Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mike Northrup receives 2015 Outstanding Service Award from Preservation Dallas

By Mike Northrup

Preservation Dallas presented Mike Northrup with the 2015 Outstanding Service Award at its annual meeting in June.  Mike was honored with the award for his efforts in representing Preservation Dallas and other historic preservation groups in a lawsuit involving the demolition of an historic train depot in the West End Historic District in downtown Dallas.  The property owner demolished the historic structure without obtaining approval—before or after—from the city’s Landmark Commission.  After the City obtained a judgment for civil penalties against the property owner, the court of appeals held that the statutes the city used to obtain the penalties did not apply.   Mike helped Preservation Dallas file amicus briefs (friend of the court) with both the court of appeals and the Texas Supreme Court.  The Texas Supreme Court ultimately reversed the court of appeals, holding that the statute in question does apply to permit recovery of civil penalties.  Cowles & Thompson was also recognized at the annual meeting for its support for Preservation Dallas.  Mike accepted the award and pointed out that this result is proof of the impact a group can have even when it is not an actual party to a lawsuit.

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