Restoration of the neon at the historic Lakewood Theater continues with the removal for restoration of the lighted ball at the top of the Big Tower.
Dallas Park Board votes to recommend to City Council the contract between Fair Park First and the City of Dallas for the long-term management of Fair Park National Historic Landmark.
This article may bring to light a gathering conflict in the way we experience our city.
An unimaginable tragedy as perhaps 20 million historic artifacts may have been lost.
Facadism may occassionally work as an urban design tactic, but please don’t call it preservation - Starr Herr-Cardillo.
"Be grateful for historic preservation policies, laws and advocacy. They enable us to identify and protect America’s significant cultural heritage, ensuring that future generations will continue seeing, using and appreciating meaningful legacies of the past. "
Norman Alston Architects is part of Fair Park First, the team recommended for the care and operation of Dallas’ Fair Park National Historic Landmark.
Art conservator examines Lakewood Theater mural.
This is the Santa Fe Building in downtown Amarillo. Formerly the national headquarters of the Santa Fe Railroad, it has been restored/renovated and is currently used for county offices. The 11th floor contains a ballroom that is available for community meetings and it is in this space that the THC quarterly meetings are taking place. The opportunity to visit amazing places like this are one of the reasons I enjoy serving on the THC's Antiquities Advisory Board.
I had the opportunity to visit the shop that will be restoring the neon at the Lakewood Theater over the next couple of months. I was able to get important insights into the historic process of creating neon installations and to watch the final stages of manufacturing for a small "i".
Lakewood Theater restoration begins with the neon.
A tragic fire overnight at the Glasgow School of Art
A video by the good folks at Planning and Urban Design at the City of Dallas. I have the good fortune to know and get to work with several of them.
My journey up through the interior of the Park Cities Baptist Church steeple.
For the first time, The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has added its voice to the ongoing discussions about the role of historic preservation in our rapidly evolving city. While many AIA members have devoted great time, energy and expertise to preservation efforts over the past several decades, this may represent the first time the profession as a whole has made such a bold statement about the value of our historic resources. It's an important step in a place where so many look to our future, but often at the expense of our past.
I was honored to able to work alongside so many of my colleagues and friends to develop this statement and am grateful to the AIA for their support and encouragement.
A flowing, connected interior—once a fringe experiment of American architectural modernism—has become ubiquitous, and beloved. But it promises a liberation from housework that remains a fantasy. - Ian Bogost, The Atlantic
AIA Dallas issues A Policy Statement on Local Architectural Heritage.
The Dallas Landmark Commission today began a 6 month process of looking for ways to improve the designation process by taking public comments before their regularly scheduled meeting. I saw this as an opportunity to help shape the direction of preservation in Dallas for the near future. Below are the ideas that I presented in person to the Landmark Commission this afternoon.
Thank you Mdme Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Commission.
I would like to preface my comments with an observation. As a preservation architect, I have had very many opportunities to interact with the regulatory side of preservation on the national, state and especially the local level. That experience has led me to the conclusion that the Dallas program is the fairest and most professional in Texas. Today is not the venue to elaborate on those observations, but should be taken as context. I do not consider our program broken in any way, but instead appreciate this opportunity to help the program evolve to meet the needs of an evolving city.
This can be in important step in truly developing a culture of preservation in Dallas. Across much of our city, in both the private and the public sectors, we find ourselves addressing the question of "why would we preserve". Instead, we should seek an environment that begins by asking "why wouldn't we" preserve? Our current program, crafted through the 1970's and 80's, carries a considerable burden to prove out why a building or site should be deemed eligible for Landmark status. I propose that any structure identified for designation that is known to meet a minimum age threshold and perhaps one other readily documented qualification such as architecture or association with a notable person or event, be assumed eligible, and that the burden of documentation be shifted to those who might argue that it is not. The National Register-level documentation that we currently require is an excellent resource, but the effort required to prepare them is considerable and requires research skills that may not be readily available, greatly discouraging applicants and placinig a work load on staff and volunteers that has always been difficult to manage.
Corollary to this, I propose that any building that is already listed on the National Register individually, listed as a contributing structure in a National Register district, or determined likely to be eligible by the SHPO's office be deemed eligible as a Dallas Landmark upon submission of photos or other documentation that confirms substantial historic integrity remains from the time it was so determined.
So much for the easy part.
While it will take time and a lot of input, I believe we need a broader definition of what constitutes historic. I would refer you to recent activities in North Oak Cliff and Deep Ellum, where there is clearly a community character that is widely understood and even cherished. It's a character that is rooted in and reflective of the community history, but not primarily its architectural history. It does not meet the traditional architectural standards for what might be considered an historic district yet is widely considered worthy of some form of preservation. We need a way to help identify and preserve these complex relationships so essential to a vibrant city. The Dallas AIA will, in the next few days, announce the adoption of a policy statement on historic preservation. I was honored to be part of the team that developed this policy and can tell you that it also recognizes and begins to address this need. I look forward to the chance for multiple groups who recognize this need to work together to develop tools to help these communities.
Finally, I do feel it's important to bring up an issue that was revealed to me during the Lakewood Theater's designation effort. The problem lies in the penalty for violations. As currently written, the $2,000/day/violation runs from the beginning of the violation, not from it's discovery or citation. It is possible for a building owner to rack up many millions of dollars in penalties for a violation that was unnoticed and has existed, previously undiscovered for many years. This is not conjecture but has actually happened in other places. The response we have received when noting this has been "We've never done that" or "We wouldn't do that". I doubt any of us would be satisfied with that answer and we shouldn't expect designation applicants to be satisfied either, making this a disincentive to designation for property owners. I would ask that we simply add the language that the penalty starts following a citation and a 30 day cure period.
An interesting article that I have been sitting on too long.