We’ve all read about the saga of John’s Cafe, the neighborhood icon that had to move to the ‘Burbs but has been able to find it’s way back. Equal in importance to the treatment of this iconic business, however, is the urban redevelopment that created this story to begin with. Just in case you haven’t driven by, this is the brand new bank that replaced the old building that housed John’s. I think the positioning of the building on the corner is a nice touch, and it’s clean and bright. But does this otherwise respond to the neighborhood character? Is this the kind of thing we, as local residents, want Lower Greenvile to become? The previous building would have looked very strange sitting on a corner in Frisco, in front of Lowe’s. Would this structure be out of place there?
The building that was there was a remaining example of the type of retail development that was typical to Dallas up to the 1930’s. Known as "trolley stops", they housed the cleaners and local grocers and a variety of small neighborhood support businesses, deriving their name from the obvious relation with Dallas’ extensive trolley system. It was not designated historic, but almost certainly could have been. They didn’t make the list this year, but I know that our remaining trolley stops were nominated for Preservation Dallas’ 11 Most Endangered List. Was the loss of this one a good trade?
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