Ray Washburne Spoke to a Sold-Out Crowd at the Preservation Park Cities Distinguished Speaker Luncheon

(Featured photo: Burton Rhodes, President, Preservation Park Cities and Heirloom Sponsor; Tish Key and Alisa Sell, Luncheon Chairs; Ray Washburne, President, Highland Park Village, Legacy Sponsor and featured speaker.)**

Legacy Sponsor Highland Park Village | D Home Media Sponsor

Preservation Park Cities Distinguished Speaker Luncheon chairs Tish Key and Alisa Sell welcomed a sold-out crowd at the Dallas Country Club which featured Ray Washburne, president, Highland Park Village and Legacy Sponsor, as the keynote speaker speaking on “Highland Park Village: Then and Now.” Highland Park Village is the oldest shopping center in the United States and Dallas’ premier open-air shopping and dining destination. In 2009 Washburne and his wife, Heather, and Stephen and Elisa Summers purchased the landmark 80-year-old center and have taken significant measures to protect, preserve and enhance its architectural and historical integrity.

Ray grew up in Highland Park, is a native Dallasite, graduate of Highland Park High School and Southern Methodist University and resides in Highland Park. He is the co-founder of Mi Cocina restaurants and has served on many boards and commissions in Dallas and nationally.

From Highland Park Village: Liz Thrash, Victoria Snee, moderator; Kate Kutilek, Becky Bowen, Pat Gould **

Burton Rhodes, Preservation Park Cities president, opened by welcoming the crowd and introduced The Honorable Liz Farley, who led the invocation.

Burton thanked honorary chairs The Honorable Margo Goodwin and The Honorable Tommy Stewart. He announced two new initiatives for Preservation Park Cities. The “Save The Top 100” campaign shines a light on the top architecturally significant homes in the Park Cities in an effort to stave off rampant demolitions of some the area’s greatest assets.

Additionally, PPC has completed an oral history video series entitled Home. Orchestrated by Al McClendon, a PPC board member, this project interviews long-standing and influential members of the community highlighting how the history, architecture, and people have shaped this unique place we call home.

Members of the Preservation Park Cities board: Standing: John Cowen, Jana Paul, Bunny Tibbals, Paul Willey. Sated: Joan Clark, Kathy Myers, Venise Stuart, Jan Harbour*

Ray took the stage with Victoria Snee as moderator and shared stories of visiting Highland Park Village as he grew up. The appreciative and attentive audience nodded their heads, having visited the same businesses he would get to know, making friends with the bankers, shop owners … do you remember there was once four gasoline stations over the years, a radio station … fast forward to the most recent past, when Ray became a co-owner.

Projects include completing Building 100 on Preston Road in early 2019 when the exterior was drastically modified to reflect the rest of Highland Park Village’s architectural style. Aesthetic touches were incorporated into the building originally constructed in 1965, including Spanish tile, wooden balconies, and other façade details.  Along with newly installed fountains at the Preston Road entrances, an extensive resurfacing project to fully brick the parking lot is underway. That effort includes curbless parking spaces and a charming red brick drive in place of asphalt.

Washburne finished by saying Highland Park Village is a “…living and evolving shopping center.” Learn more about Preservation Park Cities by visiting its website at www.preservationparkcities.org

Preservation Park Cities Mission:
PPC mission is to preserve and promote the history, architecture, aesthetics, and cultural traditions of the Park Cities. Proceeds of the Distinguished Speaker Luncheon, Historic Home Tour and the Classic and Antique Car Show will be used to preserve and maintain the Park Cities House at Dallas Heritage Village, support the new PPC archives at the University Park Library, fund landmarking initiatives, award scholarships to Highland Park High School graduating seniors planning to study architecture or history and fund the Distinguished Chair for History at Highland Park High School. Membership in PPC is open to the community. For more information visit www.preservationparkcities.org

*Photos by Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio

** Photos by Danny Campbell

(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent Preservation Park Cities and publish this Scene post.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.