Developer Still Plans to Raze 1929 Humble Service Station in Oak Cliff

Humble.jpg
OOCCL
The 1929 Humble Oil service station's days are numbered.
Neighbors have pretty much given up on saving the vaguely octagonal white-and-blue building at the corner of Zang and Beckley that housed a long-departed Humble service station.

Developers Jay Song and John Chong plan to demolish the 1929 structure to make way for a convenience store. It's going to happen. The Lake Cliff Historic District ends across the street so, as long as they stay within city code, they can do what they want with the property.

"Legally, there is nothing any of us can do to save the building," said Jennifer Thornton, president of the Lake Cliff Neighborhood Association. "That's life in a transitional neighborhood."

Instead, neighbors are trying to blunt the ugliness of what they expect will be an eyesore. Local architect Robert Garza is volunteering to help design a building that fits with the surrounding architecture, and developers and neighbors are scheduled to convene in Councilwoman Delia Jasso's office on Thursday to sort out their differences.

Thornton said the developers, who recently built a city-subsidized convenience store near Paul Quinn College, have been open to residents' input.

"In their mind what they were producing is gorgeous... When I told them it was atrocious, they were shocked," Thornton said.

The developers' seemingly good intentions have not assuaged everyone's concerns. Katrina Whatley, who lives across the street, worries about the setback variance Chong and Song will reportedly seek from the city that will allow them to build to the street.

Already, Whatley takes her car to Spiral Diner because of low visibility at the intersection, which will be worsened as the building encroaches further upon the street.

Michael Amonett of the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, which announced the Humble station as the first property on its 2012 Architecture at Risk list, still holds onto a sliver of hope the building can be saved but worries that the proposed zoning changes will seal its fate.

Thornton has come to terms with the building's fate but is more optimistic that the final product won't be terrible.

"They could come in and say 'We don't really care what you think. ... Well thank God its not something you would have found in the suburbs. (It's an) if you can't beat them, join them kind of thing."

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30 comments
Alek J. Hidell
Alek J. Hidell

 Bit_ _, she's married with a precious son, so get lost perv!

Man Across The Street
Man Across The Street

We DO NOT NEED a convenience store.  7 eleven poorly provides us with some now. Also there is a crazy crack hole of a convenience mug me now shop at Colorado by Oak Farms.   Maybe they can all have a price war on bad food and cigarettes. 

Maryiam
Maryiam

I would buy the station if I could.     Open it up as a small biz.     

Strangelv
Strangelv

Anyone remember that kid with blonde hair who was always using the payphone there?

OakCliffObserver
OakCliffObserver

A convenience store, huh? Like the one at Beckley and Sunset? Sorta like that, right? Get ready for... People urinating around the dumpster (daily) to the point where the smell is evident from 20 yards; trash and debris blowing up and down the block and into neighboring yards; loud music booming from cars in the parking lot; people loitering around outside at all hours;  nasty traffic, especially on Friday evenings; weeds and graffiti along the front, back and sides of the building...  You get the idea. Yes, you're gonna love it.

Humble
Humble

No one except commenter RTGolden has mentioned preserving the building.  I read that neighbors would like to see it renovated and re-proposed but not preserved.   RTGolden mentions developers but the owners are not developers.  They are business owners working on a new building for themselves. Only commenter RTGolden writes about buying drugs. Oak Cliff is being transformed by many to an apartment and renter community unlike Lakewood with single family homes owned by their residents. Many of the comments here seem to be written by the same person using different profile names.

Katrina Whatley
Katrina Whatley

If you want to take cowardly shots at me it IS always best to use a false name, "Holy Sheet". 

I have a small child and will not endanger him by walking over a five street intersection, where I see wreck after wreck.

Good luck to you, "Holy Sheet"!

Katrina Whatley

Kcosby905
Kcosby905

Sad that they have no respect for history.....I won't patronize them.

Pretty Perry
Pretty Perry

Payless Beer and Wine with a drive through.  Sale of alcohol is prohibited within 300 feet of a church, public or private school or public hospital.  Sale of alcohol is prohibited within 1,000 feet of certain schools (alcohol-free school zones).  You have Methodist, Iglesia Presbyterian Emmanuel just up Zang and James F. Hogg elementary on Elsbeth.  The city must be allowing a beer and wine variance.

http://ooccl.com/index.php?opt...   

Holy Sheet
Holy Sheet

Katrina Whatley... Get off your fat ass and walk across the street...

Alek J. Hidell
Alek J. Hidell

 Katrina is not fat. She is a beautiful woman, so get your jealousy in check.

DonJuandeBishop
DonJuandeBishop

Yes.... I met her when she was handing out business cards at one of those Oak Cliff street fairs, and would totally tap that.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Everything that attracted me to living in Oak Cliff 20 years ago is getting torn down, gentrified to blandness or overrun with people who want to turn the OC into Lakewood or the suburbs. (Not that there's anything wrong with Lakewood--it's just we already have a Lakewood). The blandification continues.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Nice to see the neighborhood association is fighting the attempt to put something new and clean in there.  I mean it would really suck to lose the Taj Majal they've got there now and gain a clean, well-lit, efficient building.If they were so determined to preserve the building, why didn't the people doing all the bitching do something to help keep the property looking nice?  It's nice that the developers are willing to work with the association on the design, but really, isn't anything going to be better than a crumbling eyesore destined to become a drug hotspot?

donovan acree
donovan acree

 You have no idea what you are talking about. That property was never a crumbling eyesore. It was a key shop before it was purchased by these outside investors. Perhaps you have that North Dallas sensibility that appreciates only the new and modern. In Oak Cliff we love our old neighborhood with its odd ball buildings and architecture. Rather than destroying anything over 25 years old, we tend to maintain and love our buildings.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 I like you point about those of us who so appreciate the property to help clean it up.  Fair enough.  But, I see a lot of charm in that old building, do you not?  I think it would be foolish to raze that building.  Now, it could be fatally flawed somehow, but otherwise it seems that has more character than anything new.  I wouldn't support the city funding any of this, but if they were given a sensible variance to allow the venerable structure to be used, if possible. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

Sure the building has unique lines, great accents with the blue tiles, and a nice history behind it.  I don't have a grudge against the building at all.

My only beef is with the neighborhood association that sat all those years, watching the property crumble, probably muttering to each other in true Shutzian fashion about what a blight it was becoming and why doesn't the city do something about it.  Then, when a developer comes in and wants to 'do something about it', his 'something' isn't what they want.  

I agree that the city shouldn't be putting any money into this.  However, the story makes no mention of this being city-subsidized, only that a store they built near Paul Quinn was subsidized.

Guest
Guest

It was actually a functioning key shop for several years...until it was put up for sale around a year ago.  There was nothing to complain about.

Rosemont girl
Rosemont girl

This could be expanded a bit a bit to make the cutest "drive in" convenience store with the OC vintage look. Does anyone have any imagination? 

r
r

I wont shop there..the only way to fight it is to mske em go out of business!

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

" who recently built a city-subsidized convenience store near Paul Quinn College"

Why is the city subsidizing convenience stores anywhere?  Where does the money come from for a project like this?

Alfredo
Alfredo

We see alot of moaning about food deserts in the inner city and complaints that residents have to shop at higher priced convenience stores and the city is subsidizing a convenience store in what is probably classified as a food desert. 

Chimichanga
Chimichanga

subsidize the distribution of crap food to people that will need chronic health care subsidy caused by crap food intake.

Celebrate Divershitty
Celebrate Divershitty

"Developers Jay Song and John Chong"

"the developers, who recently built a city-subsidized convenience store near Paul Quinn College"

Celebrate Divershitty!

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