Downtown Fort Worth Inc. honored eight businesses, organizations and people on Tuesday with its Trailblazer Awards during its 34th annual meeting at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.
The group, a member-funded nonprofit advocacy group, started the award program in 2007 to recognize projects and individuals that make significant contributions to life downtown.
▪ The Placemaking Award was presented to Sundance Square for its holiday events and displays, which included the annual Christmas tree lighting and a New Year’s Eve countdown that attracted more than 12,000 people. Sundance Square Plaza, the 1-acre open space created in the heart of the city’s entertainment district, received the award last year as well.
▪ The Chairman’s Award was presented to Jose Octavio Tripp Villanueva, the consul general of Mexico to Dallas/Fort Worth, for coordinating Wings of the City, a sculpture display of large bronzes by Jorge Marin.
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▪ The Preservation, Adaptive Reuse and Sustainability Award went to the Tarrant County Commissioners Court for its restoration of the west side of the Tarrant County Courthouse, as well as its clock tower, and the opening of the new $74 million six-story Tom Vandergriff Civil Courts Building a couple of blocks east.
▪ The Promotion and Marketing Award was presented to the Sundance Square Valet Program, which allows downtown visitors to drop their cars at any of 10 valet stands and pick up at any other by texting the service. According to Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Sundance Square parked more than 156,000 cars last year.
▪ The President’s Award was given to Fort Worth Bike Sharing, a 3-year-old nonprofit program that now has 44 stations with 350 bikes downtown, along West Seventh Street, the Cultural District, the Near South Side, the Stockyards and near TCU. Downtown Fort Worth Inc. says more than 25,000 users had rented bikes through the end of last year, taking more than 95,000 trips.
▪ The Unsung Hero Award was presented to photographer Brian Luenser, who has documented life downtown through his camera lens and donated images to Downtown Fort Worth Inc. for use in its publications.
▪ The Pioneer Spirit Award went to Tom Formby, who launched Acre Distillery and Coffee House at 1309 Calhoun St. on the south end of downtown, where he is making small-batch artisan vodka, gin and bourbon. The company’s name is borrowed from Hell’s Half Acre, a red-light district in 19th-century Fort Worth.
▪ The Urban Design Award was presented to Lincoln Property Co., which has created a walkable neighborhood with more than 1,500 residents on the north end of downtown near the Trinity River.