Concept art illustrated by Khang Nguyen
Contributed by:
Dillon Park
Assoc. AIA

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YP Corner: Willow Grove Baptist Church Design Charrette Recap

Willow Grove Baptist Church Design Charrette brought thinkers, designers, and community members together to collaborate on approaches to revitalize spaces and build a stronger sense of community and openness.

On Tuesday, May 28, the Young Professionals Network and Communities by Design Committee co-hosted a charrette for Willow Grove Baptist Church at the AD EX. The church applied for the Dallas Neighborhood Vitality Grant (formerly Grow South), a city-led program that distributes small grants to local neighborhoods for the improvement of public spaces. For the last few years, the Young Professionals have volunteered with the grant program by using their design skills to provide added resources to applicants.

This specific charrette gathered local architects, engineers, city-planners, and community members and representatives from Willow Grove to collaborate on themes and ideas that could help revive the outdoor spaces of the church. The charrette provided an opportunity for local community members to share their insight on potential strategies for providing safer spaces for the youth, better walkability, and an overall openness for their building.

Willow Grove Baptist Church currently sits on the busy street of Kiest Boulevard, just across the street from Barbara Jordan Elementary School. Foot traffic from the community and students constantly occurs in this area and the church property misses an opportunity to be more engaged with those passersby. Representatives from Willow Grove hope to revitalize the space in front of their building to not only make their space more visible but be more functional to the community as well. The church currently provides STEM education programs for the youth and hosts various other events throughout the year. Revitalizing the area would help raise awareness in the community about the programs that the church offers and bring more life to the area.

The charrette proved to be very successful, as the large turnout of various professionals and community members generated great energy and excitement for the project. The group charrette format allowed for ideas to bounce off one another, concerns were easily vocalized and addressed, and potential solutions developed. It was encouraging to witness people from various backgrounds working together to address issues and revitalize spaces, all of which will give back to the Dallas community.

Thank you to everyone who came and participated in the charrette! The Willow Grove Baptist Church truly appreciates the efforts that were made, and all are looking forward to next steps. Stay tuned for updates. If you have any questions, please contact Chelsie Bush at