Directly across from the fast-growing, lively atmosphere of CityLine development in Richardson, Texas, Spring Creek Nature Area consists of 180 acres of virgin old-growth hardwood forest, looping trails and scenic creek views. With an interest in preserving a rare natural open space within the heart of a dynamic development corridor, the City of Richardson sent out a Request for Qualifications to design two visually enticing entrances to mark the separate pedestrian entrances.
Together with DCBA Landscape Architects, Brad Goldberg, Artist of Brad J. Goldberg, Inc., submitted his credentials and was selected to work with the City on the entry portals. Goldberg envisioned a visually engaging natural stone design, viewable from surrounding roadways and development, that would complement the beauty of the surrounding nature. Each entry point would consist of about 20,000 square feet of working area, placing importance on preserving the majority of the existing trees and landscaping.
When working with natural stone in exterior applications, it’s important to understand how each variety will react with the environment. Goldberg — who has worked with Coldspring for more than 30 years — recommended granite to the City for the nature park because of its durability and maintenance-free elements. When working with natural stone, it’s important to choose a partner that can help determine the best, most durable material for the project.
Goldberg feels that visiting the quarry helps clients learn a lot and opens the mind to new ideas. On his tour of the Kenoran Sage quarry, Goldberg was inspired by the massive quarry blocks and found the drill marks that come from the quarrying process a visually intriguing texture. “I’ve always wanted to do something with drill marks to show the way the material has come from the quarry,” said Goldberg.
The project was no small feat. Massive quarry blocks with drill marks intact were shipped in to create two large portal entrances with leaf-inspired openings and seating areas, ensuring that the entrances would be in scale with the environment and eye-catching. Goldberg knew that Coldspring could handle a project of this size and breadth. “Coldspring is not afraid of big work,” said Goldberg. “They are very can-do, and produce the most excellent work.” He also recognized Coldspring’s perseverance in moving the process forward despite having to quarry during one of the coldest winters in recent times, and the difficulties tied to that.
Over 8,250 cubic feet of Kenoran Sage granite in natural and thermal finishes was used to create the two entry portals, standing at 16 feet tall and 20 feet tall respectively. The project was successfully completed and dedicated in November 2019.
Spring Creek Nature Area’s two entry portals now welcome visitors to escape from the urban environment to enjoy a short walk or bike ride or take in the impressive views of Spring Creek. Incorporating stone in a very natural way, the area will be enjoyed by many generations of community members and visitors for years to come.