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The Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing public education about architecture, design and the urban environment, will continue its 2016-2017 Panel Discussion Series on May 16, 2017 with “Preservation Issues for Dallas” moderated by Katherine Seale, Chairman of the Dallas Landmark Commission and the West End Historic District Committee. The Forum will partner with Preservation Dallas to present this important and timely Panel discussion.

Panels are offered at no charge to both Forum members and to the general public as a public outreach of The Forum. Join us for a cold beverage and lively dialogue!

The venue for the Panel Series for this season is the Dallas Black Dance Theater building directly behind One Arts Plaza. The DBDT is located at the corner of Arts Plaza Street and Ann Williams Way – at 2700 Ann Williams Way, Dallas, TX  75201. Free parking is available between the DBDT building and Fellowship Church, located to the east of the DBDT building.

The panel discussion is FREE and will be held at 6:30 pm, with complimentary beverages available beginning at 6:15 pm.  No reservations are needed to attend. One CEU AIA credit is available.

“The Dallas Architecture Forum is pleased to partner with Preservation Dallas to present this next panel in its 2016-17 series of thought-provoking Panel Discussions on topics impacting the citizens of Dallas both locally and globally,” stated Forum Executive Director Nate Eudaly. “Moderator Katherine Seale will be joined by panelists who will discuss the increased interest in Dallas and across the country in the preservation of the built environment and how it affects our lives, while also exploring the need for an updated and centralized plan to shape our future growth decisions for Dallas.

Joining Seale as panelists for this program will be the following distinguished community leaders and subject matter experts:

Robin McCaffrey, AIA AICP, President and Senior Principal of MESA Planning in Dallas.

Robert Meckfessel, FAIA, founder ofDSGN Associates, who is a Past Presidentof The Forum andwho currently serves on the boards of LRTX, the Trinity River Conservancy, and DoCoMoMo US.

David Preziosi, AICP, Preservation and Planning Expert and Executive Director of Preservation Dallas.

For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, or the Panel Discussion Series, visit or call 214-764-2406.

The Forum’s Panel Season Benefactors are John Eagle Dealerships, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Purdy McGuire, Inc., Janet + Terry Kafka and WDG Architecture. Sponsors for this panel are Wendy Konradi Interior Design and LUXE Interiors + Design Magazine.

 Katherine Seale
“Preservation Issues for Dallas”

16 May 2017
Tuesday, 6:30 pm, Informal reception at 6:15 pm


Dallas Black Dance Theatre, 2700 Ann Williams Way, Dallas, TX 75201

Behind One Arts Plaza, at the Corner of Arts Plaza Street and Ann Williams Way,

Entrance on Ann Williams Way, Free parking is available between the DBDT building and Fellowship Church, located to the east of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre

The last two decades have seen a monumental shift in historic preservation both in Dallas and across the country. This is reflective of a broader renewed interest in the built environment - old and new - specifically how buildings, landscapes and places impact our lives. Twenty years ago, there was very little research on the physical and mental impact of buildings and landscapes. Today there are many more studies available on the subject, as well as a greater general interest in how our surroundings affect our bodies and minds. 

It has been said that historic preservation efforts are like a town's autobiography. The decision to keep or demolish something for the future is based on the values of a particular time and place and attitude. Dallas's citizens are increasingly interested in the decision-making process that determines what their surroundings look like and how it will affect them. The Demolition Delay ordinance as one example of the citizenry's growing focus on the preservation decisions being made in their city. The quality and quantity of the city preservation staff has grown to a complete office, and many team members hold degrees in historic preservation related fields. Many internal changes such as increased training, education, and public outreach are happening as a result of the Downtown Preservation Solutions Committee.

While there is clearly an increased interest in the historic built environment from both the public and local government, the decisions that impact citizens are still largely unguided.  With no city planning department, there is a lack of vision and coordination in how the city develops and re-develops. We are working off a Preservation Plan from 1987 and our surveys are decades old. These tools need to be updated to guide future development and preservation efforts. 

About the Moderator:

Katherine SEALE

Ms. Seale is an architectural historian and preservationist practicing in Dallas, Texas. She is a native Texan and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and a Master of Science in Architectural History from the University of Virginia. Ms. Seale began her career in 2001 directing Discover Dallas!, a city-wide survey of Dallas neighborhoods for Preservation Dallas. From 2007 until 2011, Ms. Seale served as the Executive Director of Preservation Dallas.  Currently, she is Mayor Rawlings' appointment and chairman to the Dallas Landmark Commission. Ms. Seale also chairs the Preservation Solutions Committee under the Dallas City Manager's Office. More recently, she was appointed by the Dallas Landmark Commission to chair the West End Historic District Committee.


Robin McCaffrey

Robin McCaffrey, AIA AICP has worked as a planner and advocate for proper land use, design and preservation issues successfully for many years.  Robin has developed many planning projects for communities throughout Texas which involve land use, housing, urban design, open space/ natural systems, and infrastructure plans to enhance the development of those communities. Robin has also been actively involved in advocating on behalf of preservation issues.  He participated in the Crownrich vs. the City of Dallas case, a Supreme Court decision resulting from early historic preservation work. Mr. McCaffrey's expert testimony assisted the City of Dallas who requested the power to deny a building permit in anticipation of pending historic designation. The result was a decision in favor of the City of Dallas.  This decision subsequently empowered historic preservation movements throughout the State of Texas.  Robin co-founded and was President of Needham-McCaffrey Associates.  His firm provided architecture and landscape services in the Dallas area.  From 1996 to 2011, Robin acted as Senior Principal of MESA Design Associates and is currently President and Senior Principal of MESA Planning in Dallas.

Robert Meckfessel

Robert Meckfessel, FAIA brings over 35 years of experience in the planning and design of institutional, residential, and commercial projects throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Many of these projects have been recognized for innovation and excellence in urban design, architecture, sustainability, and preservation from professional and industry organizations, including AIA Dallas, the Texas Society of Architects, Preservation Dallas, Preservation Texas, and NCTCOG.  He has served as President of leading organizations involved with the quality of the built environment, including Preservation Dallas, LRTX, AIA Dallas, and The Dallas Architecture Forum. He currently serves on the boards of LRTX, the Trinity River Conservancy, the Trinity Commons Foundation, Trinity United, and DoCoMoMo US. He speaks often at professional events and conferences, political forums, and educational venues on urban planning, preservation and architecture.

David Preziosi

Since 2012 David Preziosi, AICP has been the Executive Director of Preservation Dallas.  David attended Texas A & M, where he received a Bachelor of Environmental Design (architecture), a Master's of Urban Planning, and a Historic Preservation Certificate.  Prior to leading Preservation Dallas, David served as Executive Director of the Mississippi Heritage Trust.  In that position Preziosi successfully worked with Congress to secure millions of dollars to restore historic structures which were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. He worked on a team of preservationists who surveyed Katrina damage and pursued the funding needed to restore historic places.  David has also served as the Assistant City Planner and City Planner for Natchez, Mississippi and was responsible for all preservation planning in that historic city.  At Preservation Dallas he has worked to increase membership, programming and events, and advocacy.  He has worked to gather public support for numerous preservation issues including the passage of  the Demolition Delay ordinance, and has been an advocate for the increasing influence of the Downtown Preservation Solutions Committee.  David's experience as a champion for preservation on local, state and national levels makes him a well-respected and effective advocate for preservation in Dallas and throughout Texas.  

About The Dallas Architecture Forum

The Dallas Architecture Forum is a not-for-profit civic organization that brings leading architectural thought leaders from around the world to speak in Dallas and also fosters important local dialogue about the major issues impacting our urban environment. The Forum was founded in 1996 by some of Dallas’ leading architects, business, cultural and civic leaders, and it continues to benefit from active support and guidance from these citizens. The Forum fulfills its mission of providing a continuing and challenging public discourse on architecture and urban design in - and for - the Dallas area. The Dallas Architecture Forum's members include architects, design professionals, students and educators, and a broad range of civic-minded individuals and companies intent to improve the urban environment in North Texas. The Forum has been recognized nationally with an AIA Collaboration Achievement Award for its strategic partnerships with other organizations focused on architecture, urban planning and the arts. For more information on the Forum, visit

Among the over 160 speakers who have addressed The Forum’s Lecture Series are Shigeru Ban, Brad Cloepfil, Diller + Scofidio, Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Daniel Libeskind, Thomas Phifer, Rafael Vinoly, Juhani Pallasmaa, AIA Gold Medal Winner Peter Bohlin, and regional architects David Lake and Ted Flato. Pritzker Prize winners speaking to The Forum have been Kazuyo Sejima, Rafael Moneo, Thom Mayne, Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster (the latter two in collaboration with the ATT Performing Arts Center). Other speakers for The Forum have been leading designers Calvin Tsao, Andrée Putman, and Karim Rashid; landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh; and National Trust President Emeritus Richard Moe. Important critics, authors and patrons who have spoken to The Forum include Emily Pulitzer, Terence Riley, Pulitzer Prize winners Robert Campbell and Blair Kamin, Aaron Betsky, and the late David Dillon.

The Forum organizes and presents an annual series of Panels—local, informal, open, and offered free of charge as a public service to the community—led by a moderator who brings a subject of local importance along with comments by participating panelists. Moderators and Panelists have also come from both other Texas cities as well as from national institutions that were connected with particular Panel subjects. Panels offer attendees the opportunity to participate in creating discourse. Important topics addressed in Panels in recent years include: “Thoughts on the Dallas Comprehensive Plan”; “The Kimbell Expansion: A Discussion”; “Filling Out the Dallas Arts District”; and “Re-envisioning the Trinity”. Among the many community leaders who have served as Forum Panel Moderators are Rick Brettell, Gail Thomas, Brent Brown, Peter Simek, Krys Boyd, Scott Cantrell, and the late David Dillon. 

For more information on The Dallas Architecture Forum, visit questions about The Forum, call 214-764-2406.

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