by The Chandor Gardens Expansion Project
Special to The Community News
The Chandor Gardens Foundation, in cooperation with Weatherford’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Special Events, plans to construct facilities and accessible open space on the vacant 13.5 acres located immediately west of the current Chandor Gardens and mansion. The buildings are meant to significantly reduce the stress on the mansion, which was not intended for large-scale events, and to provide space for cultural, academic, scientific and social endeavors for the community, along with additional on-site parking.
The largest facility envisioned by the Foundation will be a pavilion and event center capable of seating about 300 people. According to organizers of the project, Weatherford lacks sufficient facilities for large events, and with the projected population growth over the next several years, the situation will become acuter.
A kitchen and dining area will augment the pavilion and event center, providing a place designed to dine in a natural, aesthetically pleasing setting situated in the middle of town. An expanded, commercial kitchen will cater to special events as well as support an on-site restaurant that will showcase the terrain.
The diverse topography of the acreage lends itself to seating for an outdoor amphitheater for as many as 200 people. Theatrical and musical events, dance performances and film showings are anticipated uses for this space.
Douglas Chandor spent much of his time in and around Parker County promoting the arts. To further his pioneering work, classroom facilities will be designed for the visual and performing arts. This space will be used for teaching sculpture, painting, textiles, photography, dance, music and other art forms. It will also be suitable for showings, recitals, and lectures by visiting professionals.
To complement the indoor spaces, open space will allow visitors to walk throughout the property, perhaps on elevated walkways, while enjoying water features and outdoor displays.
The Foundation has retained the services of the architectural firm Bennett Benner Partners of Fort Worth. They have a history of incorporating nature, community, and purpose in their design efforts and have worked previously with coalitions of government and private entities to produce uniquely beautiful spaces for all to enjoy.