BEFORE: The Parks Estate

2007 - 2008

Over the years I have restored countless antiques as well as two 100-year old homes, so I was immediately drawn to this structure. Originally an opulent residence for a prominent Dallas family in the early 1920s then a makeshift YMCA in the 60s and 70s, the Parks Estate had fallen into serious disrepair. It was in danger of being demolished. The property was auctioned and went to a Dallas couple who planned to restore it to its original grandeur. By documenting the property in its dilapidated state, I hoped to show people that no matter how far gone a building may appear to be, restoration is almost always preferable to demolition. With that in mind, I focused on the details that I knew, in their transformed state, would be magnificent: the main stair case, a pile of original masonry heaped in the living room, the faded parquet inserts in the wood floors. Now that the home is gleaming and immaculate again, these photos have more impact and make a worthwhile statement about the restoration and preservation of beautiful and irreplaceable buildings from our past.

© 2017 Jeanine Michna-Bales