If Landmark Allows Amphitheater, First Presby Expects to Close on 508 Park Ave. Next Month
|Click to embiggen for a better look at First Presby's plans to freshen up 508 Park Avenue, should it get Landmark's OK to tear down 1900 Young next door.|
And only six days before Johnson's 100th, the Landmark Commission will once again meet to discuss the building. But this meeting will be different. This will be the one during which the commission, long after its courtesy reviews and task-force look-sees, will decide whether to allow First Presbyterian Church of Dallas to raze the adjacent 1900 Young and put in its place an amphitheater in which the church hopes to hold "church performances, gatherings and social activities," according to documents turned into the city April 7.
Landmark just posted its meeting agenda for Monday, and contained within (beginning on Page 162) are not only the renderings and plans for 508 Park and 1900 Young, but also an agreement between current owners Colby Properties and First Presby dated April 18. It says if Landmark signs off on the certificate of demolition for Young, and the certificate of appropriateness for Park Ave., then church expects to close on the property by May 17. The church also says it will have the amphitheater done by January 31, 2013; City Attorney Tom Perkins has already signed off on the deal.
But it could be a nail-biter: While the task force has signed off on the demolition of 1900 Young, because it's not "contributing" to the historic district downtown, city staff is recommending Landmark deny the certificate of demolition. Why the no? Two reasons, per the agenda:
The proposed demolition does not meet the standards in City Code Section 51A-4.501(h)(4)(A) because the owner has not shown that the new structure is more appropriate and compatible with the historic overlay district than the structure to be demolished or removed. [And] The proposed demolition does not meet the standards in City Code Section 51A-4.501(h)(4)(A) because although the structure is considered non-contributing to the Harwood Historic District, it is considered contributing to the Dallas Downtown National Register District.