The Ruins of the Metroplex - Super Bowl Edition



   I decided to take a drive around Cowboys Stadium this morning and see the preparations for the upcoming Super Bowl. Some say the facility resembles a futuristic spaceship that landed in the middle of Arlington. A space age building that replaced an aging suburban neighborhood.

  I took a few moments to appraise the other development that has sprung up in the area since the ribbon was cut at the stadium. To be frank, more has closed than has opened. Other than a new wing restaurant in an old strip center, I can't see anything new that has opened since the Cowboys moved to Arlington.

   Instead of sparking development, one could easily argue that the exact opposite has happened. A drive along Division Street just south of the Stadium is a stark reminder that the millions of people who stream into Cowboys Stadium aren't sticking around long after the games. An abandoned Putt Putt, deserted businesses, seedy motels and vacant lots tell a sad story. If these properties weren't redeveloped in time for the world's biggest sporting event, they probably have a very grim future.

  Nothing illustrates this point as well as the Eastern Star Home. The once majestic facility which was built in the country in 1924, now sits in the shadow of the stadium. The 30 acre property, which was once home to widows and retirees in the female masonic-like order, is empty behind chain link and barbed wire at the end of a crumbling driveway.
The home in its heyday and how it looks today. 
   

   At one time, investors envisioned redeveloping the home into a hotel and conference center. But as I said before, if it hasn't happened by Super Bowl Sunday, will it ever happen?
    The Eastern Star Home, which is on Preservation Texas' Most Endangered Building List, serves a sobering lesson on the promise of redevelopment that is promised with new stadiums. Though one could argue that the Super Bowl would have never come to Arlington with out Cowboys Stadium, a drive around the area adds another chapter to the story.