In West Dallas, Amid Development and Demolition, a Fight to Save a Beloved Community Center

For eight decades, the Bataan Community Center has served as the focal point for an neighborhood settled by the people who built this city on behalf of the people who owned this city. But now the doors at the squat beige West Dallas building dating to 1940 remain locked most of the time. A place not long ago packed with children, from sunup till beyond the dinner hour, sits silent. Spaces that served over decades as classrooms and clinics run by volunteers are empty, used mostly for storage if at all. Walls once covered in murals that told the story of this neighborhood and the history of the Spanish-speakers who settled it have been painted over. A leaky roof has helped spread mold and rot throughout. The community center is not beyond repair. Yet a feeling of finality, of farewell, exists in this brick building along Bataan Street, near Trinity Groves, in the La Bajada neighborhood that has seen the sprawl of development creep to its doorstep.   Continue reading...

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