neighborhoods

This railroad section house in the Dallas Heritage Village is home to an exhibit by the Dallas Mexican American Historical League, as railroad work attracted many workers of Tejano or Mexican heritage. The exhibit is part of “Neighborhoods We Called Home” — a unique collaboration. (Photos courtesy Dallas Heritage Village).

A new Dallas Heritage Village is hosting a collaborative look at the historic neighborhoods that supported the African American, Hispanic, and Jewish communities in Dallas.

The Dallas Jewish Historical Society, the Dallas Mexican American Historical League, and Remembering Black Dallas Inc. worked together to provide a look at the “Neighborhoods We Called Home,” delving as far back as early 1900s Dallas.

Each organization has curated oral histories, family memorabilia, art, fashions, and artifacts from their communities, and those collections are installed in corresponding structures at the village. Volunteers from each organization will also be on hand to act as docents for their exhibits. (more…)

christmas gifts

Stumped for last-minute gift ideas for someone on Santa’s nice list? Why not consider a membership or donation to a North Texas nonprofit in their name? It’s a thoughtful alternative to yet another gift that might sit unused or unappreciated.

Here are a few of our favorites related to Dallas history, preservation, housing, and architecture.

 

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historic windows

Evelyn Montgomery and Ron Siebler will present their knowledge on how to repair and save your older windows and keep the character and historic integrity of your home intact. Photo: Preservation Dallas

Do your historic wood windows stick, leak, rattle in the wind, or slam shut on your fingers? Ignore those advertisements for replacement windows and learn how wood windows can be repaired, saving energy and your home’s history.

Preservation Dallas is presenting an introductory workshop that will tell you why these architecturally significant historic windows should be saved, and how. Hands-on activities will teach you to replace a pane of glass, or use glazing to stabilize a loose one. You’ll also learn how to fix broken ropes and missing weights so the window will stay open, and avoid the dangers of lead paint.

“Historic wood windows are an important feature of any historic home and can last a lifetime if properly maintained,” said David Preziosi, executive director at Preservation Dallas. “They will last much longer than replacement windows and can be repaired, unlike most replacement windows. This workshop will give people and understanding of how historic windows work and how to evaluate if they can be repaired along with how to repair glazing, sash weights, and more.”

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The stately home at 4901 Live Oak was torn down by investors last year. It's just one of many that has faced that fate in Dallas.

The stately home at 4901 Live Oak was torn down by investors last year. It’s just one of many that has faced that fate in Dallas.

Preservationists in Dallas have had plenty of opportunities to get outraged in the past few years as building after building of historic significance have faced the wrecking ball and lost.

These treasures are gone forever, and this rash of destruction has inspired a reinvigorated, community-wide focus on preserving the older structures that make up part of Dallas’ vibrant and rich cultural heritage.

With that momentum, Preservation Dallas is partnering with several groups to offer a slate of free and ticketed public events, exhibits, talks, and tours for 43rd anniversary of National Preservation Month in May. The month-long observance is recognized nationwide, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Their slogan for the month is This Place Matters, an idea that resonates with many Dallas residents.

“In the past we’ve recognized it, but haven’t done a full-blown month of activities and since I’ve been here, this is the first time we’re partnering with other organizations,” said David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas. “We wanted to highlight historic preservation in Dallas, why its important, and look at all the groups who are involved and so important.”

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The Cedars

The Cedars is quickly transforming into an urban hot spot, with 11 new real estate developments in the pipeline. But how will this neighborhood just south of downtown Dallas work to capitalize on this energy?

One of Dallas’ huge strengths is its neighborhoods, and one of the most unique is downtown. Make that Downtown with a capital D. With its walkable blocks, great density, and mix of classic and modern architecture, Downtown is similar to the nearby Uptown neighborhood. But at Wednesday night’s community roundtable hosted by the Dallas Homeowners League, Downtown was commiserating and collaborating with Deep Ellum, the Cedars and the Farmers Market neighborhoods. Why so glum? All are trying to poke their heads up as residential nirvanas for a new style of living.

As Peter Simek, last night’s roundtable moderator, put it, all areas “suffered the effects of de-economization of the core in the 60s, and are now coming into their own.”

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