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Looking Forward While Looking Back....

Looking Forward While Looking Back....

The study of architecture is always a balancing act.  How do you concentrate on looking forward towhat your city can become in the future while still celebrating architecturallegacy?   Our just-closed exhibition Context/Contrastdid just that by examining new architecture in historic districts.  With examples from New York (the show’s origination point) andour own fair city, it was an interesting look at how communities can transformthemselves without destroying their past.

Two events in the past week accomplished the same thing.  Last weekend, 1900 Elm, the original Titche-Goettingerdepartment store downtown, featured residents in period costumes, historic tidbitsand a tour of all the building had and still has to offer.  Mastermind Noah Jeppson pointed out originalArt Deco details, the original auditorium at the top of the building (nowapartments), and the symbols of Texas,retail and industry scattered throughout. We were there and have postedour photos on our Flickr page. Designed by Greene LaRoche and Dahl andcompleted in 1929, the building is an important architectural icon and now apart of the grouping of buildings surrounding Main Street Garden.  But it is equally important in the retailhistory of the city.  First housed in theWilson Building, Titche-Goettinger was one of downtown Dallas’ department storestalwarts until it and it’s competition decamped for the suburbs in the 1960’sand 70’s. (Fingers crossed…we hope to borrow some of the blueprints and otherartifacts still in the building for a mini-exhibition soon.)

Then, on Monday, AIA Dallas and the Center for MetropolitanDensity at UT-Arlington’s School of Architecture hosted a panel discussion onthe impact that the deck park (aka our front lawn) will have on ourneighborhood.  Michael Buckley, directorof the CfMD, moderated a great group of experts, including architects,developers and cultural leaders.  Themood was upbeat, as participants celebrated the accomplishments of the city inthe last several decades and looked forward to even more success in the yearsahead.  Interestingly, the impact wasdiscussed not just in economic terms (we all presume that the property values alongsidethe Park will appreciate), but also in terms of the environmental and culturalimpact it will have on downtown.  AIADallas has posted photos of the event on theirFacebook page.

These are the kinds of events that DCFA is proud to supportand be a part of.  We are alwaysinterested in looking forward to the future and sustainable design andincreased density and all that comes with it. Just as importantly, however, we will continue to celebrate and learnfrom the many buildings that are a part of our impressive architecturallegacy.  And you can join us…our walking toursoffer wonderful looks at both past and present. Register and join us this Saturday…  

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