Northwest Dallas Neighbors Are Fighting to Restore Forest Lane's Funkiest Mural

Categories: Neighborhoods

ForestLaneWall.jpg
Brent Herling/Helping to Paint the Wall Facebook page
Though he was prepared to do so, it turned out that Brent Herling has not had to repaint Northwest Dallas' longest, funkiest mural all by himself. Paintbrush-wielding volunteers have flocked to the half mile of wall along Forest Lane, eager to help restore the masterwork left by W.T. White students in 1976. The giant armadillo is once again clearly headed toward the Downtown skyline. The moon's cleft chin is more clearly defined than it has been in years. The Starship Enterprise looks like it's just soared off the showroom floor.

It's been inspiring, really, how the neighborhood has come together to save its quirkiest landmark. The mood is pretty well captured in this five-minute YouTube documentary. What type of cold-hearted asshole could possibly be against such a joyous outpouring of community spirit?

Danny Scott, that's who. Scott, a real estate broker whose home backs up to the wall, took to a neighborhood message board over the weekend to voice his general displeasure with the project.

We have been VERY emphatic that we DO NOT WANT THE WALL ON OUR PROPERTY repainted with this HIDEOUS EYE SORE!!!!! No matter what lies you have been told, it is NOT public property. It is on private property; in this specific case, MY property. Still, our wishes have been ignored, and most recently, someone had the unmitigated GALL to paint "PLEASE PAINT ME SAT 9:00 AM" on my section of the wall! Further, these people who are perpetuating this unsightly travesty, are also vandalizing the sidewalk (illegal graffiti) by painting their names, initials or dates on it. If you are one of those, who want the so-called "art" restored, I have two very strong suggestions: First, MAKE SURE you have the owner's permission to paint that section of the wall. Mr. Herling has assured us that he has these signed permissions, so ask to see them before you find yourself facing vandalism charges. Second, NO ONE has permission to paint ANYTHING on the sidewalk. Just don't do it.

See also: Northwest Dallas Man Will Restore Enormous Forest Lane Mural, Whether Anyone Helps Him Or Not

Herling took this to mean that Scott had been the one he'd caught defacing the mural over the weekend. He has since retracted that claim but says the culprit was one of Scott's housemates. Scott has not responded to an email or phone call seeking comment.

In any case, the man "went out and found the volunteers' paint and decided to go to town behind their home." The vandal "completely obliterated Saturn." Ditto for the girl holding the spinning ball. The invitation to passersby now warned them away: "DON'T PAINT ME."

Herling says he thought of making a citizen's arrest but decided against it. There was, after all, a standing invitation to paint, plus waiting paint and brushes Herling had left out.

What he did do was go downtown to search through Dallas County records for the plat to Scott's house. Attached to it was a dedication from 1967 ceding the wall to the city of Dallas, whose code department has green-lighted the project.

Scott, in the neighborhood discussion group, says a survey completed shortly before he bought his house in 2006 shows the wall as part of his property, plus an email from Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates' office affirming that wall maintenance is the homeowner's responsibility.

"These two sources are not only irrefutably credible, but they are also at least roughly 40 years more recent than the developer's dedication of land when the plat was recorded," Scott writes. "Lots of things can happen over nearly half a century. I don't know how, when or why this change occurred, but clearly something happened. My guess, for all that's worth, is that the city didn't want the cost of maintaining it. Whatever happened, doesn't matter. We can only deal with what IS, not what used to be.

"And Mr. Herling, it takes an inconceivable degree of hubris and irony for you to accuse anyone of defacing property! Whether you believe that I own that section of the wall, or you believe, as you incorrectly assert, that the city does, YOU and your minions have been defacing it for weeks! Wow. Some people really have a twisted sense of reality."

Scott has at least one supporter in the neighborhood forum. Most of the rest seem to like the wall.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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34 comments
Threeboys
Threeboys

Not a real estate lawyer, but I live 1 block away from Scott, so I have a few questions.

If my property ends just before my alley (actually about 5 feet from where the alley begins), and the city owns the alley, why isn't that the same here? There is an alley between the Mendenhall houses and the wall. The layout is the alley, the wall, the sidewalk and Forest Lane, aren't they all city property?

Not legal but semantics question. The wall was painted in 1976. He bought in 2006. Why the sudden uproar? Secondly, the painted portion of the wall faces Forest, not his alley. How does this adversely affect him other than not wanting to listen to the painting volunteers at 9 am Saturday, who by the way will be done in a week.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

So he painted, "don't paint me." Doesn't that obviate his entire logic?

Maybe Gates recused herself to the point of using Tennel Atkins' knowledge of local zoning laws. Hope Scott don't need sewer repairs.

Fucking world crass indeed.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Somebody needs to paper this guys house.

And use the cheap one ply shit that dissolves on everything.

And maybe a bag of hot, steamy, flaming poop, too.


Are you listening W.T.White incoming freshman class?

WylieH
WylieH

So Danny Scott thinks a generic e-mail from a City council member in combination with a survey can overturn a deed?  Good luck with that.... and he's a real estate agent???

Hope his knowledge of other aspects of the real estate business trump his knowledge of real estate law.

JackJett
JackJett

We call this our turf wall in our neck O the woods.  When I first moved here I thought it was such a faded and tired attempt at Peter Max but it grows on you.  Glad that we are all able to keep it up after all these years and good to hear someone made a little doc out of it.  Maybe we can screen it at our upcoming July 4th parade that last about as long as this documentary.

I am sorry that Mr. Scott has reached such a mega state of bummersville, however once he gets his gall mitigated, he should feel much better. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

He's probably a Republican, or a Democrat . . . or something.

Daniel
Daniel

I'd sneak  in the middle of the night to paint a picture of a scumbar 

lftay
lftay

Like it or not: his property, his wall, his rules.  

dingo
dingo

@JackJett 

he should feel much better....

 

I am not so sure. His eyesore is apparently giving him an eye sore.

JackJett
JackJett

@Daniel  Is a scumbar a place for scumbags to hang?  Trying to get a visual.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

I was in Philly a few months ago, it made me glad that I left the East three decades ago.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@lftay I wonder if it would still be his wall when somebody jumps the curb and crashes into it, which has happened in the past on other sections of wall along Forest Ln. Would he be footing the bill to rebuild it then? 

My guess is no.

WylieH
WylieH

@lftay Except it isn't his wall... it was turned over to the City in 1967.

A-nony-mouse
A-nony-mouse

@lftay If there is a 1967 plat ceding the wall to the City of Dallas, and there is no replat of the property that is more recent, then the 1967 plat is still in force and controls the disposition of the property, no matter what his survey says. So no, it may not be his wall.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@pak152

I'm republican. Tear down that wall.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Rt 95 mostly, as fast as I could.

I spent couple months in Media before going overseas some years back, would go to Philly to pass time. It sucked then too.

The whole Eastern Seaboard sucks.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

That's right hon, the minute I left, the whole place went to shit.

Florida is still OK tho, if you avoid the New Yorkers, jerseyites and Quebecers.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin

Good idea. No bridges. The whole state could be the Conch Nation.

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