A rendering of the sculpture honoring Virginia Savage McAlester to be placed at Savage Park. Photo courtesy of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department

Friends of Dallas historian and preservationist Virginia McAlester want to donate a sculpture and maintenance funds to a city park in honor of the former Swiss Avenue neighbor who died in April.

The sculpture’s proposed location.

The proposed location for the piece is at Dorothy and Wallace Savage Park, named after McAlester’s parents. It will sit in the center of a lush butterfly garden surrounded by flowers and greenery.

Neighbors can provide input on the location of the statue through a City of Dallas survey available through Aug. 31.

The sculpture will depict a dove flying through clouds on a pedestal of pink granite. The sculpture, which will be approximately 24 inches x 24 inches x 60 inches, will be made of light gray, light blue or white marble. The total height of the base and sculpture will be nearly 7 feet.

McAlester died April 9 after a battle with myelofibrosis. She was 76.

She grew up in the 1917 Harris-Savage house on Glendale Street and Swiss Avenue and led the effort to make the neighborhood the city’s first historic district. She later became a founding member of Preservation Dallas and Friends of Fair Park. Her book, “A Field Guide to American Houses,” sold millions of copies and proved a valuable resource for preservation groups, according to the Dallas Morning News obituary.


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