Treasured Dallas buildings earn prestigious awards for preservation
It's the time of year every nicely restored building waits for: The winners have been announced for the 2016 Preservation Achievement Awards, the Oscars of the preservation world.
These awards recognize efforts to preserve historic places in Dallas, including the people and organizations who have contributed to their preservation.
The awards are sponsored by Preservation Dallas, the nonprofit group dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of the city’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places. The group solicits nominations from the public, which are evaluated by a jury of three that includes a historian, a developer, and an architect.
"It's about rewarding the hard work that these people have put into restoring the building," says Preservation Dallas director David Preziosi. Submissions come from developers, architectural firms, and public organizations.
"The Dallas Park and Recreation Department is a frequent winner, but they do a lot of good work in the parks around the city," Preziosi says.
The department made the list again this year, one of 15 winners, all of whom will be recognized at an awards reception on May 3, from 6-8:30 pm at Lee Park. Tickets are $50 for members, $85 for non-members.
These are the winners of the 2016 Preservation Achievement Awards:
Cannon’s English Village, 1314 Davis St.
Opposed by residential neighbors when it was built in 1922, the English Village (adopting Cannons' for the five cent and dollar store) continued declining the last several decades. Working through the Landmark Commission with the Winnetka Heights Historic District, the project breathes new life as residential over retail and the owners now live above their restoration.
Caruth Homeplace Curing Shed, 5500 Caruth Haven Ln.
The center point of one of the oldest and largest farmsteads in Dallas, the Caruth Homeplace and its curing shed were an integral part of daily operations. With its salt-cured "fuzzy wood" interior and meat storage racks, the history of this significant out building can be felt.
Continental Avenue Bridge Park, 109 Continental Ave.
Obsolete for automobile traffic purposes against the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Continental Avenue is the first bridge in Dallas to adopt international re-purposing as a park. Travelers on the bridge now leave their cars behind to take advantage of the park’s many amenities, including its front-row seats for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
Dallas Fire Station No. 3 (Dallas Firefighters Museum), 3801 Parry Ave.
Beginning as Fire Station No. 3 (and later No. 5) in 1907, the oldest hook and ladder company station in Dallas housed the veterinarian clinic and stalls for the fire department’s carriage horses. New life as the Firefighters Museum was the catalyst for a complete façade restoration, taking the building back to its turn-of-the-century beauty.
Lone Star Gas Lofts, 301 South Harwood St.
The Lofts incorporate four re-adapted buildings, with the crown jewel being the 1931 art deco building and its 1924 sister, both designed by Lang & Witchell. The reactivation of this entire downtown city block helps create a foot traffic connector to several ancillary downtown areas, furthering our urban core’s growth.
LTV Tower, 155 Elm St.
Constructed in 1964 as the Ling-Temco-Vought headquarters, with a 28-floor tower perched upon a wider five-floor base, this midcentury icon’s design was perfectly adaptable for contemporary residences and hotel rooms. The fifth-floor and 33rd-floor rooftop pools offer breathtaking views in the heart of the city.
McFarlin Auditorium at SMU
Decades of insensitive updates, renovations, and paint jobs left the 1926 auditorium nearly unrecognizable. Peeling away layers of paint and the recreation of key elements, in addition to special task lighting, has brought the auditorium back to its original opulence.
MKT Depot and Flatcar at Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 South Harwood St.
The depot, originally built as the Fate, Texas, depot and the MKT railroad flatcar landed at Dallas Heritage Village to become one of the organization’s many period vignettes. The careful restoration of both items helps create a realistic picture of the days when trains moved passengers, mail, and freight around Texas and the nation.
Renner Methodist Church Bell (Farmers Branch Historical Park), 2540 Farmers Branch Ln.
Church bells brought communities together, and this one from 1898 continues to do so. It was restored and united with its original church building in a historical park. For whom the bell tolls is determined by those lucky parkgoers around to hear the graceful tones once again emitted from this cast steel giant.
211 North Ervay (Alto 211)
The restoration of this once-endangered aqua blue downtown icon has reinvigorated a key intersection and continues its story as the largest base for startup companies in the city. Discovery of the original aqua tile band circling the building only added to the whimsical reuse, demonstrating history does repeat itself.
Liberty Bank Building, 600 South Harwood St.
Completely relocated from a roadway expansion, this bank was disassembled and rebuilt to help breathe new life into the exploding Farmers Market. Now, safely set among historic peers, the building continues into its second century of bringing community together under a new guise.
Woolworth Building, 1520 Elm St.
A 62-foot balcony was the cleverest expansion on one of the oldest “high-rises” in Dallas’ urban core, activating a human space that did not previously exist. Nightlife has always followed since its 1882 inception as “Drinker’s Street” and now Stone Street has a new meaning, which is great to watch from the balcony.
Perry House, 307 North Winnetka
This lean-to 1913 Craftsman bungalow would most likely have been a tear-down in most parts of the city, but in the Winnetka Heights Historic District, things are done with appreciation for Dallas’ built history. Under the very watchful eye of neighbors, exterior elements were restored or replicated, which helped bring the home’s romanticism back.
315 North Montclair
New construction in an historic district receives layers of scrutiny until the structure is deemed appropriate for the context in which it will sit. This two-story Craftsman emulates the perfect combination required for modern conveniences in a house destined to stand the test of time with its century-old house siblings.
Wyatt House, 6001 Swiss Ave.
The restoration of this 1927 home made it a gem once again, set among the most recognizable estate houses in Dallas. Contributing to the Historic District, the home’s restoration continues the streetscape we have all come to know and love.