08/04/06 Compromises are
never satisfactory solutions.
You know me -- Ms. Black and White who can't see
gray. There's right and wrong, and two wrongs don't make a right, etc.,
I am very disappointed that Sharon and Vic Wyly sold the shack, but I'm glad
they got out of it somewhat financially intact.
Both sides say they
won house fight;
E. Dallas: Teardown right upheld; Swiss Avenue area home sold instead
3, 2006 b
The long, tangled and often bitter
fight over a 90-year-old East Dallas house ended Wednesday with both sides
declaring victory ? and not a little relief.
agreement ending litigation over the house, the owners agreed to sell the
property ? in the Swiss Avenue Historic District ? for an unannounced sum to
Tracey Venegas, who specializes in rehabilitating old homes.
Dallas, a nonprofit group devoted to historic restoration, would then obtain
a loan enabling Ms. Venegas to begin work to save the house in the 6000
block of Bryan Parkway.
"Thank God it's over," said
Dwayne Jones, executive director of Preservation Dallas.
"This is a statement that we are going to fight to
protect historic structures in the city."
Sharon Marsh-Wyly, speaking
for Marsh-Wyly Holdings, which owns the green Craftsman-style house, said
she was happy with the outcome. The company, owned by her husband, Vic Wyly,
had fought to get permission to demolish the house, a
position upheld in a court decision last month.
"We've proved you could stand
up for your rights and win. That's the best feeling in the world," she said.
Still, she added, "We're relieved to
be out from under a huge emotional and financial burden."
... The house has been the subject of
controversy since 2003, when the Wylys obtained permission to demolish it
and replace it with a new structure.
... in early 2004, preservationist neighbors
parked their cars in front of the house to block bulldozers sent to demolish
... Some neighbors wanted the house preserved,
while others thought the structure was too badly deteriorated and should be
demolished. At various times over the past three years, judges, city
departments and preservation boards agreed and then disagreed.
... The house was built about 1915 by Thomas and
... Steve Whitcraft, president of Preservation
Dallas, called the litigation over the house "among the most contentious
issues in our organization's history."
... Mr. Whitcraft said that as a result of the
controversy, his organization would solicit donations to create a revolving
loan fund to purchase and rehabilitate historic properties.
... Ms. Marsh-Wyly said the couple continued the
three-year fight despite the mounting costs because they were angered by
what they said was "character assassination" by the preservationists. She
said the ruling last month exonerated their reputation.
"The house we were going to build was
an almost exact replica of the house that's there. That's the ironic part,"
she said. ...
I have already written about
Conservation Nazis, Control Freaks out of Control.
I'm going to let Mrs. Wyly go into the details of her fight with the
Conservation Nazis (see
Sharon Marsh-Wyly) because I'm furious with the
hypocrisy of the control freaks in Preservation Dallas.
I have come to the conclusion that PD members only care about preservation in
East Dallas. Have you heard one word from these control freaks decrying
the pending demolition of our 1912 Houston Street viaduct (originally the Oak
Cliff viaduct)? Of course not! Our Downtown Betters and the Wannabee
ODB's want the viaduct demolished because it is an obstacle to their ridiculous
plans for the Trinity Sewer Trough.
Preservation Dallas is going to outrageous lengths to save an old house that was
not built correctly in the first place and is in deplorable condition. You
may or may not have ever seen the house because you may or may not have ever
been on Bryan Parkway.
If you haven't actually been on the Houston Street viaduct, you have at least
seen it from Downtown. If you have driven over the viaduct, you know that
95% of the time, you don't see much water below it. Much of the time, you
do not want your car windows down.
important thing already had been achieved in the aftermath of the 1908
flood; the construction of an all-weather viaduct linking Dallas to Oak
Cliff that could defy the greatest of floods. Voters had approved a bond
election for $650,000 to build the viaduct, and when it opened in 1912
some 58,000 spectators came for the spectacular opening ceremony.
The Oak Cliff viaduct, later known as the Houston Street viaduct, was
billed as the longest reinforced concrete structure in the world."
Big D: Triumphs and Troubles of an American Supercity in the 20th
Century, Revised Edition 2000, by Darwin Payne, Ch. 2, p. 34.
Can you imagine 58,000 Dallas
citizens doing anything together that's not sports related?
Don't remind me about all those people Downtown for the rally the truants
organized. Not only was the school-skipping truant who organized the march
from the suburbs, I bet 60% or more of the crowd was not from Dallas either.
The 58,000 spectators in 1912 were probably 95% Dallas citizens who had
obligated themselves to pay for the viaduct. Preservation Dallas has shown
no concern for preserving the legacy those 58,000 spectators left for us.
I will give PD one point for following my friend Nancy's rule of preservation:
If you want to save an old house, buy it.
Well, Preservation Dallas did buy that old house on Bryan Parkway, and they were
foolish to do so. Can't wait to see what they do with it, how much they
spend and how much they can sell it for.