Demolition of 1929 House Bolsters Call for Regulations

Preservation Park Cities to expand list of historically significant homes

After the August demolition of a 1929 home on Fairfax Avenue, Preservation Park Cities leaders say they will continue to raise awareness about significant homes hitting the market.

Part of that effort includes updating and expanding a list of the “top 100” most historically significant homes in the Park Cities.

Preservation Park Cities president Amy Beale said architect Craig Melde is working on compiling the next batch of historically and architecturally significant homes in the Park Cities, with most of the new listings expected to come from University Park. 

“He is plugging away and, so far, has about 70 to add to our list,” Beale added. “Not finalized yet.”

The nonprofit compiled a list beginning in 2021 of the “top 100” homes in the Park Cities, started dialoguing with municipal officials, and continued educating about historically and architecturally significant homes in hopes of turning the tide against the demolition of historic homes in the Park Cities to make way for new ones.

The home demolished at 4415 Fairfax Ave. Aug. 21 was not on the “top 100” list, but Preservation Park Cities had landmarked it.

Less than 24 hours before demolition, an estimated 30-40 neighbors in the 4400 block of Fairfax Avenue gathered among yards decorated with signs that read “Preserve Our Street,” “Restore 4415,” and “Keep the Trees” for a block party to raise awareness about the historic home.

Beale said in August that she sees solidarity in the community on the issue and the possibility of common-sense ordinances.

“We as a board hopefully can draft something with the support of the community that we can present, and we might have a little bit more teeth on it just based on this momentum that’s gathering,” she said.

Since the “top 100” effort began, Beale said she’s aware of three homes on the top 100 list that have been razed, including 4511 Highland Drive, a 1920s arts-and-crafts-style home that was designed and owned by architect Herbert Greene, and 4908 Lakeside Drive, a neoclassical home by architect Hal Thomson. Both were also featured in the book Great American Suburbs: The Homes of the Park Cities, Dallas, published in 2008.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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