Thursday, July 30, 2015

Historical Liberty State Bank - Farmers Market One Year Later

Historical Liberty State Bank Building

One Year Anniversary  - Farmers Market District 

Finding Perspective........

I describe in my video the disassembly and relocation of the Historical Liberty State Bank Building to the Farmers Market District.

Perspective: What a difference a year makes.  24 months ago this month my team was overcoming hurdles to disassemble and relocate the oldest downtown commercial building built in the late 1890's from Cesar Chavez & Elm to 600 S. Harwood in the Farmers Market District.

The relocation project was a major undertaking and one that only local neighborhood advocates would be crazy enough to sign up for. However, I was amazed at the immediate impact this single project had on the neighborhood revitalization efforts as a whole. I believed in it and truly thought the community would get behind it, but didn't know how long it would take with the Dallas Farmers Market redevelopment still in question and several years off from completion.  I remember a month after we finished and pulling out of my office parking lot across the street. Cars were parked along Canton St and pedestrians were walking down the sidewalk to the new Green Door Public House restaurant. In my almost nine years in the neighborhood....I had never witnessed this kind of positive activity. I called my partner Craig Melde all excited to tell him about the people I saw moving on the street. This was the moment that I became sold on the idea of local developments and small projects in transitional neighborhoods.  Local developers who believe in these neighborhoods and are willing to take the risk where a large regional or national might be afraid to take the risk in such a "transitional" area. Smaller projects can be completed faster and are easier to finance, meaning the results and impact are seen quicker.  Instead of a $100M project that takes 5-7 years to maybe see the light of day.....let's focus on $2-$5M projects and do more of them SOONER.  Also, these smaller projects engage the community, preserve the culture, create activity on the streets and promote socialization and interaction. Resulting in a truly dynamic and unique neighborhood experience.

Two weeks ago Green Door Public House celebrated their One Year Anniversary with a Burlesque, Prohibition themed party and a packed house full of community leaders from the Farmers Market, The Cedar's, Deep Ellum and Downtown.  The community came out in force to celebrate their success and support their one year milestone in the Farmers Market District.  A transitional neighborhood still in the midst of a revitalization. Today, the Liberty State Bank Building houses our first Dallas Farmers Market stand alone neighborhood restaurant Green Door Public House & V12 Yoga Studio.

In retrospect, in looking back; I would like to thank the following people for all their support of the Liberty State Bank Relocation Project. Our D2 City Council Leader Adam Medrano and his incredible staff who are regulars at the restaurant and our neighborhoods biggest supporters. Council Member Philip Kingston, Council Member Scott Griggs & Council Member Sandy Greyson.  These four amazing city leader's believed this project could be done and voiced their support to save this historical building and saw the revitalization significance in bringing it to the Farmers Market District. City of Dallas Office of Economic Development - Karl Stundins & Tamara Leaks who worked through all the details on this complicated project.  Asst. City Manager Ryan Evans who saw the economic potential with both the Farmers Market Privatization and the Liberty State Bank Project. Downtown Dallas Inc for supporting both this historical project and our new local businesses. Craig Melde of Architexas, my friend and associate who taught me the importance of preserving history.  Mike Ruibal of  Ruibals Plants of Texas who sold us the land so we could save these buildings, without this specific land site the project wouldn't have happened. Farmers Market Stakeholder's Association, The Cedar's & surrounding community who supported our new businesses Green Door & V12 Yoga day one to ensure they succeeded.  Preservation Dallas & City of Dallas Historic Preservation who supported our relocation and preservation efforts. City Planning, Permitting, City Attorney's Office and all the various departments who didn't let the fact that this had never been done before stand in the way of seeing it succeed.  Thank you!

Liberty State Bank "Before" Relocation - November, 2013.
Liberty State Bank "During" Relocation - March, 2014.


Liberty State Bank "After" Relocation - July, 2014.
City Council Member Adam Medrano & Me at the Ribbon Cutting - July, 2014.

 Liberty State Bank "Dedication" and Ribbon Cutting with City Council Member Adam Medrano, V12 Yoga, Green Door Public House, Craig Melde, Mike Ruibal & Me - July, 2014.
I spoke to this awesome crowd gathered for the Ribbon Cutting!
City Council Member Adam Medrano gives "Special Recognition" to Me, Mike Ruibal & Craig Melde for our collaborative efforts to preserve and save the Liberty State Bank Building.
 Photo Credit: Tanya Ragan
Dallas Urbanista
The Dallas Morning News followed the preservation efforts and relocation of the Liberty State Bank Building to the Farmers Market District.  Including, the Public-Private Partnership with the City of Dallas and the Grand Opening, Ribbon Cutting and Ceremonies article below.  

Historic bank building reopens after 'brick-by-brick' move in downtown Dallas

The 115-year-old Liberty State Bank Building was taken apart brick-by-brick and reassembled and restored at 600 S. Harwood St. in the Dallas Farmers Market District.
Amid the chatter and cheers of Dallas residents and officials, the Liberty State Bank Building is breathing new life.
The historic building was saved from demolition more than a year ago by Craig Melde, a preservation architect and founding principal of ArchiTexas. Now, after being taken down, relocated and reassembled twice, the building was unveiled Friday ahead of the formal grand opening on July 7.
The building was moved to 600 S. Harwood St. in the Dallas Farmers Market District near the Scottish Rite Cathedral. It already houses a restaurant, the Green Door Public House, and a yoga studio, V12 Yoga & Pilates.
“What a journey — metaphorically and literally,” Melde said Friday.
Dallas City Council member Adam Medrano was on hand Friday to give special recognition to the preservation.
“I thought the idea was crazy, but I knew that if anyone was going to be able to get it done, they were going to be able to do it,” Medrano said, motioning to Melde and other project leaders, Mike Ruibal, owner of Plants of Texas, and Tanya Ragan, president of Wildcat Management.
The two-story Italianate building, constructed in 1899, retains its original red brick and exterior black column. Ruibal described the process of relocating the building as a “big puzzle.”
“We had to take everything down brick-by-brick,” Ruibal said. “We got the building back to the way it was originally, even the original color of the brick. We just took it apart and put it back together.”
Throughout the process, the developers discovered certain parts of the building that were hidden by renovations, including the original color of the brick, which had been painted, and the column.
Ragan said that despite the multitude of hurdles she and the team encountered, the building is more like the original design than before.

 “You can't rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.”

- Jane Jacobs