RISK - Demolition and neglect.

As early as 1905, the Dallas Morning News refers to the corner of Marlborough and Jefferson as “the Boundary”, maybe because it was the last stop in an easterly direction before downtown Dallas of the Interurban returning from Ft. Worth.  Several of the current structures date back to the teens.  This was also the name of a streetcar line that terminated just beyond Sunset High School. Also Marlborough was where the Sunset line turned off Jefferson to continue on to Brooklyn to dead-end at Pierce. This corner truly was a transportation hub. The Dallas Morning News said in 1958, “The Boundary area for years was the busiest district in western Oak Cliff”. One of the buildings is rumored to have housed Interurban cars.

Added in 1949, was the Vogue Theater, which replaced the older Bison Theater and promised a modern movie house for this part of Oak Cliff. In mid-May, Iglesia la Luz del Mundo began removing the façade of the old Vogue. They have used the old theater for their worship services for years and wanted a structure that more resembled a church. It isn’t unreasonable that they would want that but it is sad that they chose to destroy the façade to get it. A new façade could easily have covered the old allowing restoration of the theater for any future owner –  that is no longer possible.

The creation of a Conservation District here and infrastructure improvements, both similar to that used in the Bishop Arts District, could create a similar experience. Oak Cliff would not be where it is today had this not been done in Bishop Arts and similar places are ripe for this proven method of development. Bishop Arts took years to get where it is today and it took vision and it took patience. With each structure that is unsympathetically altered or demolished in the Boundary, a similar possibility is a little less likely to materialize.

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