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Already Worried About DISD's Intentions With Adamson High School, Preservationists Add Old Oak Cliff Christian Church to Worry List

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A few week back Schutze wrote about Adamson High School alums' efforts to spare their old school from the wrecking ball as the Dallas Independent School District makes way for a new campus. (In the words of DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander, the district "plans to build a replacement school on property adjacent to the current campus. The current campus will remain standing and will be re-purposed.")

This morning, local preservationists are circulating an e-mail concerning the site of that replacement school -- a piece of which, at least, is planned for 300 E. 10th Street. Till recently, that was the site of the Revival Tabernacle, but Dallas Central Appraisal District records show that in August, DISD took hold of the title. And now, says the missive making the rounds, the property's been enclosed by a fence; according to the e-mail, there's also a sign that reads, "Future Home of Adamson." When I asked Dahlander via e-mail this morning whether the church was indeed part of the new-school site, he responded, "I don't know. I know they've been trying to buy property around the current Adamson High School."

Here's what worries preservationists, who've been attempting in recent months to get the building added to the National Register of Historic Places: The building was the original home of Oak Cliff Christian Church and a big part of 10th Street's legacy as "Church Street," as Rene Schmidt called it during a January talk at Dallas City Hall. According to Schmidt, the building was designed by Charles Bulger, the architect, who, with his son, was responsible for, among others, the Gaston Avenue Baptist Church (which became the Criswell College) and the 1907-constructed Praetorian Building at 1607 Main Street, considered the first skyscraper in the Southwest.

What else did Bulger design? The very former McKinney Avenue Baptist Church.

Update at 12:35 p.m.: Katherine Seale, executive director at Preservation Dallas, sends along the following note.

It is not surprising that the public is, once again, in the dark about DISD's plans for the students of Adamson High School. It appears that their plans call for the demolition of Oak Cliff Christian Church, a classically inspired landmark designed by architect Charles Bulger, for tennis courts. If so, this is the second Oak Cliff landmark that DISD is proposing to demolish, leaving the neighborhood with fewer physical reminders of its celebrated past.

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