Proposed redevelopment is putting an 1890s West Dallas home in danger of demolition, but there’s a slim chance it could be saved.
The newly formed preservation action group, Dallas Endowment for Endangered Properties Inc. is raising money in an effort to move the house. The developer has agreed to put some of its demolition budget toward the cost of moving the old homestead.
But the preservation group hasn’t raised all the money needed, and there’s not much time. The volunteer organization’s Lisa Gala says they don’t have a cost estimate yet. When she’s been involved with moving old buildings before, she says, it rarely costs more than $30,000, and sometimes less. But the fledgling nonprofit currently has only a few thousand dollars in the bank.
She thinks they only have a few months to come up with the money and find a company willing to move the house on short notice.
“The calendar flies, so there is going to be a dumpster deadline,” she says.
There’s also a question of where to move the house. Environmental engineer Terri Symond owns a piece of property on Coombs Creek Drive just south of Illinois; it’s a wooded lot between Boykin Kennels and Sonic. She’s happy to move the house there, but the land has a conservation easement that would prevent it.
While Gala works to raise the money, Symond will be working to remove or loosen the conservation easement from her property.
Symond came across the 125-year-old house after the developer hired her company to do environmental testing on the property. They told her it was to be demolished and that she could salvage as much of it as she wanted, so she asked for the whole house. She says it hasn’t been occupied since the 1960s, and it’s never been renovated.
“The developer has been more than gracious about helping with this,” Symond says. “Not only did they give me the house, they’ve agreed to help with removing the easement on the receiving property.”
It would be great to find a big donor to move this house, but as Judge Judy says, “I’d also like to be 5-foot-10 and gorgeous.” Gala is asking everyone who cares about historic preservation in Dallas to donate what they can, even if it’s $1 or $25. Donate here.
Here are more photos of the house: