Writer Paula Bosse and her social media brainchild, Flashback: Dallas, are 2019 recipients of the Preservation Education Award, which was presented by Preservation Dallas at its 20th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards.

No one is more deserving of this recognition. As a lifelong Dallas resident and history junkie, Bosse brilliantly developed her own eclectic brand for sharing local lore by launching her Flashback: Dallas blog in 2014. Consequently, she is continually raising awareness of regional history.

“Last time I checked the numbers, I had over 10,000 followers across various social media platforms and had surpassed 1 million page views of the blog,” Bosse said. “Those might not be earthshaking numbers in terms of internet-reach, but it’s pretty amazing to me. Who would have thought that many people would be interested in what is, let’s face it, a fairly esoteric topic?”

Presentation is everything. Despite Bosse’s well-researched and cited work, there is nothing esoteric about her writings. Between her conversational writing style, storytelling talent, and often quirky humor, Bosse has the innate ability to make history informative-yet-entertaining to a vast reading audience.

Bosse paints history with a broad brush. In the past five years, she has published about 1,000 online articles covering a wide scope of historical topics – ranging from buildings, businesses, and events to people, houses, and neighborhoods.

“Really, if it’s somehow related to Dallas and it happened before the 1970s, [which is] my arbitrary cut-off time period, it’s something I might write about,” Bosse said.

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History ran deep in Jack and Kate LaGere’s 1928 Park Cities Tudor. For Kate, an art history major, the home’s past ran even deeper.

Though the couple wasn’t purposely house hunting when they spotted the “For Sale” sign in the yard, they had discussed purchasing a historic home and knew exactly what they wanted. Aside from a nearby elementary school and park for their three young children, the LaGeres envisioned their historic dream home as a place they could preserve and restore to accommodate their art collection and family’s modern lifestyle.

Since the Tudor was across the street from Kate’s old elementary school, the location was ideal. After seeing the sprawling interior of the house and engaging their imaginations, they checked preservation and restoration off their wish list and embarked on their journey.

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tenth street historic district resource center

It’s North Texas Giving Day and one project is looking to preserve the history and celebrate the present-day residents of the Tenth Street Historic District of Dallas. 

During Reconstruction after the Civil War, many emancipated slaves created communities together. Most of these Freedmen’s towns have been torn down or changed beyond recognition over the years, but Dallas has one of the only remaining intact ones in the nation. 

Located in Oak Cliff, this is the Tenth Street Historic District, a designation created in 1993 by the city of Dallas to help preserve African-American culture in this vital area, which has 257 homes, four commercial buildings, three institutional structures, and one cemetery. Other designations include Dallas Landmark District, National Register of Historic Places, and State Historic Marker Program. This area’s preservation is a big deal.    

During North Texas Giving Day, nonprofit Building Community Workshop, known as BC Workshop, is fundraising to help renovate the house above to create a resource for the community, the Tenth Street Neighborhood Resource Center. 

“Our goal is to renovate, keeping it true to historical character and working with residents to create a resource center, staffed by someone from [BC Workshop] and providing information about things like how to apply for permits to do renovations in this historic neighborhood, and answer questions, learn and share back with residents,” said Lizzie MacWillie, Associate Director of Dallas office of BC Workshop. “The place could be available for community meetings, art shows, performances…poetry slams, musical performances that celebrate and elevate the celebrate the neighborhood.” 

MacWillie emphasizes that this is all about creating what the residents want, not what an outside group thinks would be best for residents.  

“We wouldn’t be doing any of this without residents,” she said. 

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The Donley County Courthouse

 
There are two things in Texas that are assuredly going to capture my mother’s attention — a historic marker sign and a county courthouse. The third, a close follow-up, is a historic cemetery, but who doesn’t find those inscriptions interesting? If you’re a Texas history buff and a lover of architecture, then Preservation Dallas’ next Summer Sizzler event is one you don’t want to miss.
 

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preservation issues for dallas

In 2015, the gorgeous Bud Oglesby-designed home at 10300 Strait Ln. was razed, one of many architecturally significant structures demolished in Dallas in recent years.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed the destruction of many Dallas historic buildings over the past several years. From the Bud Oglesby-designed home at 10300 Straight Ln. and the Trammell Crow Estate to the razing of an entire block of century-old buildings in downtown Dallas as part of the Joule’s expansion plans, it’s been brutal. And it’s nothing new — Dallas historic building have been biting the dust for decades in the name of new construction.

But perhaps the tides are changing. The last two decades have brought a huge shift in historic preservation across the country and in North Texas. People are more interest in the environment around them, both old and new, particularly in how buildings, landscapes, and places impact their lives.

Today, Dallas citizens are able to be increasingly involved in the decision-making processes that determines what their surroundings look like and how it will affect them. Preservation issues for Dallas are getting noticed by some leaders.

Though much progress has been made in the city, it’s got a long way to go. Updated and improved tools are needed to guide future development and preservation efforts.

A panel next week will examine how our city can make informed decisions to create a good foundation on which to build a better future.

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Elbow Room
by Cody Neathery
Special Contributor

Texas A&M University has released a statement explaining why they may be seeking eminent domain (as a last resort) to elbow out The Elbow Room: to protect the taxpayers of Texas and help eliminate the shortage of dental care providers in the state… yeah, there is a shortage, they say:

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY STATEMENT REGARDING COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY EMINENT DOMAIN

As a public institution, we are committed to serving Texans and making judicious use of the money we receive from taxpayers. This has been our guiding philosophy throughout our negotiations regarding the property currently occupied by the Elbow Room.

The expansion of our dental school, which was approved by the Legislature in 2015, will enable us to better serve Texans, especially those in need, in the Dallas region and beyond. As a result of these new facilities, our capacity for patient visits, which currently number approximately 100,000 per year, is expected to increase by up to 40 percent. Additionally, there is a shortage of dental health care providers in the state of Texas. Our goal in increasing the dental school’s enrollment is to train more dentists while maintaining our position as the nation’s most diverse dental school, so that we can close the dental health care gap and ensure that Texas residents have access to the best and brightest oral health professionals in their own communities throughout the state.

In January, conscious of the importance of protecting the taxpayers who support us, we began negotiations with the property owner. We believed and continue to believe that an offer of fair market value would be fair to the property owner and consistent with our obligations to Texans. (more…)

Elbow Room

By Cody Neathery
Special Contributor

Another beloved Dallas dive bar in an historic East Dallas building could be on the edge of extinction. An East Dallas favorite, The Elbow Room, sits in the path of a bulldozer meant to make room for a new dental school owned by Texas A&M University.

Like a tough warrior on his last leg, this old building has survived a last stand before. According to new owner, Rosalie Nagy, three years ago the bar shuttered because of tax issues from prior ownership. Edward Sigmond was forced to close, although allowed to file for bankruptcy to retain the building under an entity other than a bar, says Nagy. That’s when she and husband Joe, longtime customers, swooped in to save this drinkery, one of the last remaining historic dives Dallas has to offer.

But the situation now mirrors an incomplete puzzle of legal woes and real estate rights. (more…)

1010 W Kiest copy

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. (more…)