Dumb & Dumber
That’s what local architects say about a new city building code for "accessory structures."
How did this ruling happen?
As with so many things in Dallas, it all started with money. People grew concerned that backyard buildings would damage property and neighborhood values.
The move, plus the Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee’s (ZOAC) approval of the Neighborhood Stabilization Overlay in late July, has many local architects steaming over their blueprints:
"This is a horrible violation of people’s rights," says architect Richard Drummond Davis. "A municipality should not be determining taste and design. This is a total infringement on property rights."
"I think this is an assault on the architectural equivalent of freedom of speech," says architect Max Levy. "Shall we give the city veto power over what artwork the DMA acquires? Should the city approve what music the Dallas Symphony performs? The building department’s job is to protect our safety and welfare through building setbacks and technical matters - wiring, plumbing, and construction. But they simply are not qualified to officiate over aesthetics. In someone’s backyard no less."
"This is foolish. The city is meddling with design, which it has have no right to do unless it’s a historic district," says architect Bill Booziotis. "It’s impossible to legislate good design, which is clearly what they are trying to do." Booziotis recalls a recent project in which he designed a guest home/art gallery for one prominent Dallas couple who have bequeathed their multimillion dollar modern art collection to the DMA. Their home is a red brick colonial on an enormous Bluffview lot. Booziotis says he used a green slate facade to meld the structure into the landscape. "We wanted it to be a part of the garden. It’s designed to be hidden. Under this new code, we could never have built the guesthouse as it is. It would have to have been a red brick colonial."
"I guess you don’t need architects anymore," says architect Russell Buchanan. "Just write ’match existing conditions.’ What business does the city have to tell anyone how they should design their building? They’re taking design freedom away from the homeowners and architects. Please note both ZOAC and the Neighborhood Stabilization Committee recommended against this. It’s just stupid."
HOT: A truly "collected" look: classic accessories with history from estate sales and antique stores, well-priced to boot.
NOT: Fifties and ’60s items. It was bad design then, why bring it back?
As if it’s not hot enough, it’s time to start thinking about fireplaces for fall, inside and out. Jackson’s Lemmon Avenue Pottery spent its summer vacation unpacking cartons of grills, tools, ornamental screens, glass doors, and enormous gas logs into 12,500 square feet of new space for its expanded fireplace, grill, and patio furniture showroom on Lemmon Avenue. Basically, you’ll find everything imaginable for your outdoor living area except the moon, including Outdoor Lifestyles, DCS, Pavillion, Summer Classics, Viking, Capital, PGS, and Weber.
Manheim-Ruseau’s new Revisions Collection is Deco-inspired.
In collaboration with designer Jeffrey M. Swiggart, Brown recently launched the Revisions Collection. Deco-inspired from the company’s vast archives of more than 2,500 custom designs, the line was a bold move away from the company’s traditional look, but it was a step Brown felt was needed for the future. "Graceful curves and clean lines," he says, "are where we feel the world is headed."
M-R’s roots go back to 1932, when Don Ruseau opened an antique import store in New York City. The demand for antiques became so strong that he opened a reproduction facility that his partner, Jane Templeton, continued to operate and grow after he died. Eventually her son took over the company. Meanwhile, Manheim Companies, a manufacturer of English reproduction pieces, combined with Ruseau in the mid-’90s, and Ruseau moved facilities to Dallas not long thereafter. In 2002, Jaime Brown bought the Manheim Companies, forming Manheim-Ruseau, and the company came back into the family fold. How, you ask? Jamie Brown is Jane Templeton’s grandson.