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Pilot Grove Church, Dallas Heritage Village

Dallas Heritage Village invites the community to an evening dedicated to historic preservation, Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S. Harwood St., Dallas, TX  75215.  Award winning documentary filmmaker Mark Birnbaum will premiere his new documentary short, Pilot Grove Church - an Education/Restoration Project, on the restoration of Dallas Heritage Village’s own Pilot Grove Church.  The film will be followed by a panel discussion on the importance of historic preservation and the efforts of Dallas Heritage Village featuring Birnbaum along with Mark Lamster, architecture critic for the Dallas Morning News and professor at UTA, David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas; and Ron Siebler, residential remodeler and historic preservationist.  Bart Weiss, associate professor at UTA, award-winning independent film and video producer, and co-founder of the Dallas Video Festival, will introduce Birnbaum and the short film.  The panel will be moderated by Evelyn Montgomery, Ph.D, curator of Dallas Heritage Village.

The documentary short about Pilot Grove Church was filmed during its March restoration, spearheaded by contractor Ron Siebler.  This restoration project, generously funded by The Hoblitzelle Foundation, The Straus Charitable Trust and Valspar Paint, presented an interactive educational experience and living history demonstration of late 19th century and early 20th century carpentry tools and techniques.  Dallas Heritage Village visitors stopped at the site to watch and learn from carpenters dressed in period costumes, utilizing historically informed methods and hand tools while making repairs to the lower level of the church. 

“It was such a fun, interactive and educational experience for our visitors who were also able to safely try out these circa 1910 handtools, such as a bit and a brace plane, hand saws, and other like implements that are no longer commonly employed by the trades,” said Melissa Prycer, interim executive director, Dallas Heritage Village.  “When we saw Mark Birnbaum’s documentary of this project, we were inspired and wanted to share with others.  Historic preservation fosters education by providing the atmosphere and the structures that teach us about the past.  It is our hope that this fun and informative evening can inspire new educational experiences throughout Dallas, while teaching the importance of preservation.”

Event is free but RSVPs are required, or 214-413-3662.

Dallas Heritage Village, located at Old City Park, is a nationally accredited history museum, depicting life in Dallas from 1840-1910. It is one of only five museums in the Dallas area to have this distinction. The grounds showcase 38 historic structures, including log cabins, the pre-Civil War Millermore home, a Victorian Main Street, a railroad complex, an 1860s farmstead with livestock, a 19th century church, school and more.  Visitors discover how crops were grown, animals cared for and how family living progressed from log cabins to grand manors and Victorian homes.  Dallas Heritage Village is supported, in part, by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts as well as individual and group donations. Dallas Heritage Village was nominated in 2011 and 2012 by D Magazine as one of the top Dallas-area family attractions. It is located at 1515 South Harwood, one block south of Farmers Market in Downtown Dallas. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 4 p.m. The Village is closed the months of January and August. Regular admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors 65+ and $5 for children ages 4-12.  Children under 4 and members of Dallas Heritage Village are admitted free of charge. For more information call 214-421-5141 or visit

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