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:
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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.