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On April 12th, a group of 8th grade students from Greiner Middle School were part of this the first project by DISD Leadership Class. Thanks to Architect and teacher Anna Osetinsky, this is a recreation of her after school architecture club, where students from underrepresented groups are exposed to the city they live in, and are able to see architectural works that relate to their school curriculum. The vision of this project is to show students the richness of their neighborhoods, as well as the career opportunities that Architecture has to offer.

Members of this year’s leadership class Lisa Taylor, Amanda Green, Erika Huddleston took the class of Joanna Henry on an afternoon tour that included a visit to Fair Park (our guide was Craig Holcomb, President of Fair Park), a short drive around Oackliff neighborhood to see several residential projects by Charles Stevens Dilbeck and some sightseeing of the Dallas skyline from the parking lot of the Belmont Hotel, also by Dilbeck. Erika Huddleston, a Landscape Architect, did an amazing job teaching the students about Dilbeck and his work, being an owner of a Dilbeck home herself. The group left with a wonderful exposure to Art Deco, Art Moderne, mural restoration and the Dallas skyline.

The visit also included a survey given to the students prior to the tour, to get their first reactions to what their understanding of Architecture is. This was followed up by a survey given to them after the tour, to see how their perspective had changed.

Next Architecture Club tour is scheduled for May 10.

Lorena Toffer, AIA and 2012 LiA Co-Chair, shared her personal story with the students prior to the tour, and explained to them some of the projects she is currently working on. Lisa Taylor, main coordinator of the visit, has invited AIA Dallas LiA to take on this project for the next year, in hopes that it will take on as a program of our own!

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