Urban Park Elementary School in Dallas is showing a bit of its age. It's on the Dallas Independent School District's list of potential sites to rebuild. That's why it's also on Preservation Dallas' list of Most Endangered Historic Places in Dallas list.
"Some people may see it as a little rundown," said David Preziosi of Preservation Dallas. "I see it as an opportunity to make something wonderful."
More than a dozen DISD schools are on this year's Most Endangered list, along with Pike Park Recreational Center, Cole Manor Motel, Hyer Elementary, Casa Linda Plaza, Timberlawn, and Tennessee Dairy Wall, a relic from Tennessee Dairies, Inc. The farm was named the "most sanitary dairy farm" at the 1908 State Fair.
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Preservation Dallas takes nominations that are then juried to make the Most Endangered list, based on their risk of being demolished or altered from their original character.
"Why do we need to tear down these existing buildings and take it all off to the landfill when these can be redone and restored," Preziosi asked. "Teach our kids the value of recycling; not only paper, cans, and cardboard, but buildings as well, because that's part of our environment."
Preziosi said none of the buildings on the list are designated historic, which means they have fewer protections from the wrecking ball.
It's already happening in the 10th Street Historic District on the southeastern edge of Oak Cliff, which also made this year's list. The district dates back to the post-Civil War era, when freed slaves lived there. Today many of the rundown homes are boarded up, some have already been demolished to make room for new homes.
"The property values have gone up so much, the property is worth more than the value of the building on the lot," explained Preziosi, who says Dallas needs a balance of the old and the new. "I think it's important to hold on to what we have as a record of our history."