The outlook for Flag Pole Hill, once a scenic observation point for White Rock Lake, recently became a whole lot better.

After years of neglect, the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas (AAGD) sponsored a face-lift for Flag Pole Hill Pavilion, located near the northwest corner of Northwest Highway and Buckner Boulevard.

Works Project Administration laborers built the structure in 1937. When the cedar trees were shorter and the lake fuller, visitors could enjoy a grand vista. Although the view of the lake isn’t what is used to be, the site still hosts Boy Scout meetings, family picnics and sunrise church services. But the pavilion had seen better days before its adoption by the association.

"Every year, we look for a worthy project, and this was targeted toward the end of last year by Mayor Pro Tem Mary Poss," says Sue Murphy, chairwoman of the group’s community service committee.

In previous years, the AAGD built a playground and renovated a house for after-school activities in South Dallas. For 1998, the group wanted to focus on East Dallas and selected the Flag Pole Hill renovation from several suggested by the City Park and Recreation Department.

"It was a project that didn’t really have a constituency base," says Steven Park, an assistant park and recreation director.

"It was in bad shape."

The pavilion is adjacent to a new playground built by the White Rock Kiwanis Club in 1997, Park says. The playground is designed for handicapped children, and while it draws visitors from throughout the City, it’s not the kind of park nearby residents think of as extensions of their own backyards. The accessibility of the ground-level pavilion makes it a useful companion to the playground.

AAGD volunteers, including several members who supply goods and services for apartment construction, spent about two weeks in November remodeling the pavilion. They replaced the roof, jacked up the foundation, repaired masonry and applied a fresh coat of paint.

The group also replaced several picnic tabletops and donated $1,300 for new barbecue grills and park benches, Murphy says.

All totaled, association members contributed about $15,000 worth of time and supplies to the project.

Apartment Association of Greater Dallas members who donated materials and services include:

• Electrical — Gary Smith, Lincoln Property Co.

• Masonry — Scotty Potts, Penco Construction

• Foundation repair — Jim Roberson, Ramjack

• Power wash and painting — Wesley Werner, Delta Painting

• Roofing — Wes Bruce, Renovation Services Inc.

• Picnic table tops — Rick Moncibais, Lumacorp

• Clean-up — 35 volunteers organized by Randy Hill, Randy Hill Contractors