Dallas Delays Controversial Downtown Demolitions
Architecture critic Mike Lamster compares what's happening in Dallas to New York's 1964 demolition of the old Pennsylvania Station. "When it was razed, and then replaced with a lifeless office tower and a subterranean rats-nest for commuters, the public finally began to grasp what it had been losing in the name of progress."
A year ago, Lamster reports, "developer Tim Headington began demolition of a series of century-old downtown buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places [...] That outrage prompted Mayor Mike Rawlings to form the Downtown Historic Preservation Task Force."
Recently, acting on the Task Force's recommendation, "City Council has approved a demolition delay ordinance that will place a 10-day moratorium on razings to allow for review by the city's Landmarks Commission, which can halt proceedings further if a property is determined to be of historic significance."
Despite the ordinance's limits, Lamster writes that it is sorely needed in a city that often replaces classic buildings with something bigger, but not necessarily better.