If the old Hard Rock still looked like the McKinney Avenue Baptist Church, it'd be a landmark yesterday. But since it doesn't, well, the fight's on today.

The Old Hard Rock's Future Will Be Decided Today. Feel Free To, You Know, Rock Out.

For those still filling their daily planners -- and, more to the point, for those still concerned with the fate of the former Hard Rock Cafe on McKinney Avenue -- the Landmark Commission is scheduled to make its decision today concerning landmark designation. By now, you know the story, but the long story short is this: The Hard Rock want to sell to Dallas developer, who says he'll pull the plug should the city bow to will of preservationists and neighborhood residents who insist it's a historic site that merits protection. Opponents of the deal -- which is to say, the folks who own the building and are trying to sell it, which is to say, people with a financial interest in the deal -- say, well, it's nothing but a stuccoed shell of its former self and not worth the restrictions that come with landmark designation.

But, hey, if you wanna live the dream that is designation debate, here's yer big chance: The Landmark Committee will make its decision today, but not before a briefing scheduled to begin at 10 this morning in room 5ES at City Hall. Following that -- and this is when it oughta get good, since the parties involved already made their cases for and against designation last month -- there will be a public hearing at 1 p.m. in the council chambers. Then the Landmark Committee will hand down its decision, which the council will have to vote on. A public hearing over old church built by a preacher who was a good friend to the Ku Klux Klan -- nah, that won't be interesting at all. --Robert Wilonsky

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