Historic Dallas, Volume 9, Number 1, January-February 1986 Page: 3 of 8
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Historic Dallas January-February, 1986 Page 3
New Book Profiles Leading
Home Furniture Building
The recent furor over the near desecra-
tion of the historic Blacker House (1907) in
Pasadena, Calif., points to the unfortunate
fact that even our most important American
architects are often anonymous, their works
The Blacker House, designed by Greene
and Greene, is one of the brothers' greatest
achievements, an Arts and Crafts-style
bungalow that dramatically affected the shape
of 20th-century American houses. When its
new owner decided to sell $1 million worth
of interior lighting fixtures, a national outcry
resulted in moves to repurchase the house;
a more stringent law to protect historic
buildings in the city of Pasadena was passed
immediately, and preservation negotiations
The fact remains that public outcries aren't
raised often enough to save our architectural-
ly and historically significant buildings. A
common reason for this lack of concern for
our architectural treasures is that people
simply don't know the work of our important
Master Builders: A Guide to Famous
American Architects, just published by the
Preservation Press, offers capsule lives of
40 leading American architects-and their
distinctive legacies of work-from the na-
tion's beginning to the present.
In brief, well-illustrated essays, noted
F.A. Brown Home Continued from page 1
community interested in and enthusiastic
about the project.
Volunteers have several ways in which to
become involved. A Farm Home Council has
been created, chaired by Al Cox. Under its
jurisdiction are four subcommittees. These
" The Collections and Acquisitions Commit-
tee, Millie McGee, Chairman: With
assistance from Peggy Riddle, this com-
mittee will research, categorize and label
all contents of the F.A. Brown Farm
" The Facilities Committee, Harry Nicholls,
Chairman: Responsible for the actual
restoration of the homestead, these
volunteers will also handle ongoing
" Finance Committee: Now in the process
of being formed, this committee un-
doubtedly will have the largest task...to
raise at least $250,000 for the restoration.
An additional endowment of an unspecified
size will also be needed for the ongoing
operating costs. (A fulltime director is ex-
pected to be hired for the committee in
the near future.)
" The Management Committee, Tom
Niederauer, Chairman: This committee
will be in charge of neighborhood rela-
tions, implementing a tour program and
handling utility requirements.
The future plans for the F. A. Brown Farm
Home have been outlined in three phases.
The first phase will be stabilization of the
building. Although it is in fairly good condi-
tion, some leaks need to be repaired, water
pipes insulated, and a few foundation prob-
lems corrected. The roof also requires some
A first priority is the installation of securi-
ty and fire detection systems. (The
December fund-raiser at Cafe Brannon
helped to provide funds for these two
Phase I will also include the initial research
and investigation of the home. Archaeologists
have already begun studying the site to
authorities examine the architects who have
left their mark on American architecture.
Among those covered are Greene and
Greene, with an essay written by Randell
Mackinson, who is currently leading the ef-
forts to preserve the interior furnishings of
the Blacker House. Others featured include
Charles Bulfinch, Benjamin H. Latrobe,
Thomas Jefferson, H. H. Richardson,
McKim, Mead and White, Adler and Sullivan,
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd
Wright, Philip Johnson and Venturi, Rauch
and Scott Brown. Also included are several
landscape architects, a promoter of octagonal
houses and an essay on architectural pattern
books. Illustrations of the architects as well
as 350 drawings and photographs of their im-
portant works accompany the essays.
The introduction to Master Builders by
Roger K. Lewis gives an overview of the ar-
chitect's role in shaping our built environ-
ment. Another section amplifies the central
essays with capsule descriptions of 60 addi-
tional architects, including key dates, part-
ners or firm associations, and important
buildings. A carefully selected reading list
rounds out the book, making it a one-volume
library on American architects. With its many
illustrations, this useful guide - is a perfect
book for the general reader and a handy
reference for the expert.
determine, for instance, where the original
outer buildings were located. Then the site
will be restored to-recreate the setting as
closely as possible.
-The second phase will expand this
research to a much greater extent. The
Historic Preservation League's Board of
Directors has authorized noted restoration
expert Ron Emrich to publish a historic struc-
ture report on the F. A. Brown Farm Home.
This book will include descriptions, documen-
tation, photographs, drawings, biographical
information, historical analysis, .and
Two SMU archaeologists, David Jurney
and Randall Moir, are also expected to con-
tinue their investigations. Careful research
on their part should avoid such mistakes as
paving over the original garden site to create
a parking lot.
In this vein, a surveyor has already located
all trees and plants on the property. Barbara
Reuter, a UTA botanist, will work with these
identifications in naming the plants and trees
on the grounds 40 to 50 years ago. As many
as is feasible will then be replaced.
Phase III will be the actual implementation
of the program. According to Farm Home
Council Chairman Al Cox, the restoration of
the F. A. Brown Farm Home is meant to
serve as an example "...of how restoration
should be done. We are bending over
backwards to do a quality job, a careful job.
It is a tremendous resource for the City of
Cox envisions the home as serving as an
interpretive museum of the Brown-Baker.
families. The F. A. Brown Farm Home will
be an excellent learning tool...to study ex-
actly what daily life was like for a farm fami-
ly in the Depression. Visitors will be able to
actually operate a well, study the family's
finances, and view maps showing the Dallas
of that era.
Initial plans for the building include open-
ing the front part of the home as a museum
within a year's time. The museum would
operate in much the same manner as that of
I - - - - - - -- -
Artist's conception shows how the renovated Home Furniture Building will look after its conversion into
a festival market.
by Mary G. Crawford
The 70-year-old Home Furniture Building,
at the corner of Market and Munger in the
West End Historic District, is being
transformed into Texas' first festival market,
the West End MarketPlace.
The developers plan to preserve the
original red brick exterior while renovating
the interior into nine levels of shops, featur-
ing about 60 percent food, beverage and
entertainment facilities and 40 percent retail
shops. Included will be services from film
developing to shoe repair, a rooftop garden
and an open-air cinema. The first tenants
should move into the MarketPlace in July of
this year, with a grand opening slated for
The Home Furniture Building is a combina-
tion of two buildings, one five stories tall and
the other seven stories. It was previously
known as the Brown Cracker and Candy
Company and Sunshine Biscuit Company.
Developers of the West End Marketplace
include Robert W. Bagwell, who has been in-
volved in the renovation of more than 15
West End properties and is president of the
West End Association; David J. Levine,
former director of Peachtree Walk
redevelopment in Atlanta; John W. Martin,
chairman of the City of Dallas' West End
Task Force; and Kaare A. Birkeland,
manager of renovation of Market/Ross Place
and the Brewery.
1985 League Honors
Survey Update Juanita Craft
The 1985 City of Dallas Historic Resource
Survey, completed in August, has been
placed in the Texas/Dallas Archives of the
Central Library. More than 3,000 sites were
photographed and recorded within portions
of the 1940 city limits. Ron Emrich/Urban
Prospects was the' consultant hired by the
League, the City of Dallas and the Dallas
County Historical Commission to undertake
the nine-month project.
Archivists at the Central Library, Young
and Ervay Streets downtown, will catalogue
the material in preparation for its availability
to the public in late February.
the Aldredge House, with limited hors for
touring and a sponsorship requirement. The
Historic Preservation League may eventually
open offices in the F.A. Brown Home too.
All options are being considered.
In the meantime, the Farm Home Council
plans to sell engraved, non-voting stock cer-
tificates as part of the fundraising effort.
Additional fund-raisers may also be
Any contributions of ideas would certainly
be welcomed. Just call the League office at
821-3290. The League would also like to hear
from volunteers who are interested in work-
ing on this very worthwhile project.
Executive director Jim Bratton has an-
nounced that the Historic Preservation
League has purchased a halo brick on the
Texas Promenade at Fair Park honoring the
late Juanita E. .Craft, who served as a
Trustee of the League from 1981 to 1984.
In a letter to Virginia McAlester, president
of the Friends of Fair Park, Bratton said,
"The Historic Preservation League is pleased
to honor Juanita E. Craft for her community
involvement, inspirational leadership and
dedication to the preservation ethic. It is
most appropriate that one of Dallas' great
citizens be included on the Texas
Save all the treasures that you no longer use
and the trash you swear no one would ever
want. The Historic Preservation League is
planning to hold a giant garage sale in the
spring, on a date to be announced later. We'll
take almost anything.
Here’s what’s next.
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Dallas Historic Preservation League. Historic Dallas, Volume 9, Number 1, January-February 1986, periodical, January 1986; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth887725/m1/3/: accessed May 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Preservation Dallas.