Q. While I was downtown the other day, I noticed that the gargoyles on the old red courthouse had been replaced. I have been a lifelong resident of Dallas and know that the gargoyles had been missing for years. Where have they been all this time? D.D., Dallas.

A.. When the courthouse was built in 1892, two pairs of gargoyles -acrote-rions as they’re called -were placed on the structure. While the building was being repaired in 1949, one of the acroterions was lost. Some people say it was broken; others say it was stolen. At that time, the mate to the missing acroterion was placed in the Hall of State at Fair Park. In 1980, Western Waterproofing, a Dallas-based company, replaced the missing acroterion, and while doing so, made several copies of the statuette. Currently, the Dallas County Historical Commission is selling mini-replicas (7-inches high) of the acroterions to benefit restoration of the courthouse.

Q. How does the amount of renovated office space in the Central Business District compare with the amount of new office space? It seems that this year the number of renovations has been catching up with the amount of new construction. W.L., Highland Park.

A. In 1982, approximately 800,000 gross square feet of office space in the Central Business District (CBD) was renovated. In that same time, approximately 2.7 million gross square feet of new office space was constructed. Only four new buildings make up that figure, with one of them, Thanks-Giving Tower, accounting for about half of the 2.7 million gross square feet. According to Mark Stein, program coordinator for the CBD Association, close to 11 million square feet of space (for both office and other use) is being constructed or renovated in the CBD. Some of these projects, however, will not be completed until 1985.

Q. What are those vans I see driving around town that are labeled “Care Car”? E.P., Mesquite.

A..Care Car is a civic ser-vice provided by the Dallas Transit System. Its fleet of 20 Care Cars transports handicapped citizens throughout the city for the nominal fee of $1 per trip. Certified members of the Care Car program can call for a van and be taken to any chosen location within the boundaries of Loop 12. Outside of Loop 12, the vans make six specific stops, such as Presbyterian Hospital and Medical City. For information, call the transportation office of the Community Council of Dallas at 651-7511.

Q. I understand that Trammell Crow has commissioned a famous artist to do some murals at the new movie studio at Las Colinas. I can’t find anyone who knows. Rumor has it that it’s Bart Forbes. D.L., Fort Worth.

A. Never trust a rumor. The designer of the ab-stract murals is Martin Growald of Growald Architects in Fort Worth. At this point, three murals are planned, each depicting some of the work of Palladio, a 16th-century architect. If the work is successful, Growald Architects may do more murals. The 52-year-old architect is also the designer of the entire 120-acre Dallas Communications Complex. Federal Sign Company has been commissioned to paint the murals. Work should begin soon.

Q. What’s going to be done with the White Rock Pump Station? I’ve heard many ideas over the years, but never a decision. J.G., Dallas.

A. The Dallas Water Util- ities Department plans to convert the abandoned water pump station, which sits on the south shore of White Rock Lake, into its Operations Control Center (OCC). The dilapidated building was constructed in 1911 and served as a regional pumping station on and off again until 1962 when it was closed permanently. A recent random sample survey indicated that people would rather see the station revived as a public works facility than as a botanical garden or restaurant. There was even talk once of converting it into condominiums. Dallas City Council has given the okay for initial planning of the OCC, presently located in South Dallas, which will control all water pumping within the Dallas water system via computers. The renovation, which may be completed by spring 1984 at an estimated cost of 1.1 million dollars, will maintain the pump station’s original architecture.


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