The Dallas Morning News front page headline for Sunday, July 15, was LOST DALLAS. Mark Doty of the Dallas Preservation Society is the author of a new book of the same title. He chronicles landmark buildings in Dallas that are now gone. Most were destroyed by the wrecking ball as the city continued to grow and change.
Doty bemoans the “this for that” trend in Dallas construction. For example, the current site of the One AT & T Tower was built in 1980 on the site of the historic Baker Hotel. However, the Baker Hotel was built in 1925 on the site of the smaller red-bricked Oriental Hotel which was constructed in 1893. So the Oriental Hotel was demolished for the Baker Hotel and the Baker Hotel for the One AT & T Tower – “this for that.”
The book, LOST DALLAS, has pictures of 209 lost local landmarks. But the title “LOST DALLAS” means something different to me than the city’s reputation for tearing down its history. The word “lost” best describes the majority of the residents of Dallas.
Our city continues to grow in population, diversity, and lostness. From a spiritual perspective, we are a “lost Dallas.” Concerning the population of Dallas and Rockwall counties, missiologists estimate that at least two-thirds do not have an evangelical faith.
Jesus told three parables in Luke 15 about lostness. He described a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Jesus revealed God’s heart toward the lost.
The headline “LOST DALLAS” also has another meaning for our work. I will discuss that next time…