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Brice Beaird, Cynthia Beaird

            The Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society (PCHPS) Distinguished Speaker luncheon themed A Century of Classics featured Dr. R. Gerald Turner, President of Southern Methodist University as the keynote speaker, speaking on “SMU and the Park Cities: One Hundred Years of Developing Together.”

          Chaired by Lucinda Buford, the luncheon began with emcee Scott Murray welcoming the crowd and Robbie Briggs, Presenting Sponsor, leading the invocation. After lunch, Joan Clark, President, PCHPS expressed heartfelt thanks to Honorary Chairs Marla and Mike Boone, Presenting Sponsor Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Preservation Sponsor Highland Park Village and media sponsors D Home and The Park Cities News. She also thanked Kendall Jennings, Home Tour Chair, for her leadership in chairing the tour and reminded everyone to pick up their tickets for the tour on Saturday.

          Robbie introduced Dr. Turner, saying SMU reached the centennial of its founding in 2011 and in 2015, reached the centennial of its opening.

          Dr. Turner began his presentation announcing that from the beginning, when SMU started purchasing land, they received help from the Caruth, Armstrong and Daniels families. His slideshow had many graphics and renderings, showing the original layout of the properties, the acquisitions and future plans. He emphasized the feeling is that everyone is a neighbor, all using the same land and that Highland Park, University Park and the City of Dallas join together as a community at SMU.

          Joan thanked Dr. Turner for his presented Dr. Turner with a copy of Virginia McAlester’s “Great American Suburbs,” autographed by the author.

          Proceeds from the luncheon will fund scholarships at Highland Park High School for graduating seniors who plan to study architecture, history, preservation, or another major related to the preservation of our heritage.  The purpose of the scholarships is to promote interest in education in fields of study related to historical preservation of the Park Cities Communities. A portion of the proceeds of the 2015 Home Tour Weekend will be used to help preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, which was the second home built in Highland Park. It also funds the Society’s landmarking ceremonies.

          The home tour and luncheon celebrate historic preservation and are designed to generate awareness of the role history and preservation play in enhancing the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the Park Cities communities.

The mission of the Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society is to reserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics and cultural traditions of the Park Cities. The vision is to inspire passionate community support for the preservation of historic homes, buildings, parks, landmarks and traditions of the Park Cities.

Membership in PCHPS is open to the public. For further information, visit the website at or contact or call (214) 528-0021.


 (Photos by Rob Wythe/Gittings and Chuck Clark.)


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