A playground in the middle of a pedestrian street in Historic Downtown Boulder, Colorado, is only this desolate at 8 a.m. on a Sunday. Photo by Staff

The recent D Magazine special edition on Walkable New Urbanism has us all thinking about how Dallas could, or will game this trend. As real estate and design professionals, we all have an opinion, and likely some education we paid good money on for this topic. It’s not, however, easy to see where our skills translate to “making a difference.”

Cue the American Institute for Architecture and their “Architecture On Tap” series. Last month’s event focused on how we can go about impacting our communities, with a panel of experts to discuss: Zaida Basora, VP of Huitt Zollar and former Assistant Director of Public Works at the City of Dallas; John Hetzel, real estate broker with Madison Partners and Deep Ellum Foundation Board Member; and Evan Sheets, Senior Planner with the City of Dallas Design Studio.

From this diverse group of professionals we heard one rallying call: Show up.

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When you design a building, what’s the first thing you think about? Is it scale? Is it use? Is it presence? 

What about how the building and the way it is designed is part of a larger goal of engaging a community? All of these questions and more can be discussed at the next AIA Dallas summer happy hour panel, “Designing in Active Voice: Avenues for Professional Advocacy.”

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The AIA Dallas Tour of Homes will feature a custom design by Maestri Studio.

It’s the only architect-curated home tour in Dallas, and if you are eager for inspiration, these eye-catching, trend-making, and heart-stopping designs on the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes this weekend will do the trick. Personally, we can’t wait to see the gorgeous Texas Hill Country contemporary in Forest Hills designed by Maestri Studio. Of course, there are six more beautiful, ground-breaking designs and renovations that show off the diversity of architectural design in our city. We’re certain that you’ll fall in love at least twice. 

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet for this weekend’s tour, AIA Dallas has graciously given us two pairs of tickets to give away to our readers. Your chance to win is after the jump!

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Designed by Maestri Studio, this stunning contemporary in Forest Hills offers bright and open entertaining. (Photos: Aaron Dougherty Photography)

When it comes to residential architecture, our city is just lousy with incredibly designed homes thanks to our stacked lineup of talented Dallas architects. And like any house porn addict, we here at CandysDirt.com look forward to the annual AIA Dallas Tour of Homes with excitement, as there’s no faster way to induce heavy breathing among us than with high design and risk-taking concepts come to life. 

This year, the sole architect-curated home tour doesn’t disappoint. With seven incredible houses ranging between 2,700 and more than 6,000 square feet, you can get a taste and feel for the modern and contemporary residential architecture of Big D, from Forest Hills to Preston Hollow and beyond. 

One of our hands-down favorites on this year’s tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29, is a beautiful, warm contemporary with a touch of the Texas Hill Country vernacular on a beautiful lot in Forest Hills from Maestri Studio. Unlike many more traditionally styled homes in the neighborhood, Santa Clara offers front yard living with huge glass walls that open the home’s interior to the neighborhood. 

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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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2017 Fellows (clockwise): Marcia Ascanio, Bob Borson, John Hutchings, Lisa Lamkin, and Michael Malone

2017 Fellows (clockwise): Marcia Ascanio, Bob Borson, John Hutchings, Lisa Lamkin, Michael Malone, and Marcela Abadi Rhoads

Six Dallas architects are among the 178 American Institute of Architects (AIA) members to be elevated  to the College of Fellows. The prestigious, merit-based honor is awarded by a jury of peers to those who have achieved professional excellence and made significant contributions to architecture and to society as a whole. Dallas professionals continue to be well-represented in the College of Fellows.

“We are proud to have a higher percentage of Fellows here in Dallas than elsewhere around the country. It speaks to quality of our members, who are enhancing the quality of life through their practices – both here and around the world,” said Jan Blackmon, FAIA, executive director of AIA Dallas. “With honorees ranging from sports and education facility specialists, to accessibility experts, to communicators sharing a love of architecture with new audiences, the 2017 class of AIA Fellows highlights the diversity of talent and expertise of our Dallas architectural community.”

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backday

The Casa View Cliff May Home Tour will feature seven beautifully remodeled midcentury modern homes in East Dallas. (Photo: ScottReeseVisials.com)

You may be thrilled about pumpkin-flavored everything to hit the shelves, but us here at CandysDirt.com are over the moon about the return of fall home tour season. Yes, we’ll still hit up a Starbucks for our annual pumpkin spice latte, but nothing quite says “autumn is here!” to us like traipsing through other people’s homes with those weird little hospital booties on.

To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of can’t miss home tours for this fall. It skews heavily toward midcentury modern and covers quite a bit of territory:

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aiacedars[1]

Tragically, not every project that an architect designs makes its way from concept to reality. Truly, some of the most ground-breaking work that architects do never break ground. However, these designs and concepts deserve recognition, and that’s just what the AIA Dallas Unbuilt Awards will do.

This year’s pop-up exhibition tomorrow, April 28, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. is hosted by Lofty Spaces at 816 Montgomery in the Cedars. You can check out the gallery of unbuilt designs and cast your ballot on your favorites while meeting and mingling with the show’s jurors. Admission is $15 for AIA Dallas members and $20 for the general public.

Jump for more!

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