Danger in Downtown Dallas

Preservation Texas, a foundation that works to maintain important historical sites through education, communication and advocacy, officially added Downtown Dallas to the list of Most Endangered Cities in Texas on Oct. 15. This list consists of cities that have endured increasing losses of historic places due to development pressures.

Members of Preservation Texas held a press conference on Oct. 22 to make an official announcement that they will be adding Dallas to this list. The conference was held in a special location on the 1600 Block of Elm Street, where a company known as Headington razed multiple century-old buildings to make way for the expansion of new commercial facilities.

The announcement is a direct result of the recent demolition of five historical structures that were in the Dallas Downtown Historical District; these buildings had great significance and were placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

This is an eye opener and encouragement to work on preserving Downtown Dallas in the future. Preservation Texas reassures the community that the group is not suggesting that the city’s decline will occur anytime soon. Instead, the foundation is working to notify the Dallas City Council and the community of the potential consequences that can result from disregarding the importance of preserving the history of the city.

Charlene Orr, the group’s president, has notified the public that Preservation Texas hopes to maintain the history of Downtown Dallas, but also to save the jobs of preservation workers who will be negatively impacted if frequent demolitions are continued. If the city council cuts back on these reformations, Preservation Texas states that it hopes that Downtown Dallas will be able to continue to thrive while also maintaining its roots.

– Heidi Kim