Preservation Park Cities
The Mission of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society is to preserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities.
The roots of Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society (PCHPS) reach back to 1982 with the creation of Park Cities Historical Society to preserve, protect and promote the historic, cultural and aesthetic attributes and traditions of the Park Cities. The Society originally was active in four distinct areas of historical interest:
An extensive photographic survey of Park Cities residences A landmark designation program for buildings and sites An educational program about the history and heritage of the Park Cities Saving one of the Park Cities' oldest homes by moving it to Old City Park Founded in 2000, Preservation Park Cities worked to preserve the character and legacy of our community, encompassing the preservation of our trees, parks, and pedestrian-friendly streets. This organization also instituted a recognition program for preservation-minded homeowners, an annual Historic Home Tour attended by over 1,000 people each year, and a survey of a portion of the Hackberry Creek neighborhood for possible Texas Historic Preservation designation.
In 2006 the Historical Society and Preservation Park Cities recognized that they were working for similar purposes and merged. Together the organizations have recognized over 165 homes and building sites, through rigorous evaluation, with bronze plaques posted on each site. The current community-led Society is an active, cohesive organization that continues to protect and promote the historic, architectural, cultural and aesthetic legacy of the Park Cities.
HP Town Council rejected a Preservation Ordinance in 2009 saying they did not want to erode the rights of private property owners. There are many advantages that we enjoy as residents of the Park Cities: responsive police and fire protection, excellent schools, vibrant churches and beautiful parks that provide venues for Y sports programs. But we sometimes overlook the neighborhoods in which we live. Because our homes have been built over a period of almost 100 years, we have a diversity of styles that are representative of what was fashionable during various eras. This provides a rich mosaic of homes that reflect the tastes of the individual owners as well as their architects. Few neighborhoods are developed in this way today, nor do they have the heritage that only time can give. While our organization seeks to preserve this heritage, we should also make every effort to encourage new architecture that is of equal or better quality than the older homes they replace. In most places where preservation flourishes, it is because it increases the value of property in a declining neighborhood. In the Park Cities, we have increasingly higher land values that make the economics of preservation more difficult to justify. The challenge is to preserve the best and encourage the highest quality new development.
Funds raised help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PCHPS archives at the University Park Library, fund the Society’s landmarking initiatives, award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture or history and fund the Distinguished Chair for History at Highland Park High School.
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