You know you’re going to have a bad day when 1) you find a 60 Minutes crew waiting for you at your office or 2) when you awaken to a bulldozer in your front yard. Thursday was a bad day for two houses in the 700 block of Paulus, immediately behind the Lakewood Theater. This block is unique in that it contained 6 contiguous houses that dated from the late 1920’s to early 1930’s. On the east end is Abrams and the Library, on the west is Jack-in-the-Box and Gaston. Across the street has long been mostly a parking lot for Faulkner Tower. Ok, they are not really palaces, just typical houses of the period that were built across East Dallas, from Hollywood/Santa Monica to Gaston to the M Streets. What made them unique was that they had managed to survive through use as offices  and that they had all hung together, still looking pretty much as they did back in the 30’s, an almost odd remnant of homes in an unapologetically commercial area.

Now there are only 4. Two succumbed to the bulldozer this week and I have no idea what is planned to replace them. I had always thought they were a nice touch for the neighborhood with their residential scale, interesting details and mature trees.  I thought they represented an opportunity for some small businesses to actually own their buildings while remaining in the neighborhood. This notion was especially helped by the fact that they were all together, not isolated among the parking lots like the other little house across the street from them. That quality took a very big hit this week and now I especially worry about the truly unusual Spanish Revival-style house which is indeed now isolated on the corner of Paulus and Abrams. Personally, I think it’s too bad. Change must and will come to our neighborhood, let’s just hope some of our more interesting quirks survive.

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