The death of a Dallas Mid-Century Modern classic

This one hits close to home.

I remember the house at 2505 Turtle Creek Boulevard in my home town of Dallas very very well. In fact, I would say that it’s one of the buildings that is earliest in the formation of my love of Modern architecture.

Turtle Creek was full of big, beautiful buildings. 2505 was a one-story office building. It was a prime 0 super prime – example of Mid-Century architecture in America, and uniquely suited to Dallas. As a kid I loved it because it looked like something out of The Jetsons, or the Sid and Marty Kroft acid-induced mid-70s live action kids shows (think Far Out Space Nuts, or The Bugaloos, or Land of the Lost). My mom used to take my brothers and I, when we were kids, out for long drives through the different parts of the city. There were a few places with decidedly “progressive” buildings in the staid high-end hierarchy of Dallas architecture. Turtle Creek was a treat for a number of reasons. 2505 was not only the highlight of that leg of the tour, it also signified Baskin-Robbins at some point in the near future.

When I got my license at 16, I used to take the long drives myself, especially on the way home from my school in downtown Dallas North to where I lived close to LBJ Freeway and Preston Road, close to the Valley View Mall. I don’t even know if that place still exists. I know for a fact that the Dallas I grew up in – and it was pretty darn big even back then – has been dwarfed, swallowed and spit back out in a different, much more massive, form. It was a long winding drive and I cruised by my favorite structures on the way, 2505 always among them, at a leisurely pace in my baby blue 1977 Vette – Chevy Chevette, that is – but not too slow. The Highland Park police didn’t like that.

Evidently the city decided to raze the building to make room for a massive luxury condo and restaurant that is going up. Just what the city needs, I’m sure. The building was very near my high school, and near a park and a creek that was close to a friend’s apartment, which was also an intersting, if less well-kept, piece of modernist architecture. It too was razed years and years ago.

Read the whole story at the link to KERA, the Big D PBS affiliate, above. Both tell the story of the building. I would even add there’s a fundamental disrespect for the past and it’s lessons in the wanton act. There is a hint of revenge in it, as well. It could end up being simply a vacant lot.

The immutable truth of change is amply displayed by the decision to destroy the building. Nothing is permanent, but it would have been nice to have had this beautiful and influential architectural relic around for just a while more.