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Conservation Nazis II

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Sharon Marsh-Wyly
                             

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., etc., 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

Thursday, August 3, 2006 by DAVID FLICK / The Dallas Morning News
   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.
   Under an 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.
   Preservation 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 it.
... 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 Kate Baldwin.
... 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 this in 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.

"One 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.

sb
 

                                        

    





                            

 

  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8