The legendary New York Times critic Ada Louise Huxtable once wrote “we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.” When you hear about preservation in the news, it’s often a story about a historic landmark or monument that is in danger or, in the worst cases, already has been destroyed. However, there are many organizations and individuals who stand up to protect Dallas’ historic buildings and places. Every May, Preservation Dallas holds a special event to recognize and honor those accomplishments to revitalize the city’s architectural treasures, neighborhoods, and cultural resources.
On May 16, Preservation Dallas presented its 13th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards at downtown’s historic Majestic Theatre. Ten outstanding projects were honored — ranging from a historic fire station in Oak Cliff reimagined as an outpost of Gloria’s Restaurant; to interpretive signage at Fair Park ; and the DART Police Headquarters at Illinois Station. Individuals who made important contributions to preservation were honored as well.
A special tribute to the City of Dallas also was part of the awards event. The city owns and maintains a number of historic buildings (including the Majestic Theatre and the Sammons Center for the Arts) and parks, but it also encourages reusing and restoring existing buildings and neighborhoods through its preservation services, financial incentives and the research collections at the library and municipal archives.
Congratulations to all of the award winners! Next time you have a margarita at Gloria’s, explore the art deco buildings at Fair Park, or send a package from the post office at 400 N. Ervay, take a moment to appreciate the efforts to keep those historic places a vibrant part of the city’s landscape.