Fresh on the heels of a shot over the bow from its Swiss Avenue neighbors, the Aldredge House has made Preservation Dallas’ 2015 list of “Most Endangered Historic Places.” This is not unlike the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League‘s annual “Architecture At Risk” campaign, which highlights homes and businesses with significant historic or design qualities that could be toppled at a moment’s notice.
Dormant since 2010, Preservation Dallas decided to resurrect the “Most Endangered” list to highlight a few well-known edifices either in danger of being razed or of having the history renovated out of them. The Aldredge House topped this year’s list.
Located in the city’s first residential historic district, the Aldredge House is one of architect Hal Thomson’s most important works built in the French Eclectic style with elegant Renaissance detailing. Completed in 1917 for rancher William Lewis and wife Willie Newbury, it quickly passed to local banker George Aldredge and his wife Rena Munger in 1921. It stayed in the family until Rena generously donated it to the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance in 1974 to use as its headquarters. The nonprofit has taken up the mantle of preserving and maintaining Aldredge House, which even includes some of the original furnishings. The house is one of the few properties in Dallas where the historic integrity has not been compromised and in many ways serves as an opportunity for visitors to step back in time. While the house is not threatened with demolition, it is threatened by the removal of its city permission to hold events at the house which allows the public access to one of the most wonderful historic interiors in Dallas and helps the nonprofit generate the funds necessary to maintain this historic gem. If the permission is revoked, the house will most likely have to be sold, closing it to the public and subjecting the highly intact historic interiors to modernization.
Other notable structures on the list include the Cabana Hotel, the Forest Theater, and the Salvation Army building.