Treasured Dallas buildings earn prestigious awards for preservation

McFarlin Auditorium is among the winners of the 2016 Preservation Achievement Awards, the Oscars of the preservation world.

By Teresa Gubbins

It's the time of year every nicely restored building waits for: The winners have been announced for the 2016 Preservation Achievement Awards, the Oscars of the preservation world.

These awards recognize efforts to preserve historic places in Dallas, including the people and organizations who have contributed to their preservation.

The awards are sponsored by Preservation Dallas, the nonprofit group dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of the city’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places. The group solicits nominations from the public, which are evaluated by a jury of three that includes a historian, a developer, and an architect.

"It's about rewarding the hard work that these people have put into restoring the building," says Preservation Dallas director David Preziosi. Submissions come from developers, architectural firms, and public organizations.

"The Dallas Park and Recreation Department is a frequent winner, but they do a lot of good work in the parks around the city," Preziosi says.

The department made the list again this year, one of 15 winners, all of whom will be recognized at an awards reception on May 3, from 6-8:30 pm at Lee Park. Tickets are $50 for members, $85 for non-members.

These are the winners of the 2016 Preservation Achievement Awards:

McFarlin Auditorium at SMU

Decades of insensitive updates, renovations, and paint jobs left the 1926 auditorium nearly unrecognizable. Peeling away layers of paint and the recreation of key elements, in addition to special task lighting, has brought the auditorium back to its original opulence.

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