DART is proposing a second rail line through downtown Dallas which will impact numerous historic buildings along the proposed route and its design options. The locally preferred alternative for the line is proposed to go through the Downtown Dallas National Register of Historic Places Historic District, the City of Dallas Harwood Historic District, and the West End National Register of Historic Places Historic District. Historic properties like the Aloft Hotel, SoCo Lofts, Lone Star Gas Lofts, Statler Hilton, Continental Building, First Presbyterian Church, Scottish Rite Temple, Knights of Pythias building, and more will all be impacted. The line will also impact Deep Ellum further cutting it off from the rest of downtown.
Over $350 million in redevelopment of historic properties would be impacted by noise and vibrations from construction and running trains, removal of access to buildings for services and garages, and even potential demolition of portions of historic structures. This kind of impact to historic properties is too great for the amazing amount of work that has been done to revitalize them and downtown Dallas. We believe that mass transit benefits the city and the expansion of the DART system to make it more flexible is good for the city’s future. However, in order to create that flexibility the new line should be buried in a subway so that the historic buildings along the line can continue with their full use and access to keep them viable for the future and part of the renaissance of the urban core.
UPDATE: DART has agreed to bury the D2 line underground in a subway system. The final locations for the portals to the underground tunnels and the station locations are being selected and engineered. Public meetings have been occurring since 2017 to look to at various options for the subway line and portal locations. More information on the D2 line can be found here.