Caelum Moor Park

Click on the picture to see more of the park.
  

As a teenager living in the suburbs of Dallas, my friends and I thought there was nothing "cool" about Arlington or the 'burbs. That is, until a friend of mine introduced me to Caelum Moor while we were in high school in the mid-eighties. We went out there only at night to look at the huge well-lit stone sculptures reminiscent of Stonehenge and other Celtic stonework.

Visitors to the park walked over a small rise and crossed a cement and brick bridge to enter the park proper. Just on the other side of that bridge sat a small stone with a plaque explaining the park's purpose: a place of contemplation in the midst of the business park (and the shopping area just to the west of the park --- including a major shopping mall less than a mile away). The plaque also gave the names of each of the sculptures in the park. The park had been commissioned by the developer to be a centerpiece for the business park he was building.

The word caelum is from the Latin meaning sculptor's tool and was extremely apt for this project with its twenty-two pieces of Texas pink granite. (Weighing some 540 tons!) Sculptor Norman Hines, who teaches in Pomona College's Art and Art History Department, sculpted the park..

The park was dismantled in the 1990s after the city of Arlington acquired the park (the developer, like many of the time, went
bankrupt). However, the city had a difficult time protecting the park from petty vandals who broke the lights and even wreaked havoc on the pump which made the waterfall. The grass often went unmown, the Scottish festival held there every year moved to another location and then the real controversy started. At first only flyers claiming that the Druids killed people at Halloween -- the implication being both that the park was a Druid sanctuary and that a ritual sacrifice at the park was only a matter of time.
Later, several Christian ministers in the area claimed that the park was actually a pagan church and demanded that the city dismantle it (by claiming separation of church and state). At the same time, several developers were interested in that piece of land. The city eventually took the sculptures down and moved them to a warehouse where they sit today.
I recently heard from several members of Norm Hines' family -- including the artist himself! I'll be watching the PBS special that was originally filmed on the making of the park and try to update -- and updated the design of these pages -- sometime.

UPDATE:
Great news! Apparently the stones are going to be resurrected soon as a part of the new Cowboys' stadium/park/major tourist area. From the Dallas News Article (9/30/2008):

The current plans include walking paths and landscaping in addition to the stone structures. The city and RTKL architects, which prepared the site plan, also received input from Norm Hines, the California-based sculptor who created the monuments.

From the Fort Worth Star Telegram (4/21/2008):

Art Caelum Moor, which has been in storage at a water treatment plant for more than a decade, could be standing again by the end of the year, city officials said. The bonds could pay for Caelum Moor to be re-erected along Randol Mill Road. The massive granite sculpture depicts a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Follow this link to a CNN article about the controversy surrounding the park.

Currently, the sculpture is again creating headlines. Many citizens are again calling for the park to be re-established. There was talk earlier in 2000 of erecting the park at the University of Texas at Arlington. At least one private group of citizens was considering trying to raise funds for the sculptures and the artist, Norm Hines, has also recently contacted the city in hopes of having his artwork displayed again soon.

 

You can read current articles about Caelum Moor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram site:
http://star-telegram.com/

I tried linking to a few specific articles currently in the Star-Telegram archives, by running a search for Caelum Moor. However, each of those articles requires payment to read, so I have only included the general link to the newspaper for you to peruse if you wish.

 

Follow the links to the various sections of the park.

 

General Park

 

Pictures of the whole park including areas without a major stone sculpture.

Tan Tara

 

Two upright stones capped by a third. This sculpture contains an echo chamber.

Sarsen Caer

 

Like Tan Tara, this sculpture is two major uprights capped by a third stone. This sculpture was also used to create a "backstage" area (by the pond) and an amphitheatre was created in front of the sculpture.

Tolmen Barrow

 

Three upright stones, the middle stone is the barrow stone, with a hole drilled all the way through it.

Morna Linn

 

A sarsen construction like Tan Tara and Sarsen Caer, Morna Linn is located in the pond and has a pump to create a waterfall.

Tuatha de Danaan 

 

Again, three major stones, all upright as with Tolmen Barrow. This sculpture includes a staring pattern on each stone.

Caelum Moor brochure

A recent find, the original brochure is not in great shape, so I've attempted to clean it up in Photoshop.

 

This site copyright Robin C. MacRorie 2001-2007


All text and photographs are copyright Robin C. MacRorie and may not be used under any circumstances without prior written permission.
Links to this site welcome, please email me to inform me if you link to this site.

 


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