First Presbyterian's Pastor, Rev. Joe Clifford, on the Possibilities For 508 Park Avenue

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.

This morning, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas's senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Joseph J. Clifford, left a comment in Monday's item concerning the church's pending purchase of 508 Park Avenue, the beleaguered downtown site in which Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and, legend has it, Charlie Parker once recorded. Clifford's office confirms he did indeed leave the message, in which the pastor fleshes out possible plans for the building. You recall, no doubt, that its owners, Glazer's Distributors, had attempted to tear down 508 Park Avenue last year before the City Attorney's Office intervened.

This is, in part, what Clifford wrote:

As the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, I can tell you we will not leave the property in the abandoned shambles it has been for decades. It is a haven for drug dealers who prey upon our clients. And we will do whatever we can to improve that situation.

We have a number of possibilities we are exploring. Among them are plans that would involve honoring the musical heritage of the 508 Park Bldg. Robert Johnson was a homeless blues man. That connects very well with our arts ministry as well as our efforts to help people who live on the street. We also have a vibrant ministry with at-risk children living south of I-30. This property could open possibilities for expanding that ministry.

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.