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Ribbon Cutting - The New Van Cleave Bandstand Melissa Prycer, Interim Executive Director, Dallas Heritage Village; (back row) Regina Pistor, Board of Directors, Dallas Heritage Village; Mason Hill, Superintendent, Balfour Beatty Construction; CEO Robert Van Cleave, Balfour Beatty Construction; Mark Layman, President and Incoming CEO, Balfour Beatty Construction; (front row) Connie Oliver, V.P. Corporate Communications, Balfour Beatty Construction; Ann Phy, Dallas Heritage Village Board Member; Lynn Vogt, Dallas Heritage Village Board member and granddaughter of the founder of Dallas Heritage Village; and Sue John, Dallas Heritage Village Board Member.





Ribbon Cutting Ceremony kicks off first night of 42nd Annual Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village


DALLAS, Texas – December 19, 2013 – Christmas came early for Dallas Heritage Village thanks to a generous gift from Balfour Beatty Construction, who, upon seeing the Village’s dismantled historic Bandstand on a visit to plan CEO Robert Van Cleave’s retirement party, decided they had found the perfect retirement gift.   On Saturday, December 14, Robert Van Cleave, incoming CEO Mark Layman, Dallas Heritage Village Interim Executive Director Melissa Prycer, Dallas Heritage Village board members, Balfour Beatty employees and leading subcontractors participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Van Cleave Bandstand, lighting the first candles of Dallas Heritage Village’s 42nd Annual Candlelight Celebration.


First built in 1974, the Bandstand served as the logo for Dallas Heritage Village for 25 years and has been the center of events, musical performances, proposals, weddings, hands-on activities and more. 


“It was just one year ago that the Bandstand’s future was uncertain,” said Dallas Heritage Village Interim Executive Director Melissa Prycer.  “During routine maintenance, staff discovered serious wood rot at the top of the columns.  The Bandstand was no longer structurally sound, and we made the decision to remove the roof in late December for our visitors’ safety and to prepare the Bandstand for repair.  As we continued to examine the Bandstand, the costs for full repair kept rising.  What had initially looked like a $30,000 project more than tripled in cost.  As much as we loved the Bandstand, we weren’t sure we could raise the necessary money.  And then a visit to Dallas Heritage Village by Balfour Beatty Construction in July changed everything!”


Staff from Balfour Beatty visited Dallas Heritage Village in search of a venue for CEO Robert Van Cleave’s retirement party.  Balfour Beatty has a long history with Dallas Heritage Village with building projects, including construction of the very pavilion where the staff was contemplating holding the retirement party dinner.  Additionally, Dallas Heritage Village board members strengthened the partnership over the years.  Current Board Member Regina Pistor’s late husband Charles Pistor served as one of Van Cleave’s mentors.  Additionally, the Pistors’ son Jeff is also a longtime employee of Balfour Beatty Construction.


“When we initially sat down to plan Robert’s retirement celebration, we knew we wanted to hold it somewhere meaningful to him, and we thought of Dallas Heritage Village,” said Dianne Clifton, Director, Brand Marketing and Communications.  “He is extremely civic-minded, and we also knew he wouldn’t accept a gift.  Then while walking the grounds of Dallas Heritage Village with Helen Muncaster, Director of Sales, we saw the bandstand sitting in pieces on the ground.   When we asked about it, Helen explained and expressed the staff’s concerns for its funding for repair.  That’s when we knew we had found the perfect gift for Robert.”


"We were truly excited when we realized the opportunity to restore the Bandstand as a tribute to Robert,” said Mark Layman, president and incoming CEO, Balfour Beatty.  “Robert and his wife, Sharon, have both been consistent supporters and personally engaged in the growth and needs of Dallas for so many years.  It is the perfect gift to honor both Robert's years of service to Balfour Beatty and our great city."

“I am honored that Balfour Beatty chose to celebrate my retirement with the reconstruction of the Van Cleave Bandstand at Dallas Heritage Village,” said Robert Van Cleave.  “It signifies yet another step in Balfour Beatty’s longstanding history with Dallas Heritage Village – and provides yet another significant investment in this wonderful treasure and in our community!”


“Dallas Heritage Village is beyond grateful for this generous gift from Balfour Beatty Construction, and we celebrate the renewal of this long-time visual centerpiece of the Village,” said Melissa Prycer.  “On behalf of the staff, the board, and our visitors to the Village – many of whom have very special memories of the bandstand – we thank you.  We thank you not only for this amazing gift, but also for your partnership and all that you do and mean to this community.  And we hope that Mr. Van Cleave’s retirement years will bring as much joy to him as he has brought to others.”

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Dallas Heritage Village, located at Old City Park, is a nationally accredited history museum, depicting life in Dallas from 1840-1910. It is one of only five museums in the Dallas area to have this distinction. The grounds showcase 38 historic structures, including log cabins, the pre-Civil War Millermore home, a Victorian Main Street, a railroad complex, an 1860s farmstead with livestock, a 19th century church, school and more.  Visitors discover how crops were grown, animals cared for and how family living progressed from log cabins to grand manors and Victorian homes.  Dallas Heritage Village is supported, in part, by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts as well as individual and group donations. Dallas Heritage Village was nominated in 2011 and 2012 by D Magazine as one of the top Dallas-area family attractions.  It is located at 1515 South Harwood, one block south of Farmers Market in Downtown Dallas. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 4 p.m. The Village is closed the months of January and August. Regular admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors 65+ and $5 for children ages 4-12.  Children under 4 and members of Dallas Heritage Village are admitted free of charge. For more information call 214-421-5141 or visit

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