A group of Garland residents is fighting the city's plans to demolish two historic homes as part of an effort to redevelop the downtown area.
The multimillion-dollar plan will put more modern buildings in downtown Garland. The homes will be demolished in a few weeks for land to build a new parking garage and the next phase of an apartment complex.
City Manager William Dollar said that adding more multifamily housing will bring in more downtown residents, which will provide more of an opportunity to downtown businesses and restaurants.
But opponents to the demolition say the houses are some of the oldest in town, with one dating back to the 1870s -- before Garland even became a city.
"It's an absolute shame," said Jerry Flook, longtime resident and Garland Landmark Society board member. "We need to draw the line and stop that before there's nothing left. It breaks my heart."
The council unanimously voted to demolish both homes.
One of the houses had not been repaired in years. The city wanted to save the other and relocate it to Central Park, but leaders realized it would need to be taken apart, moved and rebuilt -- at a cost of more than $200,000.
"The problem is, the house is so big that the cost to relocate it and move it is just cost prohibitive," Dollar said.
City leaders said they see the development as a step forward, but critics said it's a shameful price of progress
"It's purely an economic matter to the city," Flook said. "Historic significance apparently does not matter to the city."
Historians say the houses were recognized in the Dallas County Historic Resource Survey of 1982 as being worthy of preservation.