newspaper

The former New York Daily News printing press building in Brooklyn, New York, became Newswalk, luxury condos, in 2002.

It’s been a month and a day since it was announced that Ray Washburne’s Charter DMN Holdings had purchased the former Dallas Morning News headquarters on Young Street. 

Known by many as the “Rock of Truth” because of the words etched on the front, Washburne’s company purchased the campus for $28 million, paying $5.6 million in cash paid today at closing, and a two-year promissory note for the remaining $22.4 million.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

At the time, nobody knew for certain what Washburne intended for the building, although he had said he valued the George Dahl-designed building and would work it into any plans he had.

We reached out Saturday, and Washburne told us that while he knew what he was going to do with the structure, he wasn’t ready to divulge.

But since we’ve taken a look at how architects and developers have reimagined old churches, abandoned malls, and mothballed schools, we thought, why not talk about what you can do with an old newspaper building.

Now, first things first. The building sits on what could be (depending on what goes on near the old Reunion Arena site and other spots nearby) quite the downtown hot spot. So whatever Washburne has up his very experienced sleeve will, of course, take that into consideration.

Today’s exercise, however, is just to take a peek at what fate has befallen other empty ink-stained environs across the country, and try to imagine what could be.  (more…)

 

mall

Photos courtesy Northeast Collaborative Architects

We’ve talked before about what can be done with mothballed schools, and decommissioned churches. But the closure of Collin Creek Mall in Plano this week gave rise to another question: What could be done with an old mall?

After all, many analysts believe the number of shuttered malls will only grow.

“There are still about 1,100 malls in the U.S. today, but a quarter of them are at risk of closing over the next five years, according to estimates from Credit Suisse,” Josh Sanburn wrote in Time magazine in 2017. “Other analysts predict the number will be even higher.” (more…)

church

Finegold Alexander Architects turned this 18th-century church into a 30-unit condo development that marries the modern and the historic (photo courtesy Finegold Alexander Architects).

It all started in a Facebook group: Someone asked about the status of the now-dormant Oak Cliff United Methodist Church in a group devoted to Dallas history.

“Anybody know what’s going on with this place?” the group member asked. “I’ve been driving by it daily on the way to my school and just watching it deteriorate daily. So sad. They can’t tear it down, thankfully.”

Several people commented on deterioration, including one person who shared photos of broken windows and an interior that is exposed to the elements. Another noted that it appeared as if the building was in the process of being boarded up. (more…)

mothballed

A vestibule at the Douglass at Page Woodson, which recently won a prestigious preservation award after developers turned into a long-abandoned Oklahoma City high school into affordable housing (Photo by Justin Clemons Photography/courtesy the National Trust for Historic Preservation)

Three Dallas ISD schools — shuttered for years, are now up for sale, the district announced last month. It’s uncertain how much they’ll go for in the competitive, sealed bidding process, but one of the mothballed schools — Phillis Wheatley Elementary — is considered to be a historic site.

That the three schools are up for sale is likely no surprise to anyone who paid attention to last September’s board of trustees meeting, where the trustees took up discussion of what to do with three shuttered campuses – the former Billy Earl Dade building, Pearl C. Anderson Elementary, and Phillis Wheatley Elementary. Both Wheatley and Anderson were closed in 2012, and both have been the target of vandals as well.

Wheatley Elementary (Photos courtesy City of Dallas)

Wheatley Elementary opened in 1929, and sits in the historic Wheatley Place neighborhood, named after Phillis Wheatley, an African-American poet from the 18th century. The entire neighborhood has been designated as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and as a Dallas Landmark District by the city. (more…)