Preservation Dallas Plans Sizzling Summer

Oh, it’s a hot one, but Preservation Dallas is still offering up its 2021 season of its popular series of educational lectures, Summer Sizzlers.

Although the series is typically held in various locations throughout Dallas, this year it’s going virtual — which means your summer can sizzle just about anywhere.

Each session will be held on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. The link for each session will go out the morning of that lecture.

On deck:

  • Aug. 3: Trabajo Rustico — Dionicio Rodríguez arrived from Mexico to San Antonio in 1924, and brought with him the art of trabajo rústico, the art of sculpting cement to appear as wood, or rocks. It is believed that San Antonio has more examples of the work by Rodríguez and others than any city in the U.S., although he worked in seven other states, many of the sites listed on the National Register. Patsy Light spent eight years researching him and his work, and wrote the book Capturing Nature, the Cement Sculpture of Dionicio Rodríguez in 2008, lavishly illustrated with Bob Parvin’s images and published by TAMU Press. Her presentation is a sampling of the work featured in this award-winning book. 
  • Aug. 10: When Art Needs Some TLC — Since 2017, Nicky DeFreece Emery has been one of several conservators charged with maintaining and conserving pieces in the city of Dallas’ public art collection. The city of Dallas’ Public Art Program has more than 300 pieces in the collection, ranging in all manner of media, location, and complexity from monumental bronzes such as Henry Moore’s 1978 The Dallas Piece at City Hall Plaza to the six stately concrete sculptures at Fair Park’s Esplanade constructed in 1936 for the Texas Centennial. Each piece is unique and challenging in its own way. 
  • Aug. 17: Murder It Was: The Deaths of Two Women That Shocked Dallas in the 1910s — In 1913, Florence Brown was murdered at 9 a.m. inside a real estate office when nearby sidewalks were filled with people during the morning rush hour. Was it a robbery, shady business deals, or jilted love? A second woman was found in a ravine in Trinity Heights, her body neatly laid out with no visible signs of trauma and only her jewelry missing. The police were baffled: was her death by natural cases, suicide, or murder? Rene Schmidt will delve deeper into both crimes and what was discovered at that time and since.
  • Aug. 24: Modern Jails of the early 1900s in Dallas — In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there was a national trend to provide “modern” jails instead of the cramped, poor conditions of nineteenth century jails. While occasionally controversial, newer jails provided improved and safer conditions for the detainees and jail employees. Three historic jail structures from this era remain in Dallas today – the city of Dallas Jail in the West End (1908), the Courtrooms and Jail in the Dallas Municipal Building (1914) and the Dallas County Criminal Courts Building (1915). Although greatly changed since their initial use, this presentation by Marcel Quimby offers a glimpse into the unique history, architecture, and use of these historic buildings.
  • Aug. 31: Traveling Texas Roads: The Legacy of Roadside Parks — Roadside parks have provided travelers with a place to stretch their legs and picnic for many years. Thanks to the work of a young immigrant from the Netherlands, the Texas Highway Department pioneered the look and use of Texas’ roadsides. Join us as we listen to Renee Benn, Sandra Chipley, and Jason Dupree, all with TxDOT, to learn about the status of these roadside parks, the history of the young landscape architect, and how you can be a part of TxDOT’s historic preservation process.
  • Sept. 7: The Farnsworth House: Past, Present & Future — The Farnsworth House, designed by 20th century modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, was built in 1951 for Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a successful research physician, polymath, and Italophile. The 2,200-square-foot glass and steel pavilion was built on a river floodplain west of Chicago and launched Mies’ American career. In 1971, the home was purchased by the British arts collector and promoter Peter Palumbo, who restored and enriched the property with a world-class collection of modern sculpture, removed prior to his selling the property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2003. Since 2018, a new and broader mission and vision have been emerging, rooted in the property’s history as a rural retreat and center for creativity and wellness. Farnsworth’s Executive Director, Scott Mehaffey, describes the revitalization of the Farnsworth House.
  • Sept. 14: The Rockwall Rock Wall — The rock wall of Rockwall – is it a naturally occurring phenomenon? Was it built by prehistoric man? Discovered in the 1850s and found in many locations surrounding the town of Rockwall, many have guessed to its origins. Mark Russo of the Rockwall County Histroical Foundation discusses the wall and its history.

Individual sessions are $10 each for current Preservation Dallas members and $20 each for the general public or get two sessions free by reserving the whole series at $60 for current members and $120 for the general public. Those purchasing the general public series ticket will receive a complimentary one-year individual membership to Preservation Dallas.

Purchase tickets here.

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