Today, the First Salvo in the Battle Over 508 Park Avenue. We've Got the Documents.
On Friday, we broke the news that the owners of 508 Park Avenue have decided to tear down the building in which blues and country history was made. The Glazers, longtime liquor distributors in Dallas, have their reasons: The former Warner Bros. Picture storage facility, built in the 1920s, has decayed beyond the point of saving. It is not fiscally feasible to restore the building per the city's threat of fining them thousands of dollars a day in code violations. And even if the Glazers' Colby Properties or someone else were to spend the money to rehab the property, the homeless would chase away all comers, a point with which homeless advocates have long taken offense and issue. (Wrote Rev. Joe Clifford of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas in the comments on Sunday, "The ultimate irony is that many of the homeless who congregate around their property are in fact their best customers. Glazier is reaping what they have sown.")
This day's been a long time coming, and several Landmark Commissioners to whom I've spoken in recent days don't think the Glazers have much chance of convincing them the building should be torn down -- it's in a historic district, if nothing else. Should the Glazers lose their case with Landmark, they will go to the City Plan Commission; one shouldn't predict what will happen there, if it comes to that. But the first step in the process begins today: At 3 p.m., the Landmark Commission's Central Business District Task Force meets at Dallas City Hall, and the first order of business are the proposed demolitions of 508 Park Avenue and the adjacent 1900 Young Street.
Unfair Park has obtained all 120 pages' worth of documents the Glazers submitted to the city to justify their decision to tear down 508 Park Avenue, including an asbestos study, copies of copies of photos, and an assessment conducted by Dallas-based architectural firm Gromatzky Dupree & Associates, which makes clear in the very first sentence that it "is not qualified to ... determine the historical significance of architectural features and/or structures." According to GD&A, a redo of the building would cost $4.5 million -- which is not "a reasonable rate of return on the investment." The docs are after the jump. The battle has begun.
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