DISD tears down Oak Cliff landmark

Michael Amonett sits amid the rubble

Since April, the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League has been trying to find a buyer the Oak Cliff Christian Church built in 1916. The building is owned by the Dallas Independent School District.

Over the summer, when no buyer could be found, DISD offered pieces of the building to anyone who would haul them off. The pillars would have been prime architectural material to preserve from the church. Michael Amonett, president of OOCCL, said an offer came from a salvage company but was a day late. DISD refused to wait until the company could dismantle and haul off what they wanted.

On Oct. 4, DISD began tearing down the landmark church. The property will be used as tennis courts for the replacement to historic Adamson High School. Neighborhood and alumni groups have protested tearing down that historic building as well.

While crews worked just behind him, Amonett snuck behind a construction gate to sit amid the rubble of the building he and his group tried to save.

The historic property figured in the Kennedy assassination story. As Lee Harvey Oswald walked from his boarding house a few blocks away to the Texas Theater on Jefferson Avenue, he shot officer J.D. Tippett on this block. Then he walked through the church property and threw his coat behind the building. Police found the coat here, putting him at the scene of the Tippett murder, if not JFK’s.

—  David Taffet

Do you need just a piece of a church?

Oak Cliff Christian Church

Earlier this year, I wrote a story about a historic church that the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League was trying to save.

OOCCL president Michael Amonett reports that the group wasn’t successful but did get a temporary reprieve of sorts. Dallas Independent School District Trustee Eric Cowan and OOCCL past president and counsel John McCall negotiated a deal. Anyone who can use part of the building and will haul it off, can have it for just a small payment.

They wrote:

Want it? Want just the front and sides? Want to build your new building with brick that doesn’t come in sheets?

Make an offer and it might not be refused. Let’s just say it’s been marked down to sell from the previous 1.2 million. The only catch is that it can’t stay here.

So if you want a beautiful facade, you can buy this one for a nominal fee.

We don’t know how many feet tall it is but would be happy to stand on the roof and hold the tape measure, that way we could see which lucky area could benefit from this beautiful piece of architecture.

This is the last chance for some form of this church to live on elsewhere … as well as evade the landfill which as far from green or sustainability as one could possibly go.

Wouldn’t those pillars look great somewhere, maybe in Bishop Arts? Bet those bricks could be re-used in some renovation project. Bid on it by Sept. 15 and haul it off by Dec. 31, when DISD tears down the building to make way for the new Adamson High School tennis courts.

For details, contact Amonett at president@ooccl.org

—  David Taffet