Preservation Dallas sent out a press release tonight that references our Thursday evening panel discussion, the one that “forces” tried to deter. The press release is an inaccurate misrepresentation of that panel discussion. (Press release posted in entirety, see below.) Thankfully, we video-taped and live streamed the whole event, so readers can see and hear and decide for themselves.
I know that many people, from Preservation Dallas to Jennifer Gates, thought the panel was one-sided because we did not invite the “other side” to participate in the panel. Maybe I should have. I also know the timing was crappy because of the budget meetings a lot of Council members were having that very night. (John Jenkins couldn’t be on the panel for that reason.) But then, the City Council’s special agenda is Monday (tomorrow) at 1 p.m. I was out of town until last Monday. Thursday was the only night and the space at the original venue was limited so, I thought, let’s video this and do another panel with the “other side.”
Which I would still love to do.
But then, I thought, what is wrong with just getting information out? What is wrong with listening to other points of view even if it is “one side”? I billed this as a panel discussion, not a debate. The Mayor, like the President, has a huge bully pulpit and the “other side” has had tons of press.
I love the good folks at Preservation Dallas, and I adore Virginia McAlestar. Our historic district would not be here if it wasn’t for her. Dallas is not just lucky to have her, we owe her a lot.
With all due respect and much love, this release is taking some of the discussion from Thursday out of context.
Here’s the deal: most preservationists hate developers… and for good reason. Sometimes, quite frankly, they are idiots with no foresight or economic inclusivity. I mean, look at what developers did to State Thomas.
There is a huge fear that Don Williams, a lawyer who actually worked for one of the largest developers in the world, is going to get all land grubby with Fair Park.
In fact, a comment about land grabbing was made after our panel, by someone in the audience. The huge fear is that the entire Fair Park deal is one big rush to buy land cheap and flip it when the area gets as hot as State Thomas or Uptown.
The only entity buying real estate around Fair Park has been the State Fair of Texas.
And then I think there is the fear that someone will touch those buildings, the National Historic landmarks, the Art Deco goddesses that are, according to mayor Rawlings, the largest collection of Art Deco buildings in the U.S.
There was no talk of that Thursday night. Touch those buildings over my dead body. (more…)