The News
Home Tour This Weekend!
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Written by Michael Amonett
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 19:43
FALL HOME TOUR THIS WEEKEND! Get your tickets online here or at participating outlets. TIckets can be purchased at Kessler Baking Studio, Lucky Dog Books or at participating Tom Thumb's:
315 S Hampton
6333 Mockingbird
522 Preston Royal Center
633 W. Wheatland (Duncanville)

OR DURING THE TOUR at Ticket Central - Simply Austin, 401 N. Bishop in the Bishop Arts District OR at any Tour Home.

Hear the lions roar from the back of this beautiful modern home behind the Dallas Zoo.

Charming cottage facade disguises the truth that this home is over 4000 sq ft

East Kessler outdoor dining area fit to host the most elegant of parties.

Custom ironwork adorns this Kiest Forest residence.

This home on Mayrant Dr. has a beautiful modern kitchen.

Wynnewood North cottage with original hardwood floors.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 20:09
Meadow Loop Trail Ribbon Cutting
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Written by Lybo Buchanan
Sunday, 08 October 2017 22:21

altTo celebrate the opening of a newly cleared “Meadow Loop Trail”, a dedication program and ribbon cutting was held on Saturday, October 7th at the trail site on the southern part of Keist Park. This was located just south of Keist Blvd, and on the eastside of Hampton.

A Grow South Grant had been awarded to Friends of Oak Cliff Parks, who put the money to good use on this project. Jon Papp, the President of the organization welcomed everyone to the celebration, and gave recognition to the volunteers.

Remarks were given by Dwaine Caraway, City Councilman for District 4, Vana Hammond, Grow South, Willis Winters, Director of Dallas Parks Department, Sam Franklin, Dallas Parks Department, and Robert Abtani, President Dallas Park Board.

Light refreshments were offered, as well as an optional trail walk for those prefering to walk part or all of the trail. Another added feature was a veiwing of the “native” prairie meadow located at the entrance to the new trail. Getting to this new trail was just a short hike down the Bridal Trail.

Volunteers included the University of North Texas in Dallas, North Dallas Adventist Academy, Lassiter High School Honor Society, Sunset High School Key Club, Century Air Conditioning, Boy Scouts Troop 2012, Active Network, Dallas County Master Naturalists, and the Dallas County Master Gardeners. Many of whom were in attendance on this day.

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 October 2017 23:17
Old Oak Cliff Conservation League is now Heritage Oak Cliff
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Written by Michael Amonett
Monday, 18 September 2017 23:44

Old Oak Cliff Conservation League
Announces Name Change to 
"Heritage Oak Cliff"

Dallas, TX - A longtime advocate for the preservation of the history and heritage of Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhoods is changing its name after 43 years of service. Old Oak Cliff Conservation League announced today that it will now be called "Heritage Oak Cliff".
"We are very pleased to announce these changes," said Ellie Hajek, the organization's President. "Since 1974, we have been at the forefront of the preservation movement in Dallas, working to protect not only the structures that help give Oak Cliff its character, but also the culture, customs and traditions of our neighborhoods." 
There will be no interruption in the organization's scheduled activities, chief of which is the Oak Cliff Fall Home Tour, scheduled for October 21-22. Information about Heritage Oak Cliff can now be found at
The organization was founded to stop urban decay and to preserve old neighborhoods in North Oak Cliff. The group fought plans to convert streets into major thoroughfares and helped craft zoning to protect neighborhoods. Over the years, however, the scope of the group's work expanded.
The membership now includes neighborhoods well south and east of the old, North Oak Cliff neighborhoods which were the organization's core when founded. And the group's programs now reflect a commitment to more than the preservation of buildings. "Through programs like our Oak Cliff Live! Speaker Series, candidate forums, and our This Place Matters Facebook page, we help our neighbors talk about and participate in solving the problems that arise when a community changes so quickly," said Anne Foster executive vice president.
"Certainly, we will continue to work towards the preservation of our historic buildings that link us to the past, and we will continue to participate in the city's evaluation of zoning changes, but we will do all of this with a keen eye to preserving the heritage of Oak Cliff, which includes our cultural diversity and our close-knit neighborhood lifestyles that we all love," added Lee Ruiz, Co-Vice President of Neighborhoods. "The new name is a much better reflection of that."

The organization considered changing its name several times over the years, but finally acted this year. A Name and Logo Review Committee was formed by the Board of Directors. The committee worked closely with Pink Jacket Studio, a branding firm headquartered in Oak Cliff and owned by two Oak Cliff residents. Input was received from a broad swath of the community, especially the organization's membership. The actual name change was voted on at the Board meeting in June, with "Heritage Oak Cliff" quickly receiving broad support. The name change was then kept a secret while the look of the logo was determined. The changes were announced at the Bishop Arts Theater Center on September 18th in conjunction with the 2017 Oak Cliff Fall Home Tour Reveal Reception. 

For more information, contact us via the link below:

Send Email

Heritage Oak Cliff, formerly Old Oak Cliff Conservation League
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 September 2017 14:13
2017 OOCCL Awards
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Written by Michael Amonett
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:12
The Ruth Chenoweth Conservation Achievement Award

This award recognizes outstanding conservation achievement for property of historical significance to Oak Cliff. Treatment of these historic properties may have included preservation, conservation, rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction, adaptive use or a combination of these design principles.
The criteria for the award:
• This award recognizes outstanding conservation achievement pertaining to a property of historical significance in Oak Cliff. That may include preservation, conservation, rehabilitation, restoration, reconstruction, adaptive re-use or a combination of these design principles.
• Consideration includes the treatment of hard-scape and landscape on the existing site. The property - building and its total site - does not intrude upon the surrounding neighborhood but rather compliments and benefits it.
• Recipients of this award are members of a preservation team that have risen above and beyond the ordinary in their efforts to strengthen and preserve the character and integrity that is our history and our future. The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League holds them in our highest regard for their efforts.

The Neighborhood Champion Award

This is the first year we will present this award.  It is meant to recognize excellence in advocacy for our Oak Cliff neighborhoods.  

If you know anyone you'd like to nominate for one of these awards, email their info here and some reasons why you think they should be recognized.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:21
Preservation Town Hall Meeting
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Written by Lybo Buchanan
Saturday, 24 June 2017 11:13

20 Jun 2017

Close to 120 folks filled the newly renovated Arts Mission Oak Cliff for discussions on preserving our heritage and our community from developers whose only interest is in their profit line.  Our wonderful structures and the multitude of trees help determine the fabric of our community, defining and setting Oak Cliff apart from the rest of Dallas. Our passion in their preservation pulls us together against the bulldozers that threaten to demolish what we love.

Recently we have been buffeted by teardowns of historic and loved buildings. As our area continues to experience rapid change and development, we would like to think about how we can act in a positive way to preserve and protect this history.

Tonight’s event was sponsored by the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, Preservation Dallas, and the Oak Cliff Advocate.  Rachel Stone, from the Advocate, moderated an expert panel of speakers which included Scott Griggs, Dallas City Council, Monte Anderson, Option Real Estate and local developer, Mark Doty, Chief Planner, City of Dallas Historic Preservation Dept, and Bob Meckfessel, DSGM Associates, President, FAIA (Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.)

There are several tools already in place that the City of Dallas uses to determine which properties are protected, which properties can be protected, and which are not.

Buildings within a Historic or a Conservation District will be covered under the rules governing those areas. Most of these include no teardowns. These are wonderful tools in preserving the original fabric of a neighborhood.

A Conservation District is a tool that communities can use to preserve an area’s distinctive atmosphere or character through architectural guidelines, development standards, and special zoning provisions. Conservation Districts protect such things as architecture styles, densities of the area, heights of structures, and setback guidelines. The neighborhood decides these things and sets the guidelines into an ordinance, which must have approval of 50 to 75% of those living there.  It typically takes 12-18 months from start to finish until the city council adopts it.

A Historic District looks to preserve the original structure exactly as when it was first built, including original materials, colors, styles, and any other elements of the original structure. Any improvements or new construction must first be approved by the neighborhood historic district task force, before going to the City of Dallas’ Landmark Commission. This process can take about 2 months to complete. This also includes putting in new landscaping, fence, or just a fresh coat of paint.

Another tool created about a year ago is the Demolition Delay Overlay District. Its creation was recommended by a downtown task force, set up by the Dallas mayor to address some demolition that occurred in the downtown area.

Currently there are 2 of these Overlay Districts:

1)         1) Downtown Dallas 

2)         2) Oak Cliff


altThe Oak Cliff Demolition Delay Overlay District: What this means is that any demo permit that is pulled within the overlay area, goes to the Historic Preservation Officer for review.  There is a 45-day delay before issuing the demo permit. The planner has set criteria he uses to determine whether a dialogue needs to happen before any demolition takes place. Part of the dialogue would be consideration of re-using the building and/or making it a landmark. 

Criteria that qualifies a building for demolition delay would be any building within the overlay district that meets one of the following:

(1) Being located in a National Register District;
(2) Designation as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark;​
(3) Designation as a State Archeological Landmark;
(4) Designation as a National Historic Landmark;
(5) Being listed as a significant building in the 2003 Downtown Dallas Architecturally Significant Properties Survey; ​or
(6) Being listed as a contributing structure in the 1994 Hardy-Heck-Moore Survey​.

If a building does not meet the criteria, the demolition permit is issued.

If a building does meet the criteria, a sign is posted on the property letting the public know a demolition request is on file. Within 45 days, a public meeting is held with the property owner, public officials, and the stakeholders to discuss alternatives to demolition.

After 45 days, the owner either agrees to the alternative solution, or declines, at which point, the demo permit is issued.

Anything that is outside of these areas, you would need to initiate a conversation with the property owner to try to stop any demolition.

Boundaries for both of these overlay areas can be found online.

Please note that a National Registered Landmark is honorary only. It does not provide any protection.

Local Landmark is on the local level and does provide protection.  

altOther ideas addressed by the panel included:

Uses:  Expand uses for old buildings. Allow uses to transform organically, instead of forcing something that really does not fit.

Economic Development: provide economic development incentives for restoring as opposed to tearing down. Encourage investing in smaller projects that require less money. Improve neighborhood relations when “good guys” want to invest. The Arts Mission Oak Cliff is a good example.

Platting/Lot size: keep plats of land small to discourage out of town developer to come in and build big. Do not allow re-platting. Create a citywide notification system for re-plats.

Density: Increase density on residential lots with accessory structures.

Street Grid: Pay attention to the street grid, streetscape, frontage, infrastructure, etc. that contribute to the historic fabric, not just the architecture 

Historic Survey: Perform a historic survey on the oldest parts of Oak Cliff. City is working on RFQ (request for qualification) for citywide survey to include N Oak Cliff. A Cultural survey should be added to information gathered regarding old structures.

Creating a step-by-step manual for persons new to historic preservation and who would like to preserve a building, would be very helpful. Include such information as tax credits, landmarking, CA’s, etc.

Expanding the Demo Delay area mentioned above, would provide more control for protecting structures.

Expand historic protections to other areas. Recognize what we have and what we should protect and save.

A key part in all of this is staying informed. We all need to have ownership in not just our own house, or even our own neighborhood, but also in the entire community. What affects one affects us all, and we are stronger in our unity than we are as individuals.  

Education and outreach is critical in building support and spreading the word on matters important to our community. Impart to your children what you think is important in Oak Cliff. Share with them the value of a community that cares. Teach them how to communicate and work together to achieve common goals.


We have also had very good follow-up press:

The Observer: 

The Advocate:

Tonight’s dialogue is a start in recognizing the problem and hopefully come up with solutions.   

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 June 2017 11:38
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