Preston Hollow neighbor Katherine Seale is on a mission to preserve historic Dallas

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Updated Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 12:35 p.m.

Preston Hollow neighbor Katherine Seale, chair of the Landmark Commission, sealed another deal to preserve one of Dallas’ oldest structures.

The 133-year-old Victorian home, which was built in 1885 in the Cedars for Max Rosenfield, was destined for demolition before Seale made a deal between Time Warner Cable/Charter, a developer and the Cedars community to save it. Seale bought the home from Time Warner Cable, who owned the land it sat on, and sold it to Mark Martinek, Cedars resident, gallery owner and developer. They are dismantling the home and moving it to a lot near Lee Harvey’s.

Courtesy Dallas Public Library

“Since her construction in 1885, the Blue House built for Max Rosenfield and his bride, Jenny, has weathered all kinds of storms,” Seale said Tuesday. “One hundred and thirty-three excruciating Dallas summers and storms, 133 years of development including a highway that left her severed from downtown and her own neighborhood she helped establish, multiple owners, a stint as drug treatment center, dormancy, and an unknown fate.”

Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster calls the preservation of the house a great victory. He says the house “is one of the last vestiges of the upscale Jewish community in the Cedars. It has a special significance for me as John Rosenfield, the son of the people who built it, was an influential arts writer at the Dallas Morning News and instrumental in the building of the Kalita Humphreys Theater, which is itself a preservation candidate.”

In her role on the Landmark Commission, Seale has pushed to save structures such as the circa 1937 Lakewood Theater, the circa 1955 Meadows Building on Greenville Avenue and, in West Dallas, an early 1900s schoolhouse where Bonnie Parker, of Bonnie and Clyde fame, attended 

In the past, Seale has discussed how challenging it is to preserve historic homes in Preston Hollow. Seale lives in a restored Charles Dilbeck home on Chatham Hill Road. The home was built in 1930.

“Katherine’s leadership and generosity in saving the house, and her advocacy for preservation generally, is extraordinary,” says Lamster. “Dallas is very fortunate to have her.”


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