pratt. For the Trinity project, her efforts helped inspire the philanthropic gifts for design of Dallas’ two Santiago Calatrava bridges. She is currently seeking funds to build the Trinity Spine Trail from the Audubon Center to White Rock Lake. 

Her book Healing Pandora: The Restoration of Hope and Abundance was released in 2009. Her other books include: Stirrings of Culture, with Robert Sardello; Images of the Untouched, with Joanne Stroud; Imagining Dallas; and Pegasus, the Spirit of Cities. Her book in progress is entitled: Recapturing the Soul of the City. 

Dr. Thomas has received numerous awards including the coveted Kessler Award for improving the quality of life in Dallas, the Athena Award given by The University of Dallas, the Award of Excellence in Community Service offered by the Dallas Historical Society, named The Dallas 25 by D Magazine, and The Femmes du Monde Woman of the Year. She has been named Distinguished Alumna of two universities – SMU and The University of Dallas. She has been a national awards panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been named Honorary AIA by the Dallas Chapter, the Texas Society of Architects and most recently by the American Institute of Architects. 

For more information on the Dallas Architecture Forum, or the Panel Discussion Series, visit www.dallasarchitectureforum.org or call 214-764-2406.  Advance registration is not necessary to attend any of the Panels in the Panel Series. 

Panel Season Sponsors are Fashion Optical, Meg M. Fitzpatrick | Strategy Consultant, Lisa Brown Consulting, Wendy Konradi + Jessica Stewart Lendvay, LEMCO Construction, LUXE Interiors + Design Magazine, Oglesby-Greene Architects, UTA School of Architecture.

 

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