The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture — launched its new digs at Republic Center to go with its new name Dec. 8. (Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA)

There’s a new spot for your architecture and design fix in downtown Dallas from a source you’ll recognize. The AD EX — formerly the Dallas Center for Architecture and short for The Architecture and Design Exchange — had its official launch on Saturday, Dec. 8. The organization held the celebration with Downtown Dallas Inc. and the Better Block Foundation in its new digs located at Republic Center, which is near Thanks-Giving Square. Even with the new name and location, the Ad Ex will have the same great programming, including diverse exhibits, weekly free Lunch Learning Sessions, and guided architecture tours.

If you’re already intrigued, you can stop by between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with late and weekend hours of 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Photo: Craig D. Blackmon, FAIA

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Dallas Center for Architecture is Now AD EX with Newly Expanded Vision, Location | CandysDirt.com

The Dallas Center for Architecture has changed its name and expanded its vision, moving to a new location in downtown Dallas and setting its sights on being an integral part of the community. 

DCFA is now AD EX, shorthand for The Architecture and Design Exchange. They are taking new roost in the historic midcentury architectural icon Republic Center with the goal of being both a physical space and mechanism for spurring conversation about walkability, mobility, historic preservation, affordable housing, economic development, and other civic challenges related to architecture and urban design that impact the city. 

“Building on the momentum created over the past ten years, we look forward to AD EX becoming a critical force in an ever-growing conversation on the design and livability of our cities,” says Jan Blackmon, FAIA, executive director of The Architecture and Design Foundation and AIA Dallas. “We believe this storefront space in the middle of a new epicenter for downtown will give us opportunities to reach new audiences. Our hope is that AD EX will inspire our community to see its surroundings differently and imagine new possibilities for design as a solution.”

AD EX’s street-level location in the dense urban core of Dallas and adjacency to downtown’s next planned public park, Pacific Plaza, is intended to break down barriers and facilitate informal exchange of ideas about design and architecture. Its interior space, outside terrace, open floorplan, and floor-to-ceiling windows will showcase design-focused exhibitions, films, book and panel discussions, student workshops, policy symposia, and other programming. 

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Council Member Gates enjoying a cuppa with constituents

Top Pot, a name that might evoke the hopes of an herb-aceous electorate, is alas just a coffee and “hand-forged” donut shop at the edge of Preston Hollow. Begun in Seattle, the city of coffee’s rebirth, there are three locations in Dallas. I wonder if Dallas leadership called out Top Pot for a “just like home” vibe in their Amazon HQ2 bid?

I was there at the crack of 9 a.m. on Saturday to attend a drop-in chat session hosted by the Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association (PHEHA). Council member Jennifer Gates was their special guest. Unlike more formal settings, this meeting was literally coffee and donuts, no set speech or presentation. It was an avenue for local residents to have a low-key interaction with their council person to discuss whatever was on their minds.  Think of it as a cocktail party with caffeine and crullers instead of champagne and caviar. I’m sure other council members do this too, I’ve just never been invited.

Gates handled queries ranging from the city’s homeless problem to more local issues including neighborhood walkability, and, of course the PD-15 circus.

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Isn't this a great shot?

4710 Dexter Avenue – brownstone townhome Cowtown style (photos: Trey Freeze Media)

Isn’t it interesting that newer homes that look and feel like older, classically designed homes sell faster and for more money than homes that have no real architectural value or distinction?

Did you know that a brownstone townhome, when used in the urban residential vernacular, doesn’t technically mean the home is made of brown stone?  A wise person once told me to “learn something new every single day.”  A brownstone townhome can be made of brick or stucco of any color and still have the architectural resemblance of the townhomes built in New York City in the 1800s.

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DHLbootcamp2015

A week ago, I had the opportunity to attend the 17th annual Neighborhood Boot Camp, which is offered by the Dallas Homeowners League. It was my first time to attend, but I have to say – it’s a must for anyone who has had trouble getting help from City Hall in the past – or who belongs to a neighborhood association or crime watch.

The morning was chock-a-block full of useful information from the beginning panel discussion moderated by the Dallas Morning News‘ Robert Wilonsky (panel members included Monte Anderson, Patrick Kennedy and Wick Allison), to the workshops after covering things like navigating City Hall, defining a strong neighborhood, adapting to change in neighborhoods, supporting and promoting DISD, historic preservation and water conservation tips.

I attended the workshop on navigating city hall, conducted by Philip Kingston, and the workshop on promoting and supporting DISD, conducted by Melissa Kingston (more on those tomorrow).

The morning began, however, with a panel discussion on the challenges Dallas faces, as well how to build a vibrant downtown Dallas. “Many of us live in neighborhoods with terrible streets,” Wilonsky acknowledged, adding that many neighborhoods lack amenities you can walk to, as well.

One question the group tackled was how to reconnect downtown to the city neighborhoods – and how to navigate city hall while trying to do so.  (more…)

4465-Rheims-Place-Kimberly-Schlegel-Whitman-Real-Estate_092036Diana Oates over at CultureMap beat me to this one, but that just gave me a chance to go plant my basil garden! (Thanks, Diana!) The Diva of Dallas entertaining has put her home on the market! Kim Whitman, the author of six fab entertaining books (I still have her very first, about parties for her dog Lola as well as The Pleasure of Your Company), Today Show appearances, her blog based on the century old RSVP Social Calendar that is THEE go-to for charitable events in Dallas and her daily radio segment on Dallas’ number one morning show and co-host of KTXD’s live daily television talk show, Texas Living, is the seller, along with her husband Justin, of course. In 2011, Kim became the Editor-at-Large of Southern Living Magazine. In addition to leading a media empire, Kim’s a wife, and a mother of two children — Millie Stuart just turned one this weekend, in fact. (more…)

This cute home was built in 2001, looks brand new, and is just under 3000 square feet (2974). Three bedrooms, two and a half baths. The floor plan is smooth, rooms spacious and what does every buyer want? Repeat after me: high ceilings! HIGH CEILINGS! Downstairs floors are hardwood, upstairs carpeted to muffle pitter-patter. You can entertain like royalty in the open formal dining, kitchen and breakfast area, or utilize a cute side yard with a flagstone patio. All bedrooms up, including the master, and bedroom three has an additional bonus space that could be used for a study,work out space or nursery. Best of all, of course, is the location: Walkability plus as you are minutes from Greenville Avenue. I am particularly fond of the gleaming white kitchen with granite counters and stainless. Price? A smidgen over $400,000 at $419,000. Listed with April McGowan at Keller Williams.

Now April, about those Palm trees…