4

166-Year-Old Oak Cliff Cabin, One of Dallas' Oldest Buildings, At Risk of Being Lost

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Last night at the Turner House, the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League unveiled its 2012 Architecture at Risk List, its annual enumeration of properties in danger of being demolished, neglected, and otherwise relegated to the dust bin of history. They offered a sneak peek of the first item on their list, the Humble Oil service station at Zang and Beckley because OOCCL wasn't sure it'd last until yesterday. It did, but it won't it won't for much longer.

Rounding out the list, which you can see in full here, are the Mission Motel, which the owner wants to convert to apartments but for now sits empty; Cannon's Village, the gabled, house-like storefronts built in the 1920s at the corner of Davis and Edgefield that for years housed Cannon's five-and-dime and, oddly, a medical lab upstairs; the sign advertising the now-demolished Alamo Plaza hotel; Oak Cliff's Googie architecture (think the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign) in general; and a handful of houses and commercial buildings sprinkled throughout the area.

The most interesting item on the list, though, is the Sharrock Cabin, a rickety assemblage of logs tucked away in the Mountain Creek area. So rickety, in fact, that former OOCCL president Michael Amonett would not disclose its location to a roomful of preservation-minded neighbors for fear it might be irreparably damaged before it can be restored.

The cabin was built by Everard Sharrock, who moved to Texas from Illinois in 1846 and homesteaded 640 acres in southwestern Dallas County. The land was owned by the family of Judge Grady Niblo and farmed by tenants for most of the 20th century. The land was purchased in 2005, and the 33 acres containing the Sharrock Cabin and outbuildings was donated to the city. Recently, land nearby began being cleared for development (Amonett described it as a "moonscape") adding urgency to the quest to save the heretofore isolated structures.

The cabin is the oldest structure in North Texas that still occupies its original site. Councilman Scott Griggs said he's working with the city to have the cabin designated as a Dallas Landmark, after which he hopes intensive preservation work can begin. It won't be cheap, though.

"To restore these buildings is going to take millions," he said.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.