Oak Cliff's own Jeff Liles is out in front of the Oak Cliff Christian Church at this very moment, and he reports that workers for Ponce Contractors are inside the 104-year-old 10th Street church removing asbestos. And, sure enough, the man in charge of the remediation tells Unfair Park that it should take about three weeks, after which another company has been charged with razing the building per the Dallas Independent School District's plans to use the land for the Adamson High School campus expansion. (According to preliminary plans and district sources, the church will be replaced by tennis courts or an athletic field.)
When I asked Ponce's man, via cell phone, if demolition is scheduled promptly after the building's been cleared of asbestos, he said, "That is correct, yes, sir."
Katherine Seale, executive director of Preservation Dallas, tells Unfair Park she found out remediation was in full swing at around 2 p.m. today. "It's sad," she says. "It's upsetting, because there are other options for DISD, and while we understand DISD is not in the business of historic preservation, they owe it to the students and the community to revitalize the area. Nobody expects them to renovate a historic school, but with all the available property in Oak Cliff, for them to choose a significant century-old church designed by a well-known local architect is heartbreaking."
Seale says she's called and e-mailed trustee Jerome Garza, in whose district the church and Adamson sit, "but we didn't get a response back."