Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weekend Plans - Memorial Day Edition

1. Friday thru Sunday is the City Arts Festival at Fair Park. All the museums at Fair Park will be open and free to the public. There will be art, food and music throughout the weekend. Friday night they will be showing Breakfast At Tiffany's under the stars.

2. This is the final weekend for Scarborough Faire. The entertainment and people watching can't be beat.

3. On Memorial Day head over to Flagpole Hill at White Rock Lake to hear the Dallas Symphony perform patriotic music followed with a fireworks show.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Proposed changes to the Lake Highlands Town Center

The Architect and I live up the street and around the corner from the planned Lake Highlands Town Center. Right now there is the Lake Highlands DART station, streets, lights and landscaping, but no buildings. A large part of the delay has been attributed to the Great Recession, credit crunch and slow economic recovery.

I previously wrote about the LHTC here where I discussed the fact that Sprouts was in talks again with Prescott Realty as being the anchor grocer planned for the development.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the City of Dallas is having a meeting about planned changes to the LHTC development. According to the Advocate Lake Highlands Back Talk blog there are 3 items to be discussed tomorrow: 1) proposed design changes from a City of Dallas hired consultant (Street Works), 2) Prescott Realty's update and recommendations to the Skillman TIF Board, and 3) a presentation by Concerned Lake Highlands Citizens proposing opposition to the changes.

The proposed design changes are a larger footprint for the proposed grocery anchor store. It has increased in size from 25,000 sqft to 56,000 sqft. The size change is in line with the size of Tom Thumbs around the area - like right up the street at Skillman and Abrams. Rumors have been circulating the Tom Thumb could be the anchor store at LHTC and it would close the store at Skillman/Abrams and Skillman/Royal. This would leave huge vacancies in an already increasingly vacant shopping center.

New to the scene are the Concerned Lake Highlands Citizens. Their concern is about another "big-box" grocery store competing with already existing businesses. They want LHTC to stay true to what the original design plan was - a mixed use development with multi-family and office users.

I can understand their concern. I want LHTC to be more "Mockingbird Station" in its design and less like the Timbercreek development at Skillman and Northwest Highway. It will have 3 big box stores - Walmart, Sam's Club and a free standing JC Penney. Ugh. I want to be able to walk down the street and go to a small grocer (Sprouts, Trader Joe's or similar) to pick up food or a bottle of wine. I also want more restaurant selection and availability. Go to Picasso's, Mi Cocina or Atomic Pie any night of the week and you will see there is a demand for these types of attractions.

You can read more specifics on the meeting and review the Street Works proposed design changes here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

An opportunity to own an architecturally significant home

Before the Architect and purchased our MCM gem of a home, we used to rent this house right behind the Old Monk off Henderson Ave.

It was designed by local architect Charles Dilbeck. In fact Dilbeck designed and built many of the homes in the Cochran Heights neighborhood off of Henderson Ave.

So who was the Charles Dilbeck guy?

Charles Dilbeck was born in 1907 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He first started working in Tulsa creating and adapting plans for builders and developers. He also took credit for designing the first Texas ranch house. Dilbeck has a wide ranging style from this "International" style gem we lived in to MCM to more traditional type bungalows. Douglas Newby has lots of info on his website about Dilbeck homes to include pictures and locations.

Our old landlord has put the house we lived in up for sale. This was a great house to live in, but it could use A LOT of renovation work to bring it back to its former glory. It is on the market for $275,000.00. Having lived in the house and being familiar with some of the needed repairs, I think the price is a bit high. But the location can't be beat. You are close to downtown and walking distance from many popular shops, bars and restaurants.

If you are interested in this house, feel free to shoot me an email and I'll tell you about my experience living there - good and bad. Also, the Architect has already designed an addition for this house. He'd be happy to talk to the future owners about his ideas for the property.

See the full listing here.

See the Dallas County Appraisal info here.

Biographical details on Charles Dilbeck from Douglas Newby Architecturally Significant Homes.

Photo of house from NTREIS.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Architecture Webcams!

Robert Wilonsky at Unfair Park unearthed some more construction webcams of many of the architecturally significant buildings and projects going on around Dallas.

I've already talked about the Calatrava and the Woodall Rodgers deck park webcams here.

Here are some new ones to add to your watching list:

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science - designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis.

The Museum Tower - another overpriced condo development in the parking lot next to the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art.

George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU - designed by Robert A.M. Stern

Upcoming local events

This week is a busy week for fun events in Dallas.

1. Tales of the Cocktail Texas Tour. Tales of the Cocktail is an annual get together of indutry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts in New Orleans each July. Earlier this year they took the show on the road to Vancouver and now they are making brief stops in Texas. This afternoon was a stop at The Cedars Social. Tomorrow is a stop at Whiskey Cake in Plano before they head to Austin and then end the tour in Houston. Tipsy Texan has all the details here.

2. Dewars Scotch Tasting. Tuesday at Bailey's Prime Plus at Park Lane from 6-9 will be a tasting of Dewars' 12yr, 18yr, and Signature Blend whiskeys. If you can't make it on Tuesday, Sigels on Greenville Ave. will also be holding a tasting from 5-8pm with the same whiskeys. Or go to both if you really like your (free) whiskey.

3. Pecha Kucha 6. Pecha Kucha 6 at Son's of Hermann Hall from 7-9pm. Speakers include Ben Hutchinson and Michael Siegel from Green House Truck, Harvey Lacey with Recycled Block Houses, Kael Alford a war photographer and many more.

4. Jazz Under the Stars at DMA. Thursday is also the kick off for the DMA's summer weekly jazz performances. First up is Havana NRG. Get there early to grab a prime spot of grass on the museum lawn.
and the start of Jazz Under the Stars at the DMA are on Thursday night.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weekend Plans - Cinco de Mayo Edition

Two ideas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and one non-alcohol related event.

1. Free Margaritas at Margarita Ranch, also cheese enchiladas with house margarita for 10 bucks during happy hour tomorrow.

2. Bailey's Prime Plus is having a complimentary Patron Tequila Tasting from 5 to 7pm at their location on 75 and Park Ln.

3. West Village Farmers Market is this Saturday from 10am to 2pm between Mi Cocina and the Magnolia Theater. After a run on the Katy Trail, stop by to produce, organic meats and artisan goods.