McKinney Avenue Used to Be a Lot Cooler 50 Years Ago

by Paula Bosse

mckinney-ave_dmn_050761-illustrationMcKinney Avenue, 1961 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I have pretty distinct childhood memories of McKinney Avenue. My father worked at and later owned The Aldredge Book Store, which was once located in an old Victorian house at 2800 McKinney (at Worthington). The store looked like this.

abs2800 McKinney Avenue

Imagine McKinney Avenue dotted with old frame houses like this. They were there, even into the ’80s, LOTS of them, most converted from homes to antique shops.

The bookstore then moved to 2506 Cedar Springs and, finally, to 2909 Maple. I spent a lot of time in those stores — all of which were in the area people now insist on calling “Uptown.” We’d always drive home along McKinney. It was the funkiest, coolest, most incredible — and one of the OLDEST — streets in Dallas. People would KILL to have McKinney Avenue back the way it used to be (unless they like slick and new, new, NEW!).

Take an informative tour of the street as it was 55 years ago and meet its inhabitants in the 1961 Dallas Morning News article by the always entertaining Helen Bullock, here.

Seriously, Dallas — we used to have something great.

And we’ll never get it back.

***

Illustration at the top is by DMN staff artist Frank McGrath; it appeared with Helen Bullock’s article, published on May 7, 1961.

Aldredge Book Store illustration is from the store’s letterhead and appeared in early ads from about the time Sawnie Aldredge, Jr. opened the business, in 1947.

I just found out today after talking to my mother, that she and my father used to hang out at McKinney Avenue’s legendary Rubaiyat coffeehouse after they got married. My parents were cool.

*

Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements