While scientific minds are probing the future, a growing number of area residents are taking a few steps back to the charm of the past with their interest in revitalization of innter-city neighborhoods. And once in a while, their efforts win a pat on the back.
Almost 10 years ago, Dallasite Joe Goyne became fascinated with the two-by-five-block area known as Munger Place and, in 1978, he purchased a deteriorating old home there on Junius Street. After two years of tedious planning and construction, Goyne’s efforts have paid off -–the house has been chosen as the Old East Dallas Restoration House of the Year, an award sponsored annually by Douglas Newby & Associates.
Old East Dallas was chosen as the restoration award area because of achievements there in many successful and innovative rejuvenation ventures. The selection committee includes local architects, interior designers, historians and residents active in the community. Their objective was to find a house that made a statement – an example for others to follow, a home that excelled in all areas, from aesthetics to function to historical perspective.
When Goyne began his project, he already had in mind the kind of house he wanted – elegant trim and rustic materials with a refined look that would capture the mood of a bygone era. Part of the intense planning involved revising the floor plan to create large passageways and a flow from the front porch to the rear deck (originally a single-family home, the structure had been converted to a four-apartment boarding house). For modern convenience, light switches, a pull-down attic stairway, and central heating and air conditioning vents were added, but all were inconspicuously placed to retain the look and feel of an old house. By giving special attention to detail, Goyne was able to make his house functional and modern while keeping it authentic – as is the goal of many urban pioneers restoring homes in Old East Dallas.
We commend Goyne on his achievement and hope his work will be a catalyst, as was the committee’s intention, for other restoration efforts in older areas throughout Dallas and Ft. Worth. For it is often in these fading cores of our cities that we discover a strength and fascination in the intricate weave of established neighborhoods and the beauty of the past.