The Wilson Building Under Construction — 1902

by Paula Bosse

wilson-bldg-construction_cook_degolyer_smu_1902_bwSlowly but surely…. (DeGolyer Library/SMU) (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The Wilson Building is one of Dallas’ most beautiful buildings. Designed by the immensely influential Fort Worth firm of Sanguinet & Staats, the building opened in 1904, with its most notable tenant being the Titche-Goettinger department store, which occupied the basement and first two floors.

From the Dallas Public Library’s website:

“J. B, Wilson, a wealthy Dallas cattleman, built this French Renaissance/Second Empire (Beaux Arts) style building, modeled after the Paris Grand Opera House. Craftsman from all over the country came to contribute to the building finish, exterior and interior, with a mahogany and marble interior finish. It was the first eight-story building in Texas. The building originally housed the Titche-Goettinger department store on the bottom floor, with the upper floors used as office space. In 1911, Sanguinet & Staats built a twelve-story annex to the building, which was raised five floors in 1957.”

It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

The photo above is part of the incredible George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection at SMU’s wonderful DeGolyer Library (see note below). Below are a few enlargements of parts of the original photo to see more details. (Click for larger images.)

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wilsonbldgHere it is today. Beautiful. Click photo for an image so colossally large that you can easily check out all the fabulous intricate architectural details. (Photo by Joe Mabel.)

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This photo (titled “Building Construction at the Intersection of North Ervay and Elm Street”) is from the incredible George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, housed at the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; it can be viewed here. It is not currently identified as being the Wilson Building. (UPDATE: The photo is now titled “Wilson Building Construction, Intersection of North Ervay and Elm Street.” And this post is actually cited in the description! Thank you, DeGolyer Library!) (I have altered the color of these images as they were appearing harshly yellow in my photo editor — please see DeGolyer page for correct color of the original gelatin silver photograph.)

The DeGolyer Library is one of Dallas’ very best repositories of important historical images and papers, and just knowing that they are scanning this fantastic collection of Dallas ephemera is making me a little dizzy. So many incredible images!! An exhibit of selected items from the collection opens TOMORROW (Jan. 30, 2015) — details are here.

Credit and photo info for the gigantic present-day photo by Joe Mabel is here.

Read about Sanguinet & Staats here.

More on the Wilson Building from the Dallas Public Library, here. Check out the photo of the excavation of the site before construction began at the top of the page.

And what does Wikipedia say? See here.

All pictures larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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