Built prior to 1944, The Mission Motel is one of many motor-court motels aimed to accommodate travelers along the former turnpike between Dallas and Fort Worth. Historically, this type of architecture appeared after World War II along major roadways, and became known as roadside architecture.
Preservation Dallas included The Mission Motel, along with Alamo Plaza Courts Motel and The Ranch Motel on the 2007 List of Dallas’ Endangered Historic Places, stating that roadside architecture is “presently underappreciated” and these three motor-court motels were in imminent danger of demolition. This statement held true through the demolition of Alamo Plaza.
Recently the Dallas Morning News reported that property owner Victor Ballas had a vision to rehabilitate and create eight live-work rental spaces at the former The Mission Motel. Current zoning regulations do not allow this type of use, and instead of spending time and money on a zoning change request, he has decided to place his vision on hold.
The Dallas City Council adopted development guidelines for the area last year, including West Dallas, and has encouraged rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of structures. Rezoning requests have been approved for the nearby Sylvan Thirty development, to include live-work scenarios. Rezoning of The Mission Motel property is a viable option, yet someone must take a lead position to see positive change. If not the property owner, perhaps the City Plan Commission or City Council could take a stand before we loose yet another opportunity.