Dear Robert Wilonsky,
Dallas is changing and for natives such as ourselves, that is either exciting or concerning. Very often it is both.
I moved back to Dallas about a year ago after living away for 6 years during college (Hook ‘em). When I go looking for info about this building being demolished or that botched city plan, I, more often than not, find an article you’ve penned. As far as I’m concerned, you’re the guy who understands the evolution of Dallas as well as any one person can.
By all measures the city is booming. Everywhere I turn there are cranes building new generic mid-rise apartment buildings. I wasn’t quite conscious for boom of the 80’s so to me, this feels like an unprecedented time of development. As a city grows up (hopefully Dallas is mostly done growing out), growing pains are to be expected. Room must be made for all this development, I understand that. But must development come at the expense of our few old, historic buildings?
Albeit, we’re not talking about demolishing ancient Greek ruins here (though if we did have ancient ruins, my guess is that they would have been razed in the 70’s for a freeway). Where does this ‘out with the old, in with the new’ culture stem from? It’s an inherently Dallas trait that I’ll never fully understand.
At least I’m not totally alone in my point of view. There are people are working to slow down this ‘demolish now ask questions later’ mentality but I’m afraid the tradition runs too deep. Other cities find a balance of restoration and new but this seems to escape Dallas.
I’m not trying to stop the progress. I’m excited about the direction our city is heading and I fully believe Dallas’ best days are ahead of it. I just don’t think you can understand where you’re going if you don’t remember where you’ve been.
PS: Are we every going to have a usable Trinity River?