Oak Cliff People: Panel Feeling Blue Over Color Choice

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Panel Feeling Blue Over Color Choice
Task orce says 'Beside Ocean' is just too bright

By Margaux Anbouba

It turns out there may be such a thing as a too-bright shade of blue in the Winnetka Heights Historic District. 

A Craftsman-style bungalow at 418 S. Willoment Ave. recently underwent renovations to change the two front doors and exterior paint colors without a certificate of appropriateness from the Dallas Landmark Commission. While the doors were deemed historically accurate, the bright blue exterior paint, named "Beside the Ocean," was not. 

After neighbors filed complaints  the Landmark Commission's Winnetka Heights/Lake Cliff Task Force reviewed the renovations and recommended that the owner pick another shade of blue.

The new color, "la Fonda Fiesta Blue," was selected from a list approved by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was accepted by the city's historic preservation officers, but rejected by the task force, whose members deemed it still too bright. They suggested that the owner consider a more subtle shade of blue or another color entirely.

"My rule of thumb is, if I'm driving down the street, does something pop out at me?" Katherine Seale, the Landmark Commission's chair, said during Monday's meeting. "Usually, if it does, it's because it's not compatible with the look of the neighborhood."

Consultant Jim Anderson, a former historic preservation officer for the city, attended the meeting on behalf of Winnetka Heights. 

"Just because it was blue in the recent history doesn't mean it can be blue," Anderson said.

Jimmy Tanghongs, a representative of property owner Larry Belter, defended the selection of "Beside the Ocean," saying it was akin to the paint found under a previous brown coat during renovations.

"This is the color I tried to match the best I could with the original paint," Tanghongs said.

Landmark Commission member Ann Piper pointed out that Craftsman-style houses usually have more conservative colors. 

"This is not a typical Craftsman-type palette," Piper said. "I think the color needs to be more muted."

The commissioner voted unanimously to hold the case under advisement until their Sept. 3 meeting, when Tanghongs is supposed to return with a revised color palette.