Q. Can you tell me who designed the recent renovation of the Melrose Hotel? C.L., Dallas.
A. The renovation of the historic Oak Lawn hotel is the handiwork of Trisha Wilson & Associates Inc., a local interior design firm. The firm began work on the project in August 1980, construction began in 1981 and the hotel officially reopened in December 1982. Wilson wanted to save the architectural character of the building, so the design team worked with the existing building and made few structural changes. The restaurant was designed to re-create the Twenties, with black-and-white marble flooring and black lacquer table tops. The guest rooms are also decorated in an art deco style. By the way, The Dallas Look, our semiannual fashion section in last month’s issue, was photo-graphed at the Melrose.
Q. Could I get a traffic ticket for running one of those metered lights on the entrance ramps of Central Expressway? Why are they there? They aren’t related to the flow of traffic. Heed a green light, and you’ll wind up having an accident. B.B., Richardson.
A. Fail to heed a red light and you’ll wind up with a traffic ticket for a moving violation; it’s just like running any other red light. The metered lights were placed on the entrance ramps in an effort to regulate the traffic entering the expressway at peak traffic hours. Though the changing of the lights from red to green may seem arbitrary, it is, in fact, somewhat scientific. According to Sam Wilson, assistant director of transportation for the City of Dallas, there are computer detection devices at several points along the expressway that meter the traffic flow during heavy traffic hours. These statistics are fed into a main computer, and the messages are then sent to the lights. In the purest sense – if motorists didn’t switch lanes -the lights would indicate a gap in traffic, and automobiles could enter the expressway. According to Wilson, the lights have successfully decreased the number of rear-end accidents by about 50 percent.
Q. I work downtown and take Gaston Avenue to get home. I usually leave my office between 5 and 6 p.m., and just when I get to the intersection of Gaston and Good-Latimer, I almost always have to stop for about five minutes. There is a trucking company at that intersection, and large semi trucks back into the parking stalls and block the entire street, holding up traffic. Isn’t there some ordinance that regulates the hours the trucks are allowed to do this? L.M., Dallas.
A. It looks like you’ll either have to grin and bear it or choose another route home. According to Sgt. Thomas R. Gregory of the Dallas Police Department, there are no laws prohibiting these trucks from backing into their parking stalls, regardless of the time of day. He does say, however, that the Dallas City Council may be able to pass an ordinance regulating the hours that the trucks can load and unload if a lot of people are upset by the traffic jams.
Q. As a youngster in Highland Park, I distinctly remember a popular Dallas orchestra playing an evening engagement in the middle of Preston Road at Beverly Drive. 1 don’t remember the occasion, but the orchestra played a song that was popular then called Dallas, I Love You. Can you tell us more about this event? M.S., Dallas.
A. Oh, boy! It’s not like we didn’t try to find the answer to this question. We asked several area music buffs if they remembered Dallas, I Love You. KVIL radio station’s musicologist Bud Buschardt says the closest thing he could think of is a song from Willie Nelson’s Texas in My Soul album, simply called Dallas. Stoney Burns, publisher of Buddy Magazine, a local music tabloid, says the closest he could get to the song was one called Fort Worth, I Love You. As far as the location of the event, we asked a number of Highland Park residents and several town hall employees (some of these people have lived in the area since the early part of the century) if they remembered the concert. No one could recall the event. But some people suggested that the party could have been held at the Dallas Country Club, which is located at the intersection of Preston and Beverly.