National historic sites not protected under local law

photo courtesy of the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League
photo courtesy of the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League

City ordinances protect buildings and homes from demolition in historic districts including Winnetka Heights and Lake Cliff.

But there are other historic districts in Oak Cliff that receive no such protection.

Buildings and neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places can receive incentives including tax credits, but just being listed on the national register does not prevent them from being destroyed.

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Preservation Texas is expected today to release a list of districts on the National Register of Historic Places, including Downtown Dallas, that should receive more protection. The group will stage its release of the list, which also includes locations in Austin and Houston, in the 1600 block of Elm, where the Joule Hotel is tearing down a 129-year-old building to make way for a boutique.

“To prevent the ongoing destruction of our Texas heritage, cities like Dallas must strengthen and expand local historic preservation ordinances and fully fund and staff the preservation programs needed to support them,” Preservation Texas president Charlene Orr stated in a release.

Three Oak Cliff neighborhoodsare  listed on the National Register of Historic Places but are not granted historic district status by the city.

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The Rosemont Crest Historic District is roughly bounded by Tenth, Oak Cliff Boulevard, West Davis, North Brighton, West Eighth and Rosemont Avenue (that portion of Rosemont is within the Winnetka Heights Historic District, but most of the area is not).

The Miller and Stemmons Historic District includes North Bishop Avenue and was included in the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League’s list of at-risk architecture earlier this year.

The North Bishop Avenue Commercial Historic District is basically the Bishop Arts District.

Preservation Texas says “Local zoning protection is the only way to create a process for community input before buildings are lost forever,” and suggests steps cities should take to prevent losing more historic buildings.

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