"712 Fort Worth Avenue" by Kim Cadmus Owens

“712 Fort Worth Avenue” by Kim Cadmus Owens

If you haven’t submitted an idea for the Alamo Plaza sign to the Sylvan | Thirty developer yet, well, it’s too late. The deadline was Monday.

Monday is also when I received this letter from Oak Cliff-based artist Kim Cadmus Owens. Owens paints cityscapes and her focus often is on architecture. Her paintings of the Alamo Plaza sign and bygone motel were part of her recent exhibition with photographer Allison V. Smith at UTA.

“I have actively watched and recorded Dallas area landmarks, architecture, and cultural concerns,” Owens writes.

Owens points out that Sylvan | Thirty has hired one Texas’ top architecture firms, San Antonio-based Lake Flato, to design the complex.

“Lake Flato is capable of finding a solution that incorporates the Alamo Plaza Sign into the imminent development,” Owens writes in  a four-page letter.

Former Old Oak Cliff Conservation League president Michael Amonett has pointed out that Sylvan | Thirty developer Bent Jackson had indicated that the monolithic sign would be part of the retail/residential development’s design. But in calling for suggestions for the sign, the developer stated, “We’re open to repurposing it, moving it somewhere else in West Dallas, donating it…nothing is off the table and all submitted ideas will be considered.”

The Alamo Plaza sign will be removed during construction. Here are Owens’ arguments for keeping the sign at its current location:

−Navigational landmark for residents of both North Oak Cliff and West Dallas. The Sylvan/30 develop-
ment can capitalize on this icon and draw a community in want of greater resources this side of the
Trinity River.

−Opportunity to mark and preserve history on major thoroughfare in area while providing much need-
ed services in area.

−Contextually important visual link to existing developments refurbishments such as Belmont Hotel
and The Foundry/Chicken Scratch which involve adaptive reuse of existing structures sensitive to
areas history over the last 80 years.

−The Alamo Courts sign is a marker that has drawn a population of creatives, entrepreneurs, and
social advocates/activists to the area over the last decade that will continue to grow and develop the
community if the sign is incorporated into planned development.