Current Project Under Way – The Stone Tables
Stone Tables Restoration and Renovation
The Stone Tables Pavilion and Picnic Area serves tens of thousands of Dallas area residents a year. One of the most popular open air rental facilities for the City of Dallas, the playground, pavilion and picnic tables serve as a meeting place for local running groups, youth birthday parties, reunions, holiday celebrations and much more.
In 2012, the Board of Directors of the White Rock Lake Conservancy agreed to take on the renovation and restoration of the historic and very popular Stone Tables Pavilion and Picnic area for the Parks and Recreation Department as identified in the Top 10 projects. Volunteer architects and planners developed a renovation plan and worked with the City of Dallas to fulfill this goal.
The White Rock Lake Conservancy raised private donations and paid the City of Dallas $113,957 in January of 2015 to cover the entire cost of the renovation of the Pavilion and surrounding pathways. This phase of the project was completed in 2015. In 2019 the pavilion renovation received the Preservation Dallas Achievement Awards honoring Dallas’ outstanding residential and commercial historic preservation projects.
Today the Conservancy continues to work with the City of Dallas Park & Rec Department to finish the projects. We are raising funds for three more components of the larger stone tables project: the tables themselves along with new trees and vegetation; the lily pond; and the restroom. Completion of the project would be restoration back to where it was over 90 years ago.
In early 2017, the Conservancy gave the City of Dallas $15,000 for the Park & Recreation department to begin work on two of the original stone tables. The first two tables gave us a better idea of the cost and scope of renovation of each table and lead to an updated landscape plan. The renovation plan includes renovating and rebuilding the original 13 stone picnic tables, improving the grounds around the tables; refurbishing the original Lily Pond that is fed from a natural spring located near the tables and renovating the historical bathroom located near the Stone Tables.
The original plans of the Lily Pond at the Stone Tables show the natural stream feeding the lily pond, which runs under a stone bridge. The bridge and lily pond were constructed by members of the CCC, as part of President Roosevelt’s new deal, in 1931. This stone bridge still remains but the lily pond is in disrepair and will cost $150,000 to renovate the pond and bring it back to it’s original state while allowing for easy maintenance.
Along with the Lily Pond the men of the CCC also built a restroom facility with craftsmanship like we don’t often see in public areas. Artist Henry Potter of Potter Art Metal Studios designed natural scenes for the windows in the building. The stone structure may be repurposed as a comfort station or storage facility for those that have rented the stone tables area. The wood soffit boards are rotting and need to be replaced along with the mortar and masonry in some areas of the structure.