A Landmark House in South Dallas Burned to the Ground, Erasing 114 Years' Worth of History

Tuesday evening, a little after 5:20, a man named Mark Doty drove up to 2426 Pine Street in South Dallas. Doty, who just a day earlier left his longtime post as Dallas' chief preservation officer, got out of his car, surveyed the site and muttered a few choice expletives. He said he felt sick to his stomach."This didn't have to happen," he said, shaking his head. "It's probably one of the most depressing things I've seen in my entire life."Sitting on the corner of Pine and Crozier streets, across from Charles Rice Elementary in the Queen City neighborhood, was a towering pile of charred lumber. The fence around the property was wrapped with yellow police tape. The only thing standing was a outhouse, next to which there was a tent obscured by sheets of plywood.As Doty and I stood there, staggered by the scene, a frail young woman walked up and pointed over the chain-link fence to a plastic bag covered with two fresh bags of ice. "The dog's in there," she said, referring to the animal killed in the fire that claimed this house. She said the house's owner, John Grindle, wanted the animal cremated and wouldn't let anyone haul it away. Depending on the way the wind blew Tuesday evening, you could smell dead house or dead dog or both.Until last week, that charred pile was one of Dallas' most historic homes.  Continue reading...

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