Dallas moves forward with preservation

Evangelical Church, 785 SW Church St., is one of the properties on the survey list of historic properties.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Evangelical Church, 785 SW Church St., is one of the properties on the survey list of historic properties.

DALLAS — The Dallas City Council will review a final draft of its historic preservation ordinance on Monday.

Council members approved drafting a final version at the council’s April 16 meeting following a public hearing. The Dallas Planning Commission recommended the city approve the ordinance after its own hearing on March 13.


Several buildings downtown are on the historic resource inventory list.

Dallas Planning Director Scott Whyte said approving the ordinance creates a local commission to review and designate local historic landmarks, in cooperation with property owners. It also is a step in becoming a “certified local government,” which opens the door to an extensive list of grant opportunities through the State Historic Preservation Office.

Properties Historic Resources Inventory list:

Greenwood Stationary Build (now World Gym), 1889, 887 Main St.

Brown Building (Haas Drug, Mode O’Day), 1889, 861 and 865 Main St.

Ben Franklin Building, date not known, 811 Main St.

Uglow Building, date not known, 807 Main St.

Brixius Jewelers, I.O.O.F. building, date not known, 837 Main St.

Evangelical Church, date not known, 785 Church St.

Williams House, 1870, 848 SW Levens St.

I.O.O.F. Building, 1890, 115 SE Court St.

First Presbyterian Church, 1892, 879 SW Levens St.

First Christian Church, 1932, 1079 SE Jefferson St.

L.J. Soehren House, 1903, 1121 SW Main St.

Polk County Courthouse, 1900, 850 Main St.

Certified local governments can apply for grants to survey historic properties, site or property designations, building preservation and rehabilitation, public education and more.

On May 21, Mayor Brian Dalton will take the next step in the process, appointing members to the advisory commission.

“The three people who are appointed to this commission will be tasked with creating the historic register, which will be involved in inventorying historically significant features of buildings,” Whyte said.

The commission will review the 12 properties on the interim survey list, which include several downtown buildings and the Polk County Courthouse.

Whyte said the commission will investigate the historic properties of those buildings and others in town, with the intent of approaching owners about including their properties on the local resgister.

“One of the nice tools of having the registry is that it will distinguish what historic elements are important,” Whyte said.

Properties on the register are subject to stricter standards for exterior alterations, which are subject to commission review.

Whyte said the only public comment came from Polk County Administrator Greg Hansen requesting that just the historic portion of the courthouse be included, not the annex.

“As you are aware, Polk County is placing on the ballot a measure which is going to address renovation/upgrades to the Courthouse Complex (both buildings) and I want to make certain that improvements (exterior modification, window replacement, etc.) we are going to be making to the annex aren’t affected by your code update,” Hansen wrote. Whyte said the planning commission accepted the change.

“Polk County could say, don’t put me on at all and we would be required to take them off. That is the way that the law (works), so it was a compromise by Greg,” Whyte said. “Changes that proposed for the historic county courthouse will maintain/preserve the building’s history and


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