City News Roundup

A peek at renovation plans for historic downtown Dallas building and more city news

A peek at reno plans for downtown Dallas building and more city news

Dallas High School
Development is being plotted for Dallas High School in downtown Dallas. Merriman Assoc.

Because it was a holiday week, Dallas City Hall was quiet. But there was neighborhood news, high school news, and rain. Lots and lots of rain. Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

Trinity cresting
Three days of heavy rain put the Trinity River in flood mode, for the second time in 2015. Since Thanksgiving Day, the Dallas area has received anywhere from 6 to 9.6 inches of rain. The Trinity River rose above 40 feet at Dallas, and at least one person has died.

With more than 9 inches of rain for the month and 58 inches for the year, our total numbers have broken many records. This has spurred many things, including road closures, a voluntary evacuation in southeast Dallas County, and some droll observations about the wisdom of building a toll road.

"It's like the river knows that there are some fools that want to use its land to build a road, and is trying to send a message," says one observer.

"I'm pretty sure this is God's idea of an IQ test for city officials," says another.

Dallas Executive Airport expansion
On December 9, the Dallas City Council will vote on a master plan for expansion of the Dallas Executive Airport. This is the former Redbird Airport, six miles southwest of downtown.

The plan took four years, two town hall meetings, and 12 meetings with a public advisory committee to craft. The public advisory committee requested a green space at the north side of the airport, to buffer noise. Noise monitors are scheduled to be installed by the end of the year.

The plan calls for a runway extension to allow for safer landings and takeoffs. Following approval by the city council, the plan will be reviewed by the FAA and the Texas Department of Transportation.

Dallas High School rehab
The developer renovating the iconic Dallas High School building in downtown Dallas offered a preview of the project to the city's Urban Design Peer Review Panel on November 20. The proposal included restaurants, bars, a patio, and what developer Matthews Southwest described as "a unique food component."

The renovation includes offices, a hotel, and a parking structure. Construction hasn't begun, but they're cleaning up the building. Courtesy of Robert Wilonsky, the entire presentation can be found here.

Neighborhood clues
If you like learning the backstory of Dallas neighborhoods, check out the Interpretive Typology of Dallas Neighborhood Names. This report touches on the history of neighborhood names such as Junius Heights and looks at the sometimes silly nuances of names such as "manor" and "estate."

It comes from Building Community (BC) Workshop, a Texas-based nonprofit that also produced Out of Deepwood, a documentary about the Trinity River Audubon Center and its roots as an illegal dump.