W.H. Adamson High School Gets One Step Closer to Historic Landmark Status

In May 2008 the Landmark Commission's Designation Committee first took up the topic of W.H. Adamson High School, once known as Oak Cliff High. At the time it was expected that the Dallas Independent School District might have some issues with designation -- not only because the district has only a handful of city-designated historic landmarks, which come with strict do's-and-don'ts, but because the district was, at the time, considering razing the school (all except for the facade) for a long-planned extreme campus makeover. And, sure enough, one year ago the DISD's board of trustees voted to oppose designation.

The district's position has softened, though; long ago, and after much ruckus raised by the Adamson Alumni, DISD ditched plans to put wrecking ball to building. And so it moves one step closer to designation: Yesterday the Designation Committee met to finalize its designation report, and, as expected, district reps showed up to hash out final changes before it's sent to the Landmark Commission for a final okee-doke later this year. I couldn't make it to the meeting last night, so I asked Katherine Seale, exec director of Preservation Dallas and a member of the committee, for a recap. She writes:
Karl Crawley, consultant for DISD, and Orlanda Alameda, DISD, attended the meeting. They requested more flexibility in the preservation criteria to accommodate future plans. The committee did not feel that any of the requests would harm the building's historic integrity, so after some discussion, we made the changes and sent the entire designation report, criteria and exhibit on to LMC with a recommendation to approve. City Attorneys are now finalizing the report and will submit to LMC for their consideration in November.
After the jump, a draft of the designation criteria dated last week, and an intriguing look at Adamson's additions year by year and what, exactly, would be protected by designation.

Adamson Preservation Criteria DRAFT 090910 Adamson Exhibit B 091010

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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