Spotlight on Community
Urban Renewal Is Good For Business, Too!
One of our favorite organizations in the DFW area is Preservation Dallas. Without them the entire Metroplex might be turned into rows of glass boxes and modern homes. The organization loves glass boxes and modern homes too, but not at the expense of the architectural gems of yesteryear which can be found throughout Dallas. Those of us out here in Rockwall County may live outside the Dallas City limits, but many of us consider ourselves Dallasites and we are thrilled with the work of Preservation Dallas. We think you should join!
One of the benefits of being a member of Preservation Dallas is their monthly Intown Outings. They get members inside beautiful examples of architecture throughout the city of Dallas - some that might just be unfamiliar and others that we'd never get into without our membership. In February, the Intown Outing was at the Old Dallas High School on Bryan Street.
The beautiful Neo-Classical building (Photo from dmagazine.com) has sat empty for many years. During some of those years it was the subject of conflict, because the owner of the property did not want it to be officially designated as a historical site. He wanted to sell it to someone who was going to tear it down build a glass box. Enter Preservation Dallas and many, many, many concerned citizens.
Eventually, the battle was won and the gorgeous old building was saved, but now what were they going to do with it? Most old buildings like it are turned into residential spaces; but the developer had a different vision for the space and he found the perfect tenant, one that embraced his vision - the architectural firm of Perkins + Will.
Even though the weather was horrid and the traffic almost as bad on Tuesday evening, we joined Preservation Dallas for an Intown Outing at Old Dallas High School. The transformation of the space is remarkable, especially considering how much of the original features of the building they were able to utilize.
It's great for an architectural firm to be housed in such a wonderful old building, re-purposed with such imagination. Even though the meeting didn't begin until 6:30 there were still many employees there, creating new spaces for their clients. We were allowed to wonder throughout the building. The Perkins + Will offices are humming and other spaces are ready and under construction, waiting for their new tenants.
As we wandered through the building, on one of the lower floors we found a pair of glass cases surrounded by, well lets just say some Baby Boomers. They had been students of Crozier Tech, a DISD high school once housed in the building. The developer had saved many pieces of memorabilia found onsite and made it a home in the glass cases to preserve the memories of what the building had once been. These Baby Boomers were thrilled to be inside their old alma mater and to see the items that had been saved.
Enjoy these photos we took of the interior.