This is what the 1600 block of Main Street in downtown Dallas looked like in 1909. Part of this block was razed by Headington Companies to expand their hotel. (Photo: FlashbackDallas)

This is what the 1600 block of Main Street in downtown Dallas looked like in 1909. Part of this block was razed by Headington Companies to expand their hotel. (Photo: FlashbackDallas)

I’m sure you haven’t forgotten the surprise demolition of a block’s worth of historic downtown buildings while the Cowboys played. The razing of 1611 Main and a few other beautiful old buildings on the block to make room for Headington Companies’ Joule Hotel expansion scarred many preservationists and at least one architecture critic. Pearls were clutched, and people stood aghast at the horror of it all.

And yet, there is still no solid plan to stop the wrecking balls that could take down a downtown with little to no protection. That’s part of what City Hall wants to address tomorrow.

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The yellow home at 3407 Hall Street could be demolished to make way for new construction. (Photo: Dallas Voice)

The yellow home at 3407 Hall Street could be demolished to make way for new construction. (Photo: Dallas Voice)

This situation is more akin to the Bill Murray masterpiece Groundhog Day than Dallas would like to admit. We walk along our favorite sidewalks on our regular routes in our neighborhood only to be confronted with a city notice that the structure we’ve come to know somewhat like a best friend is slated for demolition. Even worse is when we see the wrecking ball at work with little or no warning. Bonus points if it’s during a Dallas Cowboys game.

Cue the outcry.

That’s exactly what has happened to 3409 Hall St., according the the Dallas Voice. A Board of Adjustment notice was posted in front of the last original structure facing Lee Park, a cute yellow house built in 1940 that is on the tax rolls for more than $714,000.

But the crux of the matter is that demolition permits aren’t issued overnight. For many historic structures, including the ones just demolished to make room for the Joule Hotel’s expansion, the process from requesting a permit to turning a building into a rubble pile takes weeks, if not sometimes months. And not all demolitions require a public announcement

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4307 Armstrong Parkway lot

Recall our dismay at the dismantling of 4307 Armstrong Parkway, where the buyers, a Hillsborough, California couple named Williams bought the Donnally family home, tore it down to build a new home, then changed their minds about building (they bought another home in Highland Park). They put the lot back on the market for $5,595.000, exactly what they paid for it. (more…)

Maple-Corner-ViewThe Gables, UCR:  for the past couple weeks I have heard that one of Dallas’ most cherished landmarks, our very own Melrose Place,  is getting serious glances from developers who just might want to yank her down.

(I am shuddering already! They will cover every square inch of the property!)

That would be the Maple Terrace, a renown 90 year old Uptown apartment building that was one of Dallas’ first luxury residential buildings. All the Who’s Who in entertainment, design and writing have lived at the Maple Terrace at one time. Designed in 1925 by noted British architect Alfred Bossom, who also designed the Magnolia Building, the 80 unit rental building is across the street from the Stoneleigh Terrace Hotel (now a Meridian) and the new Stoneleigh condos. At the time of construction, it was the biggest use of stucco in the world — now I think Deion Sanders house is. Oh how far we have come! (more…)