Another Landmark Demolished. Good.

What exactly is with the drive to designate every old, useless and run-down property a historical landmark? What good is such a landmark if all it does is collect dust? Why should a third party’s aesthetics get to dictate to a property owner what she can and can’t do? How much is too much Dayquil?


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17 responses to “Another Landmark Demolished. Good.”

  1. Long Memory says:

    I’ll be honest: I don’t know what a third party’s aesthetics should dictate what a property owner can or can’t do. But if all the older buildings are torn down to make way for “modern” architecture, then what are we left with? I simply would like people to have more than photographs they can refer to when the Dallas of former times is discussed.
    Then again, I also like to remember when the Times Herald fought the Morning News for supremacy, only to lose to the deeper pocketed boys.
    And I’d like to remember when the DMN was the best paper in Texas, with designs on being a major player nationally. That was before they gave up the ghost.
    I kinda liked the old days, Trey, just because it seemed like a more likeable time.

  2. Gwyon says:

    Women can own property?

  3. Tim W. says:

    Old doesn’t mean useless and rundown in ‘every’ circumstance now does it, Trey? And no city – certainly not Dallas – tries to preserve every old building that is useless and rundown. You should know better than to fling out that fallacy of logic.

    There is value in history. That’s why many people go on vacation to historical sites, not to mention cities with other amenities to offer like Boston, Paris, London, New York, and Rome. Those places have preserved the past, made it useful today, and at the same time progressed and found a way to make their past and present meld.

    Dallas is a city with very little visible past left. Remember all the surveys that all report the same thing – hardly anybody vacations in Dallas? Maybe it is because they don’t know anything about the city, because the city has no history … because it does not value its history.

    Cities make buildings historical landmarks frequently. Then the developers know this when they buy the property, and then they know what it will take to make it work. Or they don’t buy the property, and then the city has to figure out what to do. But somehow, hundreds of other cities don’t allow their histories to be erased. Most of them make their history into something more valuable even than the modern drugstores or whatever else might be better built on any available plot of land with no history.

    There is value in history, Trey.

    But we’ve still got the Texas Book Depository, right?

  4. Gwyon says:

    Trey Garrison arguing against a strawman? Well I never!

  5. Cheryl says:

    I’m just glad the Alamo is not in Dallas. It would be “toast” before you blinked.

  6. Gwyon says:

    Or the Parthenon.

  7. Jason says:

    I don’t understand why developers can’t “recycle” the buildings, instead of tearing them down to build something new. It seems to be a waste of enery, labor, supplies and a terrible corporate social responsibility move.

  8. paul says:

    they don’t recycle because you can’t fit “a 15-story luxury apartment building once the rubble of the Hard Rock has been hauled away” in a 100-year-old church turned restaurant… and let’s face it; who needs the memory of a wedding, funeral or other event that occurred there when you can tear it down to build a monstrosity that won’t last 30 years. Oh well Dallas, you still have shopping

  9. merritt says:

    Trey, I’d hate to hear your advice about how to care for parents, grandparents or any other slow-moving, “dust collecting” elder that might offer a bit of historical insight.

  10. dave little says:

    Hey, can we tear down the book depository so we can get that monkey off our back?

  11. Jack says:

    There is a difference between old and historical. I have shoes that are over 25 years old, that doesn’t make them an antique.

  12. bbb says:

    Jack: Actually, it does make them antique. Go look up the definition of antique. Then, go to the Adidas store at Northpark Mall, where they have proudly displayed some antique shoes in their window. Historical value is not an oxymoron.

  13. Topham says:

    Depends on whether what replaces it is better. “Better,” of course, is a loaded term. Better entails lots of considerations, including aesthetics, economics, and function. Only time will tell if a replacement is better. Often it’s not, because of the attributes of the destroyed building, which again are multiple, and also include historical and sentimental factors, were more valuable than the attributes of the replacement. But sometimes the new one is, on the whole, better than what it replaced.

  14. Historic Lakewood says:

    What would you expect from “The Magazine to the Park Cities”? Nothing of any value is left there except facetious facades the rest of us can laugh at…

  15. gwyon says:

    You’re next, Historic Lakewood!

  16. Daniel says:

    Trey, your bearings are admirable, but your specific extrapolations are risibly misguided by any reasonable standard. You’ve already got your dream come true: Dallas is as close as one can get to a city that defines “city” as “a population zone comprised of contiguous private parcels.” True, the communists prevented cheap apartment complexes that would now be crack dens from covering the length of Swiss Avenue. But by and large, Dallas fulfills your vision of utopia.

    And oh, what a beauty she is.