Future of Frank Lloyd Wright's Dallas Theater and More From Robert Wilonsky This Week

Here's the latest edition of Robert Wilonsky's Most Dallas Newsletter Ever. Enter your email address to subscribe below.The Future of Frank Lloyd Wright's Dallas Theater, For NowWhen I was first asked to write this newsletter — and by asked, I mean commanded, but in a nice way (Editor's note: I'm very nice about all my commands) — I was told it would be no big deal. "Just like the old blog," they said. Which took me 10 hours a day, every day. And it was the best time I've ever had in my entire life. So, then, down to business. With a smile, as far as you know. What you see at top is, of course, is Frank Lloyd Wright's rendering of the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Oak Lawn. Two renderings of the theater were sold Monday by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, from the collection of architect W. Kelly Oliver. The two presentation drawings went for the low, low price of $15,000. Heritage's PR man Eric Bradley, nice fellow, wrote me via email that "the drawings are of particular historical interest because he presents the audience as it would experience the stage. In fact, Wright wanted to be an actor when he was young." Who among us didn't? Good timing on the sale, because come Thursday the city's Arts and Culture Advisory Commission is going to discuss the deteriorating Kalita and extending the Dallas Theater Center's lease for five more years. Jennifer Scripps, the head of the Office of Cultural Affairs, said Tuesday that the extension will give the city time to update the master plan -- commissioned in 2008, finished in 2010 -- while finding a nonprofit to, perhaps, take over the Kalita's operations and "get serious about fundraising for the next bond." The lease extension will also "include certain performance benchmarks such as timely completion of an equitable access plan," says Thursday's agenda. Which, long story short, means letting smaller arts groups use the venue built 60 years ago as the Dallas Theater Center's home. "Makes it more accessible, more equitable," says Scripps. "In keeping with the cultural plan" adopted last year. In case you missed it, Mark Lamster and I wrote about the state of the Kalita last year. Here's his piece: "It's time for Dallas to save Frank Lloyd Wright's crumbling Kalita Humphreys Theater." Here's mine: "Is Dallas finally ready to do the Wright thing and preserve the landmark Kalita Humphreys Theater?" I regret nothing. This goes to the Dallas City Council's Quality of Life, Arts & Culture Committee on Monday. I also go to the Quality of Life committee on Monday. Because I go to every one. So you don't have to.Transportation AuthorityI made the terrible mistake Monday of taking the worst possible route from Dallas City Hall to the Dallas North Tollway: Young Street to Field Street to where it turns into Moody Street before it hits Harry Hines Boulevard next to the wildly unfriendly Rolex Building. You know the place. A real cluster. Especially when it's headin-home time. Seems no one coming off the toll road-Harry Hines has any idea there's a light there, keeping them from merging with traffic trying to get ON to the toll road. Or they do and just don't care. Either way it's a damned mess -- always has been, and it's getting worse, for pedestrians who don't want to be run over and drivers who don't want to run them over. I have asked the city's director of transportation about this and will address it next week. Until then I really need to work from home more often. (Editor's note: I have nicely commanded this, too). Recent Columns in Case You Missed Them  Continue reading...

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