Old City Park Faces Auction, Transition

Worth Hotel at Old City Park
Worth Hotel at Old City Park | Image by Old City Park/Facebook

Old City Park’s vast collection of over 22,000 antiques and artifacts is set to go up for auction from April 29 to May 4.

“For the remaining items not collected by other institutions, we have made the heartbreaking decision to host an estate sale,” reads a statement on the Old City Park website.

Dallas estate sale firm The Jewel Box will oversee the sale, which will take place across five buildings within Old City Park, reported Kera News. Funds generated from the sale will be allocated by the Dallas County Heritage Society (DCHS) to support future renovations and enhancements to the historic structures and premises of Old City Park.

DCHS has operated Old City Park for over 50 years, turning it into a vibrant living history museum that displays the history of Dallas citizens from 1840 to 1910.

The estate sale marks a pivotal moment for the park as it transitions to a new era under the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, as DCHS’s management contract with the City ends on May 26.

Critics argue that the decision to auction off these artifacts represents a failure to adequately preserve Dallas’ cultural legacy.

Terri Raith, a preservationist and former realtor, expressed her dismay, telling KERA News, “To have this collection and just act like it’s disposable is not surprising. We do not value our history here.”

As a result, the sale has become a bittersweet farewell to an era for some in the city, marking the end of an institution that preserved Dallas’ history.

Michael Meadows, DCHS’s CEO, emphasized the professional standards followed in the deaccessioning process yet highlighted the limited options available for the collection.

“The only options that we have are either to give the items away, throw them away, or sell them,” Meadows told KERA News.

Some efforts are underway to ensure the preservation of these artifacts. The heritage society has sought out museums, libraries, and nonprofits willing to accept donations.

Following the management transition, plans are in place to maintain the vibrancy of the park, and weekly programming and community events will continue to be offered, reported The Dallas Morning News.

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