Sylvan Portals

Submitted by Brad Goldberg


Client: City of Richardson, Texas

Location: Richardson, TX, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $2,000,000

Project Team

Landscape Architect

David Baldwin

DCBA Landscape Architects

Stone Installer

Rob Barnes

Dee Brown Inc


Spring Creek Nature Area is comprised of 180 acres of virgin old-growth hardwood forest that dates back to the time of the City’s founding families and the Caddo Indians, strategically located adjacent to the fast-growing urban environment of CityLine. The vision for this project is as a natural sanctuary with multi-use trails and picnic areas within an energetic urban environment, a rare preserved ecosystem that provides a natural oasis for generations to come within the heart of one of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most dynamic development corridors. The artist was tasked with providing visually engaging entrance experiences at two separate corners of the nature area and collaborating with a landscape architect to see the project to its fulfillment.


The artist was specifically tasked with creating an iconic entrance experience at both new pedestrian entrances to the nature preserve that would be highly visible to both pedestrians and vehicular traffic.


A team consisting of the Artist and Landscape Architects was selected during an RFQ process. The Artist led the design process, in collaboration with the Landscape Architect, to compete the initial conceptual study for the two pedestrian entrances and over the three-year course of design development, fabrication and installation of the completed work. Installation of all stone aspects were under the purview of the Artist, and installation of all hardscape and plantings was the responsibility of the Landscape Architect.

Additional Information

One of the unique aspects of the project is leaving the drill marks intact on the quarry blocks as the primary texture of the work. The blocks were quarried in Ontario, Canada, to the specifications laid out in Goldberg’s drawings and Coldspring’s shop drawings. A 4- x 4-foot x various length module with drill marks on both sides was employed for the project. One of the challenges during the quarrying process was that it took place during one of the coldest winters in recent memory. Ultimately, 8,250 cubic feet of quarried material was shipped to Coldspring’s plant and an exacting fabrication of the blocks proceeded with some of the largest blocks being 4 x 4 x 14 feet. Following a number of months of fabrication, a well-planned out sequence of shipping the blocks to Texas ensued. The two corner entrance areas were each approximately 20,000 square feet, with the heights of the portals measuring 20 and 16 feet, respectively.