City Hall

Here’s Who Paid $1.45 Million for Dallas’ Ode to Robert E. Lee

The Robert E. Lee statue stood in Lee Park, now Turtle Creek Park.
The Robert E. Lee statue stood in Lee Park, now Turtle Creek Park. Patrick Williams
Thanks to an addendum to the Dallas City Council's agenda Wednesday, we now know who felt flush enough to pay a million-and-a-half for Dallas' recently toppled tribute to the treasonous Confederate general, Robert E. Lee.

According to council documents, the high bidder in the city's online auction for the statue, until now known online by its screen name, LawDude, was Holmes Firm PC, an Addison law firm owned by Ron Holmes.

"I don't know how racial equity is a waste of money, but there was never any fiscal danger to the city at all because we always knew we were going to recoup all of the expenses with the sale of the statue." — Philip Kingston

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Holmes did not respond to a call seeking comment about his firm's plans for the statue.

Wednesday's big reveal came as the City Council finally signed off on the sale of the statue, which has been sitting in city storage in Grand Prairie since it was removed from Turtle Creek Park in September 2017. Cash from the sale will pay for the removal of the Lee statue, its plinth and the Confederate War Memorial that towers over Pioneer Cemetery near City Hall.

Losing out on the statue to Holmes were SMU football stadium namesake Gerald J. Ford, whose Diamond A Ford company's final bid came up just $2,500 short, and Simonton's Twinwood Cattle C.

Advocates for the statue's removal are happy with the sale.
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The empty platform on which the Robert E. Lee statue stood
Jim Schutze

"It's what I've been telling people for over a year," City Council member Philip Kingston told the Observer last week, when he discovered the statue's sale price. "I don't know how racial equity is a waste of money, but there was never any fiscal danger to the city at all because we always knew we were going to recoup all of the expenses (from taking down the statue) with the sale of the statue. I would hope people who opposed the removal will now feel better because it's clearly going to an owner that values it highly."

As a condition of the sale, Holmes can't display the statue within the Dallas city limits, nor can he give or sell the statue to someone who intends to do so.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young