Statement | Washington, DC | August 16, 2019

National Trust Applauds Dallas City Council Action to Halt Demolitions in Tenth Street Historic District

The Dallas City Council yesterday unanimously approved a resolution that would temporarily halt the use of public funds on any further demolitions in the historic Tenth Street Historic District in Dallas, which was named to the National Trust’s 2019 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The following is a statement by Barbara Pahl, senior vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“We commend Councilmember King Arnold and the City Council and Manager for acting to halt rampant demolitions in this iconic neighborhood that cannot afford further losses to its historic character and that America cannot afford to lose. One of the rare remaining Freedmens’ Towns in the U.S., the Tenth Street Historic District helps tell the story of the African American community’s perseverance in the Jim Crow South. The waves of demolition in the district have threatened to extinguish tangible links to the struggle and triumphs of African Americans in this country, and permanently alter a place that generations of Dallas families have called home.

“The City Council vote removes the immediate threat to the neighborhood’s survival and represents a critical step forward in securing Tenth Street’s past and future. The vote was the result of a broad-based coalition effort to save the district, including sustained advocacy by Preservation Dallas, Preservation Texas, the Independent Communities Project and the 10th Street Residents Association; legal action by Legal Aid of Northwest Texas; and the Landmarks Committee’s recent refusal to rubber-stamp demolition permits. We are also pleased by the attention garnered by our naming it one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in May. The purpose of the 11 Most list is to focus national attention on important, threatened historic places, and we are gratified that the national spotlight on the Tenth Street neighborhood helped catalyze this recent development.

“But this is only a temporary fix. We encourage lawmakers to work with the community to find additional solutions to ensure the long-term preservation of one of the most significant neighborhoods in Dallas, and an essential chapter in our full American story.”

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
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