Arts District proposed
Far north-side development would expand the Mayborn Center and add a Performing Arts Center, a hotel, apartments and single-family homes.
A draft layout of the North Arts District shows commercial properties (red), performance and convention venues (purple), a hotel (pink), multi-family housing (black), single-family homes (yellow) and galleries, shops, restaurants and nightspots. Back to the purple buildings: The bottom building is the existing Cultural Activities Center, the center purple building is an Expanded Mayborn Convention Center and the top purple building is the proposed Performing Arts Center that could be the future home of the Temple Symphony Orchestra and Temple Civic Theatre, according to plan designers. The existing Bellaire neighborhood is shown just south of the development. Although still in the conceptual phase, this plan was presented to Temple City Council this week.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A proposed development on Temple’s north side would create a Arts District on a 134.5 acre site that already houses the Cultural Activities Center and the Mayborn Convention Center, but a plan presented to City Council this week calls for much more.
Under the proposal presented by Georgetown-based consulting firm Covey Planning & Landscape Architecture, the Mayborn Convention Center would be expanded and a new hotel would be built in the center’s existing parking lot. A new Performing Arts Center would be constructed as a “future home to the Temple Symphony Orchestra and Temple Civic Theatre,” Covey planning engineers told the Council.
In addition, the area would have retail shops, galleries, restaurants, an apartment complex and about 640 single-family homes. The entire area would be designed with an “artsy” feel, said Travis Crow, a Covey planner.
The district is directly north of the Bellaire neighborhood.
“The North Arts District master plan will provide space for the arts industry and the people who love it,” Crow said.
“Although the plan is still in the conceptual phase, it provides a glimpse into Temple becoming a hub for entertainment, the arts and culture,” he said.
Crow recommends increasing capacity at the Mayborn Convention Center by 1,000 people, and building a large hotel on site. Parking for the hotel, events and conventions would be between the hotel and I-35.
Crow said building the Performing Arts Center — it would likely be just northwest of the Mayborn Center — would allow the city to consolidate most of its arts offerings in one area.
“We envision the Performing Arts Center as a home for the Temple Symphony and for community theatre,” he said. “High schools could use the facility for concerts, and there could be a wide variety of offerings.”
“We see the Arts District as an extension of Downtown with regular trolley connections,” he said.
Covey’s recommendation calls for dividing the development into subdistricts. He called the area containing the CAC, the Mayborn Center, the hotel and the Performing Arts Center the Theatre & Convention Area.
The plan also calls for an Arts Hub, which would include mixed-use businesses, dining, residential and a creative incubator to help support industrious artists. The Arts Village would be a residential area with single-family garden homes.
“These would be normal size homes with very small yards,” Crow said. “The architecture might be a bit funky, and the neighborhood would be very walkable.”
A strip of commercial properties would be located in the front of the district closest to I-35, and a large grassy plaza would be located near the center of the proposed development.
“Since the yards would be small, there would be several parks and trails scattered throughout the district, and perhaps several small ponds,” he said.
This illustration shows a proposed Center Green multi-use plaza surrounded by live and work spaces, shops and at the far right, the performing arts center. The Center Green plan includes an outdoor performance area and stage. These images were captured from a Zoom meeting presentation with a cell phone. In other words, I took a photo of my computer screen. That’s why the quality is poor.
The above image shows the Cultural Activities Center, the expanded Mayborn Center, the proposed hotel, the Performing Arts Center and the Center Green outdoor performing arts and multi-use complex.
WEDNESDAY | MAY 25, 2022
today’s best bets
Pardubická Muzika, a stellar ensemble of Conservatory of Music players from Pardubice, Czech Republic, will perform at SPJST Lodge 47, Seaton Star Hall on Wednesday, May 25. Doors open at 6, show starts at 7 p.m.
Imagine the Possibilities Tour will be from 5-8 p.m. The event will be open to the public and it will be a self-guided tour of downtown properties that are planned to undergo building restorations or that are otherwise available for sale or lease. Tour guests will be given a self-guided tour map showing the locations of dozens of open house receptions, each of which will showcase building improvements that are planned by the owners and developers of these buildings. Tour guests will thus be able to get a first-hand look at the many exciting developments that are transforming DowntownTemple. This event will be one of our community observances of National Preservation Month.
Corky's Comedy Open Mic nights are where up-and-coming comics, humorists or regular Joes can get 5-minutes to try our their set, work on jokes, or just try to see if they can make the crowd laugh. This is adult humor and intended for mature audiences, each comic or budding comedian is working to grow as a performer and it is through events like Open Mic that they get stage time and learn how to hone their craft. Many of our performers are touring comics already and come out to support Comedy in Temple or to refine a set but be prepared for some of the newest faces on the stage. Sign up at 7:30 p.m., show at 8.
Lonesome Dove: The Photo Exhibit runs through June 25. The exhibit is a collection of black-and-white framed photos captured by the late Bill Wittliff, renowned photographer, writer, and co-executive producer of the popular Western mini-series.
To include your events in What’s Happening, email information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Photos are welcome to for use in the publication as space permits!
Why was the first application for a Temple post office rejected?
ANSWER AT END OF TODAY’S ISSUE
On this day in 1861, Sarah Seelye enlisted in Company F, Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, under the alias Franklin Thompson. She was one of a number of women who disguised themselves as men to enlist in the Civil War. She had run away from home at age seventeen, disguised as a boy, to avoid an unwanted marriage. After enlisting in the Union army in 1861, she served for nearly two years as a male. Ironically, in her secret-service duty she penetrated Confederate lines "disguised" as a woman. She deserted the army and resumed life as a female in 1863. She later published a fanciful, but highly successful, account of her experiences in the army, Nurse and Spy in the Union Army (1865). She and her husband moved to La Porte, Texas, in the early 1890s. On April 22, 1897, Sarah Seelye became a member of the McClellan Post, Grand Army of the Republic, in Houston. She was the only woman member in the history of the GAR.
OurTownTemple@gmail.com | (254) 231-1574
TODAY’S TEMPLE TRIVIA ANSWER: The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway applied to get a post office in December 1880. The first request was denied because there was no town named Temple, Texas, on record. The railroad explained that the city would be founded and built the following year and the application was accepted. Full transparency: I heard this story in 1977 while enjoying an ice cream soda at V&M Drug Store. Some men in the next booth were telling Temple stories and I wrote them down. I guess I figured in 44 years I might need them. I wrote down dozens of stories over the period of a few weeks and all of them have turned out to be true. Yes, these guys were always at V&M and always talking Temple — my kind of place!
UPBEAT NEWS PRODUCED BY A SMALL LOCAL BUSINESS. SPEND HERE, IT STAYS HERE.
Our Town Temple is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.