Mayor Vera Calvin Plaza in Old Town
Old Town Burleson is experiencing a pronounced rebirth due to decades of investment and strong planning work. Starting more than 20 years ago with the Old Town Development and Preservation Plan, the City Council and City Staff have worked to install strategic improvements and make decisions that foster a vibrant and beneficial district.
In the years since that Plan was adopted, the City added hundreds of parking spaces in the railroad right‐of‐way, recruited destination restaurants, and invested in infrastructure and hardscaping on multiple occasions. All told, the City has invested more than $12,000,000 to support the re‐development of the district. This has helped leverage tens of millions of dollars of private investment in the district.
In 2015, the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) approached the City about conducting a legacy charrette in Old Town Burleson due to its unique position and success in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. City leaders met with nationally recognized planners and architects in Old Town to discuss projects that could build upon our success but also lay groundwork for a truly walkable, mixed‐use district. The professional presentation that includes concept drawings of the Old Town plaza and key development tracts.
Since the conclusion of the CNU legacy charrette, the City worked to complete an update to the Old Town Development Plan. The Plan guides the vision of future development of Old Town by implementing many ideas from the CNU charrette. The plan places an emphasis on a public plaza, and Old Town identity, safe and walkable rail crossings, higher education and expanded living opportunities.
The City has invested in many actions items since the plan was adopted in 2016. To date, more public parking has been completed on Bufford and N. Main Streets, construction is nearing completion on Renfro St. that will calm traffic and increase walkability, quiet zone crossings at rail intersections are underway, and the landmark Mayor Vera Calvin Plaza has broken ground.
The Mayor Vera Calvin Plaza is a TIF/4B funded investment in Old Town that will serve the residents of Burleson and visitors of Old Town for generations. The Plaza will become a formal gathering space for dozens of community events and festivals that have called Old Town home for years.
Among other site amenities, the new performance stage will be capable of hosting larger concerts than the City’s current mobile stage, as well as other forms of live performance. Other site amenities will include; public restrooms, shade pavilions, great lawn, children’s area with small play trolley, activity lawn with games, courtyard, movable tables and chairs.
The Plaza was completed in June of 2020.
Mayor Vera Calvin
On Monday, April 16, 2018, City Council voted to formally name the Mayor Vera Calvin Plaza in Old Town.
Mrs. Calvin moved to Burleson in 1957 with her husband and two daughters. The family immediately became active in the schools, the community, and the First United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Calvin was an honor student at Terrell High School, received an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Tarrant County Junior College in 1974, and earned a BS in Health Care Administration from East Texas State University in 1984. She worked as a registered nurse at the Fort Worth State School from 1976 until 1993.
Mrs. Calvin was elected to the City Council four times for two-year terms and once for one year. In 1988 Mayor Boone resigned and Mrs. Calvin was sworn in as mayor. Mrs. Calvin was elected mayor in 1989 for a one-year term and in 1990 for a two-year term. As of 2012 she is the only woman to serve as mayor of Burleson.
Mayor Calvin never made campaign promises except to say that she would serve to the best of her ability. She based her decisions on what she thought was best for the citizens. While serving Burleson as a councilmember and mayor, she was involved in the Comprehensive 20/20 Plan, purchase of the interurban building for a museum and visitor center, recycling center, D.A.R.E. program, and a separate building for the police department and other projects.