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Tenth Street

Demetria McCain, president Inclusive Communities Project, speaks to the crowd gathered at the Tenth Street Historic District Thursday (Photos courtesy John R. Erickson).

Although the demolitions continue unabated in the centuries-old Freedmen’s town, residents in the Tenth Street Historic District got at least a little bit of good news Thursday morning as they gathered in one of the many vacant — yet freshly mowed — lots for an announcement.

It’s an area that hasn’t seen a lot of great news — since it was given its landmark designation by the city in 1993, 72 homes of 260 in the historic neighborhood have been torn down. The community formed the Tenth Street Residential Association to take on the city, and has filed suit to stop the demolitions and to shore up the historic protections it is supposed to have.

But Thursday, the neighborhood got a bit of a boost in its quest to improve its lot, as the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that it had named the district to its 32nd annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. (more…)

The McKinney Performing Arts Center is the launching point for many downtown festivities. A $150,000 grant could help preserve the historic building (Photos courtesy McKinney Main Street)

McKinney officials have been lobbying for a few weeks now, but time is dwindling to increase their odds of winning a $150,000 grant that will be awarded based on daily votes by the public.

But if you want to vote and haven’t, you only have two sleeps to get it done — the contest wraps up tomorrow night. (more…)

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.”

(more…)

alicia quintansIn our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Alicia Quintans

Alicia Chandler Quintans, AIA

Alicia Chandler Quintans, AIA, is an Oak Cliff-based architect, interior designer, and preservationist. She founded JQAQ Atelier in 2012, a small design firm focused on solving modern design challenges for residential and commercial projects.

She graduated from UT Arlington School of Architecture in 1991, where she met her husband Joel, a collaborative partner for JQAQ Atelier and the Creative Director for UTA.

The summer after graduating, they stayed at a professor friend’s home in Oak Cliff, and fell in love with this southern borough of Dallas. The couple found a small, 1947 minimal traditional house in Beckley Club Estates.

“After almost 25 years, the house has transformed into a laboratory for ideas,” Quintans said. “We’ve updated the kitchen and bath, installed energy-efficient features, and added a studio on the property to serve as a workshop and guesthouse. The property evolves to suit our needs and interests.”

She’s a board member of both Old Oak Cliff Conservation League and Preservation Dallas, actively assisting in educating and strengthening historic connections between local communities, neighborhoods, and the built environment.

“By learning the history and sharing stories of collective memory, we better understand the sense of place in our community and provide an emotional connection, represented in form by our built environment,” she said.

(more…)