Historic Lakewood Theater now the home to Bowlski’s, the off-beat bowling center opening this Friday. Really, it works.
I have noted for the past few years that things have been changing in the Dallas area where historic preservation is concerned. As we work towards a culture where the default question is “Why not preserve?” as opposed to the current attitude of “Why preserve?”, it is encouraging to find publications like this. The DFW Real Estate Review would normally be expected to trumpet the the latest in new design and construction. In this edition, however, is a long and thoughtful examination of both the rising popularity of historic preservation and a serious discussion of the financial incentives that help to fuel this growth. I was honored and excited to be given an opportunity to contribute to this position.
NORMAN ALSTON architects
For the past 30 years, Norman Alston Architects has shown the possibilities that are available when important historic buildings and sites are thoughtfully preserved and equipped for modern, productive use. The firm has completed successful, award-winning restorations, renovations, and additions by demonstrating that preservation is economically advantageous, environmentally responsible and culturally invigorating. Our projects are often catalysts for redevelopment of the surrounding community. Successful projects range from important large structures in large urban areas to numerous small projects in rural communities where professional skills in historic preservation are often assumed to be unavailable.
The passing of William Murtagh, first Keeper of the National Register
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.
Facadism may occassionally work as an urban design tactic, but please don’t call it preservation - Starr Herr-Cardillo.
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.
Lakewood Theater restoration begins with the neon.
A tragic fire overnight at the Glasgow School of Art
AIA Dallas issues A Policy Statement on Local Architectural Heritage.
The Federal Historic Tax Credit has proven to be a powerful incentive to keep and restore our important historic buildings, especially in Texas as documented in this report from the National Trust for Historic Preservation issued last year. It has been so effective, in fact, that many states, including Texas, have implemented their own state tax credit programs. In the inevitable chaos and maneuvering associated with great change in Washington, our friends at PlaceEconomics have published the following long list of reasons to keep the tax credits:
Thanks to Place Economics for finding this one. This headline from a story at the Washington Examiner illustrates how tabloid-style "journalism" can creep into seemingly legitimate news feeds and thus utterly distort the reality of working with historic buildings. The story goes on to explain, with little or no detail, how the VA is having difficulty monetizing excess building inventory because of "historic preservation". Given the lack of detail about what is happening, one can only guess about what this refers to. This would only be true if the VA's sole desire is to demolish each and every historic building and market only the land. If that's the case, then God bless historic preservation. What a calloused, lazy approach to real estate that would be. But as for the VA being prohibited from selling or remodeling the buildings - that is utter nonsense. There is a well-established process for transferring public buildings into the private realm. It's known as Section 106.
Been there. Done that. The photograph above is a project where we led the owner and design team through the Section 106 process of selling this 1931 Federal Post Office and Courthouse Building into private ownership (or most of it anyway). It is now a premier, award-winning, multi-family development in downtown Dallas. It even continues to retain the post office. There were challenges for this project, but the Section 106 process wasn't in the top tier. It was more about what you have to do to a Federal building that has been able to ignore local building codes for about 80 years. That's where the brain damage happens.
Scape goats are very convenient and blaming historic preservation for money woes is a tired but still popular approach to finding a back door to getting at something else that building owners actually want.
Billed as "The Big Reveal", the Alamo Master Planning Team will take the wraps off of their work in two upcoming public meetings:
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Both meetings will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. More conveniently, the meeting will be live streamed on the ReImagine the Alamo Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ReimagineTheAlamo/