Last January, Matt wrote a story for the magazine titled “The Woman Who Fought the Sun.” It was about Janette Monear, the president and CEO of the Texas Trees Foundation, and her organization’s effort to bring some sanity to the Southwestern Medical District. The Medical District is a mess. It’s hostile to pedestrians, and, thanks to acres of concrete, it’s also the hottest part of the city. Texas Trees came up with a streetscape plan to remedy some of the problems in the district and make it a place where, you know, people might actually like to walk.
This work isn’t cheap. Through her philanthropic foundation, Lyda Hill in 2018 promised to donate $2.5 million to the project — but the money came with a big contingency. Texas Trees itself had to raise $2.5 million by December 31, 2019. You know how this story ends. Texas Trees upheld its end of the deal, and Lyda Hill’s organization last month confirmed that the matching grant is on its way.
In a letter to D Magazine written shortly before the Christmas break, Monear said: “The great ‘stars’ aligned and together we will redesign the public rights-of-way and transform the Southwestern Medical District into a campus that will have a profound impact on our city, the medical institutions, and all of the individuals, organizations, and businesses within and beyond the boundaries of the district. … During a season of hope and goodwill, we would like to express our gratitude to you for your support. Yes, this support is about a redesign, but truly it is about the gift of giving to create a space where all can enjoy and thrive. It is about enhancing three major institutions beyond the footprint of their buildings. And it is about investing in an area of healing.”
Monear says the design process for Harry Hines Boulevard will begin this month.