Last week, the Dallas Heritage Village announced that it was closing the Blum House indefinitely until it could be repaired and rehabbed, causing a flurry of questions — and rumors — about the organization and the state of the Blum House and the other structures at the Old City Park that comprise the museum.
We sat down for a lengthy interview with DHV executive director Melissa Prycer to talk about the state of the Blum House, the intricacies of caring for historic structures, and how the organization’s funding has changed since its inception.
CandysDirt: Unlike your run-of-the-mill home that needs maintenance, these homes are museum pieces and have to be maintained and rehabbed differently. Is that where the bigger price tag comes in to play?
Prycer: “Yes absolutely. So this is true of every structure at Dallas Heritage Village. We can’t buy anything off the shelf. So whenever we are replacing wood, generally speaking, we’re having that specially milled. And you know we’ve got a great relationship with Davis-Hawn Lumber, and they do provide a discount, but they still do you know, charge us — it costs them money too. There are a lot of misconceptions about historic preservation, but I think the biggest one is that we can just go to Home Depot to get, say, the siding for one of our historic homes.
Even the really basic lumber is not going to be the right dimensions to match what is there. So then when you have a house like the Blum House with a lot of really intricate gingerbread work and of course each of those porch spindles is fancy it adds up. And the other thing is that the roof is metal shingles which interlock, and they’re not super common. (more…)