October 27, 2017
Developed in the 1940s, Delwood II has the distinction of being the only neighborhood surrounding Mueller not separated by a roadway, so residents there had been acutely attuned to any news about Mueller’s redevelopment for decades.
In 1996, Ken Ronsonette and his wife Vanessa decided to “see what happens” when they moved into the neighborhood after hearing rumors of Mueller Airport’s potential closing. Ken, a risk manager for the Lower Colorado River Authority, quickly got involved with the neighborhood, and it wasn’t long before he was serving as Delwood II’s president, connecting him to other neighborhood leaders around the airport.
“In the early days of Mueller, Delwood II had a couple of big questions: would the grove of mature oak trees [that helped separate the airport from our neighborhood] be preserved, and how could we protect the privacy of the residents who backed up to the site?” recalled Ronsonette. “But we quickly learned from the City and Catellus the trees were an integral part of the park’s design and each home along the property line would get a fence.”
That park, the Northwest Greenway, now serves as a natural buffer between the backyards of Delwood II residents and the redevelopment, a welcome change after living with the noise from planes taking off as early as 5:30 a.m. “Being bordered by I-35, Airport Boulevard and the airport itself meant none of us had any good access to a park, but now we have two entry points into a beautiful and peaceful place.”
Though Ronsonette and his neighbors were focused initially on the Northwest Greenway, they maintained a keen interest in Mueller’s overall redevelopment. “A lot of us in the neighborhood were very excited when we learned Seton was going to build the children’s hospital at Mueller, because it demonstrated the Mueller project was taking off and going to work,” recalls Ronsonette.
Fast forward 10 years, and much has transpired at Mueller, but Ronsonette says he’s had a favorite place this entire time: the Mueller Central information center. “I like the building’s design, its history with the airport, and that they kept the architectural character.”
Not much surprises Ronsonette these days, who has played a long term role as a member of the Mueller transportation committee and is a new member of the city-council appointed Mueller Commission. However, he says he’s intrigued by how well Mueller is compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods. After attending a Movies in the Park event, he was astonished not only by the size of the crowd, but by its diversity. “How we established the goals of Mueller all those years ago — it’s working.”
Come on out and get to know Mueller. To get acquainted with the full vision for Mueller, please visit our information center, Mueller Central, located at 4550 Mueller Blvd. Click here for address and operating hours.
To download your copy of the Mueller Development Plan, click here.
For more information regarding Mueller's Design Book, click here.