The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League has added a beautiful Church building located at the corner of Kiest and Polk at 1010 West Kiest Blvd. (diagonally across from the Barbara Jordan Elementary School and across from the Kiest Polk Shopping Village) to its “Architecture at Risk” List.
The Church building is architecturally and culturally significant. It was designed by renowned Dallas architect George Dahl in 1953 as Church of the Master, Evangelical and Reformed Church serving a congregation of German/Swiss Immigrants of Oak Cliff who came to Texas by way of Galveston.
George Dahl also designed the Titche-Goettinger Building, Hillcrest State Bank, The Dallas Morning News building, Southwestern Life building, LTV Aerospace Center and the Dallas Public Library. He also designed the Art Deco buildings of Fair Park while he oversaw planning and construction of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. The church building has served as a church for 62 years and has also been home to Kiest/Polk School and daycare. The site features mature live oaks, magnolia and other native Texas trees.
Six months ago the church building was purchased by an Irving resident who has filed a change of zoning request to change the zoning on the property from multi-family zoning to office – retail zoning. When contacted, the owner’s representative said the new owner intends to tear the building down and clear the site if zoning change is granted, possibly within a few days. The owner’s representative would not comment as to what will be built on the site once its cleared. Of course, the concern is that the quiet, landscaped corner holding an important community structure will be paved over to become yet another retail strip center.
The original Dahl designed church building, with its specially designed features is intact; the building could continue to serve as a church or be repurposed to serve as a small school, a daycare or even an office building. I have been to restaurants that were once churches. Clearly, there is no need to yank this structure down!
The hearing was originally schedule for today, but has been postponed to 1/7/16. The new owner is trying to rezone to WMU-3 instead of CR as originally planned, which caused the delay. City Plan Commission Public hearing for the zoning change will be held on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm in the Horseshoe at Dallas City Hall.
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