The City Council decided the future of the Aldredge House yesterday while both camps in the conflict cried foul.
WFAA ran a story Tuesday evening about a wedding at the historic home that ended with a band playing in the street. Adjacent neighbors commented in the story about how this is a continuation of past misbehavior.
Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze sounded off in a Facebook post, saying the WFAA reporter was “badly hoodwinked” by the neighbors, and that a neighbor lied about the event. “I was a witness to the actual event,” he wrote. “A small quiet family-only garden wedding in the late afternoon this fall.”
Schutze said the band did not start playing until it left Swiss Avenue because “the bride’s mother was so concerned about disturbing Swiss Avenue.” He said the music was dubbed over the video.
“The people hiring lobbyists and conning gullible reporters against the Aldredge House have a track record of lying and ruthlessness, including trying to ruin a lovely wedding by unfairly making an issue of it,” Schutze wrote.
“The Aldredge House Alliance has been diligent and fair throughout. They are good neighbors,” he said in the post. “Their enemies are the kind of Hatfield and McCoy hillbilly feuders who tear up whatever neighborhood they live in.”
Schutze’s wife, Mariana Greene, is a founding board officer for Friends of the Aldredge House, a nonprofit organization that raises money to preserve the Aldredge House as a public museum home and to offer educational outreach about historic preservation and culture.
Additionally, Candy Evans of Candy’s Dirt said the WFAA report “may have been fake news.” She said the weddings have stopped and the music in October was a block away from the Aldredge House. Evans is a member of the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance (DCMSA), which owns the house. The WFAA reporter did not respond to a Facebook message requesting an interview.
On Wednesday, despite large numbers of the opposing groups showing up wearing pins and colored shirts, the conflict was quickly resolved between the home’s owners and the immediate neighbors. The official use permit is still in flux, but the home will be open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day as a museum and meeting house, and the DCMSA will be able to have thirty-six events a year between 5 and 10 p.m., and will still be able to be in the Mother’s Day Home Tour.
City Council member Philip Kingston helped broker the deal and received praise from both sides as well as from other council members for solving a problem that dragged on for years. “It puts the alliance in a position where they can easily raise enough money to both use and preserve the property in a really popular way,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “And it limits the usage to a level that will probably never disturb the neighbors.”
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