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Preservation Dallas Public Forum on the Future of Historic Buildings in Dallas

Preservation Dallas, in partnership with the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library, held a public forum on the future of preservation efforts in Dallas and how to better protect Dallas’ historic buildings. Over 150 people attended the forum at the Erik Jonsson Central Library.

At the Forum the background on the Dallas Downtown National Register of Historic Places district and current legal protections for historic buildings in Dallas was presented. Following that was a panel discussion led by Bob Meckfessel of DSGN Associates on the current situation with the recent downtown demolitions and ideas on how Dallas can better protect historic structures. The panelists included: Beth Weidower – National Trust for Historic Preservation, Katherine Seale – Dallas Landmark Commission Chair, Marcel Quimby – Quimby McCoy Preservation Architecture, LLP, Mark Doty – City of Dallas and Preservation Texas, and Greg Brown – Dallas Center for Architecture. Audience members had an opportunity to ask the panel questions. Dallas City Council Member Philip Kingston also spoke. The Forum was closed out with a list of buildings Preservation Dallas would like to see protected, an action plan for the city to enhance preservation efforts and protections for historic buildings, and what people can do to help in the effort to enact better protections for our historic resources in Dallas. To download a copy of the PowerPoint given at the Forum click here.

The action plan that was presented included four points:

  • Develop a new Preservation Plan for the city, the last one was completed in 1988
  • Provide additional protections at the city level for buildings on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Provide better economic incentives for the redevelopment of historic structures in Dallas
  • Increase the number of City of Dallas preservation staff to better assist those wanting to preserve the history of Dallas

At the October 6 meeting of the City Council Arts, Culture, and Library Committee, Preservation Dallas and the City of Dallas Historic Preservation Staff were tasked with coming up with a list of buildings that needed protection in downtown Dallas and an action plan for the city to put into place to enhance protections of historic buildings not currently protected. At the Forum a list was presented with several buildings that should be protected and included:

  • Continental Building
  • Dallas Civic Arena
  • DescoTile Co.
  • 211 North Ervay
  • Gulf States
  • Juanita Building
  • LTV Building
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Statler Hilton
  • Wilson Building

Historic Buildings downtown that are currently protected with City of Dallas Landmark Structure status include:

  • Adolphus Hotel
  • Booker T. Washington H.S.
  • Busch/Kirby Building
  • Dallas High/Crozier Tech
  • Dallas Power & Light
  • Davis Building
  • Higginbothan – Bailey Building
  • Interurban Building
  • Magnolia Building
  • Majestic Theater
  • Merchantile National Bank
  • Old City Hall
  • Plaza Hotel
  • Republic Bank Tower
  • Santa Fe #1 & #2
  • Scottish Rite Cathedral
  • Union Station

The above list does not include structures within the West End Historic District or the Harwood Street Historic District as they are both City of Dallas Landmark Districts and are protected under preservation ordinances.

If you have other historic buildings downtown you would you like to see protected please contact the Preservation Dallas office.

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