City News Roundup

Preservation notches wins and more heroic tales in Dallas news

Preservation notches wins and more heroic tales in Dallas news

Browder house
The Victorian-era "Browder House" gets saved. Photo courtesy of Homeward Bound

The conversation in Dallas this week centered on debates about what we should do with the things we have: Fair Park, a Victorian home, and the Meadows building. These were the top stories in Dallas news:

Future of Fair Park
On January 26, there was more talk about what to do with Fair Park at a panel discussion hosted by the Dallas Architecture Forum. The level of interest is high; the event drew a full house.

Comments from attendees, including those who live in the surrounding neighborhood, wondered why it is gated off to the public. Opening it to the public is a painful reminder of the deteriorating condition of the buildings; renovation will require big money. Its sole user, the State Fair of Texas, isn't much help, but people have ideas such as a blues festival or children's programs.

Mayor Mike Rawlings is promoting the idea of privatizing it, which will be on the agenda at a discussion on February 8, from 5-7 pm, in the Hall of State at Fair Park, Margaret and Al Hill Lecture Hall.

Old house saved
Time Warner Cable comes to the rescue on the Victorian home off 30 near the Ramada Plaza Hotel it was planning to demolish. Take that, U-Verse! Time Warner will pay to move the house to another location, described by Landmark Commission director Katherine Seale as the "perfect fit." She won't yet reveal which benevolent developer is providing the land — so coy — but his or her identity will be revealed at the Landmark Commission meeting on February 1 at 1 pm. Such mystery, such intrigue, who could it be.

Meadows building
That Landmark Commission meeting is going to be a hot event, because also in attendance will be GlenStar Properties, the new owners of the Meadows Building, off 75 near Lovers Lane. GlenStar will explain why it is a good idea and not a bad one to demolish the two-story annexed portion of the building, in order to make room for a driveway.

According to an email from a GlenStar representative, the integrity of the Meadows Building complex has been considerably diminished over the last 25 years, most evident in the annex building. The company says the demolition of the building is part of a program of "thoughtful restoration and preservation."

$25 BlackBerry
A January 22 audit found that the city does not follow appropriate procedures when it comes to outgoing council members and the stuff they take with them when they go. In the most recent graduating class, some left owing money, others left with electronics and furniture they got at a cut-rate deal.

At the time of the audit, Tennell Atkins and Vonciel Jones Hill left office with water bills pending, and Sheffie Kadane still owed $837.14 in property taxes. (Everything's paid up now.) Vonciel got off with a BlackBerry for $25, and Jerry Allen scored an iPad 3, for which the audit could find no record of payment at all.