“Dear Folks: Dallas’ New Filtration Plant Is Simply Glorious! Weather Great! Wish You Were Here!”
by Paula Bosse
A famed Dallas beauty spot, circa 1916 (click for larger image)
by Paula Bosse
Above, a postcard from a lady visiting Dallas in 1916, sent to her “dear friend” back home in Wilmette, Illinois. The card has a short, chirpy “hello, hope everyone’s well, be home in a couple of weeks” type of message on it. But there is no mention of the fact that the picture on the other side shows a water filtration plant. …A water filtration plant. Dallas was a big and impressive city in 1916, and there were a lot of beautiful postcards to choose from, so one wonders why she chose THIS one. I’m not even sure why there would be a picture postcard of a water filtration plant in the first place. Maybe to make municipal workers in other cities jealous. “Dallas has a magnificent state-of-of-the-art sedimentation basin, and you don’t!” But, actually, it’s kind of a cool postcard.
This water filtration plant and pumping station was located along the Trinity (before the river’s course was changed), at what is now Oak Lawn and Harry Hines (now home to the Sammons Center for the Arts, a designated historic landmark which contains part of the old Turtle Creek Pump Station).
The filtration plant was built in 1913. Here are a few photos of its construction (click to see larger images):
A large-capacity water filtration plant is a necessary thing for the city to have, certainly, but it still doesn’t explain why Mrs. [Illegible] was sending a postcard of it to her friend in Illinois.
Postcard of the filtration plant (wow, I’ve typed that a LOT today) from a site that sells postcards. It shows the reverse of the card with the hard-to-read message, here.
Photos of the filtration plant (…there it is again…) from the Oct. 23, 1913 issue of Municipal Journal, here. The entire article should be of interest to people who are interested in … this sort of thing.
Even MORE about this plant, along with diagrams, photos, and an in-depth analysis on its operation, can be found in the July 16, 1914 issue of Engineering News, here.
History page for the Sammons Center is here.
A couple of other early photos of the Turtle Creek Pump Station (from 1894 and 1908) can be seen in a previous post — “City Hospital, a Pump Station, and the County Jail — 1894” — here.
Click pictures for larger images.
Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.
[…] For more photos on the Dallas Waterworks/Turtle Creek Pump Station/Water Filtration Plant, see a later post of mine, here. […]
That sedimentation basin is where Dal-Hi (later P. C. Cobb) stdium was built.
Thanks, Bob. For some reason I always think the stadium was on the east side of Harry Hines.
It was at Oak Lawn and Harry Hines down the hill from the pump station which pumped water from the settling basin, where the stadium was later built up and over the hill into Turtle Creek Reservoir–or so I’ve been told. There used to be pictures of the stadium flooded when the Trinity overflowed in the files at DISD/
Thanks again for these posts and info. I’m still looking for information on a huge animated lighted sign for coffee that was at the Samuel/Grand/Beeman location in the 50s. Huge coffee pot pouring a cup of coffee. Would appreciate any info or photos you could find on this here in Dallas, TX. Regards,
Hi, Jeanette. I see you’ve asked about this sign in several different Dallas history groups over the years, but no one’s been able to help. Is it possible that the sign you’re thinking of is the one in Roanoke, VA? It sounds like what you’re talking about. It was built in the ’40s by H & C Coffee and is now a historical landmark. There’s video here:
Here’s what it looks like in the daytime:
I’m afraid that’s all I’ve come up with. (But I’m glad I looked around, because I LOVE that sign!)
Also, the sign was moved from its original location. Here’s a short history: “H & C Coffee – Started by brothers Harold and Clarence Woods in 1927, Harold commissioned a local sign company to build the famous animated pot that ‘pours’ coffee into a cup in the 1940s and placed it above the roasting plant on East Campbell Avenue. In the 60s the plant was torn down and the sign moved atop a building on Salem Ave. While H&C Coffee is now part of Quality Coffee, the H&C brand lives on through its loyal customers and this historical landmark.”
Thanks for the comments but no, the sign was here in Dallas, TX in the 1940s and 50s. It was an animated billboard spectacular type sign reminiscent of the Times Square signs. Saw it myself at the Samuell/Grand/Beacon triangle of streets near the old Brownies restaurant where we used to go for coffee and apple pie at night. Other friends too remember it but no one has a photo of it. If you ever run across anything on it, let me know. It was I think for Admiration coffee and there were several other Admiration Coffee signs around Dallas, but none that were animated with lights and the coffee pot actually pouring coffee into a cup at night. Also it was 20 ‘ by 55’ size and at one time was photographed by George McAfee who did all of the DP&L photos and others. By Dec. of 1955 it was removed. His family may still have some of his photos. Also Squire Haskins did some aerial shots of that area and I have a poor quality shot of the area but the sign is hardly discernible. Sorry to post so long on this but a friend was giving me more info on it. Sure do appreciate all you are doing in tracking down stuff like this. Regards, Jeanette Crumpler
My uncle had a vending truck in the fifties. I remember going on his route with him and the first stop was to buy coffee from a commercial company that had a sign with a steaming coffee pot on it. I don’t know if that is the same sign you are talking about.
Hi, Bert. Jeanette would probably ask if you remember what part of town you were in — do you remember specifically where you saw it? If you (or anyone else) know the name of the company, I’m sure she’d appreciate it. Thanks!
[…] more on the construction of that 1913 station and a photo of the older pumphouse can be found here); the drilling was slow-going and went on until at least 1904, reaching a depth of more than 2,500 […]