Seale of Disapproval: Preservation Dallas Offers Perspective on Demolition
Reaction's mixed, to say the least, concerning yesterday's surprise demolition of 2505 Turtle Creek Boulevard. Some of the Friends of Unfair Park are saddened and sickened that a Canadian developer without concrete plans for the site bulldozed Harwood K. Smith's building anyway; others are delighted or just couldn't care less that a modest 1950s building on Turtle Creek has been torn down in the name of "progress." So, after the jump, Preservation Dallas executive director Katherine Seale provides her take on the building's demolition -- and, yes, she does understand where the good-riddance folks are coming from. Still ... --Robert Wilonsky
While 2505 Turtle Creek was not the most significant Modern design in Dallas, its association with noted architect Harwood K. Smith and its simple and straightforward lines made it a notable example. Furthermore, the generous set-back, natural colored brick, and park-like design made it a model of sensitive site planning.
Turtle Creek Boulevard is a nationally significant historic landscape, and considered one of the city's most valuable assets. Consequently, any changes along this ornamental boulevard should be made sensitively, improving and not detracting from the current quality of life. Today, no plans for the 2505 site have been approved, and we understand that funding for the proposed new development, denied unanimously by the Plan Commission, is not in place.
We lament the loss of a thoughtfully designed building that may remain an empty lot for years to come. Likewise, we're concerned that the current permitting process for demolitions means that any building -- of major or marginal historical value -- can meet the same fate with little to no warning.
Katherine D. Seale Executive Director Preservation Dallas