‘Somber Day on the Hilltop’


McCullers Memorial 2b

Mourners gathered Thursday at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium to celebrate the life of Mark McCullers. The 46-year-old SMU police officer is presumed to have drowned after being washed away by flood waters in the early morning hours of July 5.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Highland Park Mayor Joel Williams, University Park Mayor Olin Lane and State Rep. Morgan Meyer were on hand to pay their respects. They were joined by representatives from the Dallas, Highland Park and University Park Police Departments, as well as a numerous other North Texas agencies.

“It’s a somber day on the hilltop to say the least,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

Antèks Curated To Relocate After Flood



After the Fourth of July downpour that plagued many shops with water damage at The Plaza at Preston Center, Antèks Curated has decided to relocate.

The chic, rustic accents and home décor store will move in with its 35-year-old sister store, Antèks, in the Design District by October. The new location in the 8,000-square-foot Dragon Street space will offer a one-stop-shop to gift and furniture shoppers.

The Plaza location will officially close its doors Sept. 15. Until then, shoppers can enjoy merchandise at a 30 percent discount, with increased discounts closer to closing day.

Customers who spend more than $100 will be entered into a drawing for a vacation in the U.S. and a J. Alexander nickel-silver home accessory designed by Antèks owner Jason Lenox.

Will the Chase Bank Building on Hillcrest Finally be Redeveloped?

Owner Jim Strode wants to turn the old Chase Bank building into a mixed-use development. 
(Rendering courtesy of Jim Strode) 0
Owner Jim Strode wants to turn the old Chase Bank building into a mixed-use development. (Rendering courtesy of Jim Strode)

Jim Strode’s plan to redevelop the old Chase Bank office tower on Hillcrest Avenue cleared its first hurdle at the conclusion of a two-part public hearing before the University Park Planning and Zoning Commission on July 12.

With a close vote of 3-2, the commission recommended Strode’s proposal to rezone the parking and O-2 office district to a mixed-use development, but with a few caveats.

Requirements include an increase in the parapet height at the top of the parking garage to minimize visibility of SUV-sized vehicles and, should the building use glass for the tower, a reflectance factor of no more than 20 percent.

“Trying to please everybody isn’t an easy thing,” Strode said. “I think they all have concerns because this has been a tough property. There’s been a lot of wounds still open over there.”

SMU Hosting Memorial for Missing Officer

Mark McCullers (Photo: SMU)

Mark McCullers (Photo: SMU)

SMU will host a memorial service for officer Mark McCullers at 11 a.m. tomorrow, July 28, almost a month after search efforts to find the missing SMU police officer began.

The event will take place at McFarlin Auditorium at SMU, and conclude with a 21-gun salute.

According to SMU, in lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Officer Mark McCullers Memorial Account at any Wells Fargo Bank or online.

McCullers called Highland Park DPS at around 1:40 a.m. July 5, reporting high waters washing over his car. He was working as a private security guard at a construction site near Turtle Creek when he and his car were swept away. For more information, check out previous reports here.


HPUMC Appeals for New Activities Facility

Rendering courtesy of HPUMC. 0
Rendering courtesy of HPUMC.

A version of this story was printed in the August 2016 issue of Park Cities People, in which we reported UP City Council had approved HPUMC’s development plans. At press deadline, this information was confirmed by a UP official. That confirmation was later retracted. The story below has been revised and rewritten by the editorial staff to reflect the accurate information.

University Park City Council is set to vote on Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC)’s plans to raze and rebuild its 23-year-old Biggers Activities Building on Hillcrest Avenue sometime in August.

The vote was originally set for July 19, but was postponed at the request of HPUMC. According to an email from the director of communications Mary Wilson, the church’s zoning consultant noticed an error in the proposed ordinance during the previous council meeting July 5.

If their plans are approved, HPUMC will replace the current structure with a new, much larger family activities center. 

Scotsmen Back the Blue

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Five Highland Park High School football players stopped by the University Park Police Department on July 10 to express their appreciation for what officers do on the school campus and in the community. John Walker, Luke Ford, Quillin McKenney, Andrew White, and Jared Steinhard (not pictured) brought cookies and a note saying that they “back the blue.” The boys plan to continue recognizing officers throughout the upcoming school year.

Meadowbrook School Now Accepting Applications

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*Correction to print ad in August 2016 of Park Cities People. Meadowbrook will hold their open house Sunday, Sept. 25, 3-5 p.m.

For over 40 years, Meadowbrook has been recognized as one of the leading premier preschool and kindergarten programs in Dallas. Meadowbrook is a non-denominational school, teaching children ages 3 1/2 to 4 through Kindergarten, preparing and stimulating young minds. 

Police Reports: July 18-24


Skulduggery of the Week: You’ve Got Mail

At 4:49 p.m. on July 20, a scoundrel attempted to steal a padded envelope from the UPS store in the 4800 block of Lemmon Avenue. An employee of the store followed the rascal, who said he was intending to mail the envelope, and retrieved the shoplifted item. After the rapscallion fled, a police officer found within the envelope a baggie containing around 3.69 grams of methamphetamine.


Between 12:30 and 1 p.m., a person reported she lost a Burberry wallet containing $80 at Royal Blue Grocery in Highland Park Village. 

At 3:15 a.m. July 19, Matthew Aaron Snyder, 28, of Dallas, was arrested in the 4300 block of Prescott Avenue on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

Fashion Show to Celebrate Hope Door’s 30th


Hope’s Door will host a fashion show and luncheon to celebrate their 30th Anniversary of providing intervention and prevention services to families affected by domestic violence.

The event will be held September 16 at Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park with the luncheon starting at 11 :30 a.m.

New Beginning Center, an organization providing education, prevention, and intervention services to those affected by domestic violence, will also sponsor the event, which will be the first hosted by Hope’s Door and New Beginning Center after they merge September 1.