“Night View, Downtown Section” by Arthur Rothstein — 1942

by Paula Bosse

rothstein_elm-street_jan-1942_loc_lg“Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty…”

by Paula Bosse

If you’re interested in Dallas history, chances are pretty good that you’ve seen this photograph by Arthur Rothstein, which was taken in 1942 — sometime between January 9th and 16th — taken for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). It shows Elm Street — “Theater Row” — looking west from the block east of Harwood. This photograph is from the Library of Congress (here) a larger image can be explored here.

Below are a few magnified details (click pictures to see much larger images).

*

Chattel loans and good will:

rothstein_good-will-loans

*

Morton’s Pants Shop (2014 Elm) has a neon sign in the shape of a pair of pants!

rothstein_south-side_a

*

More interesting neon: the Texas Pawn Shop (2012 Elm) has the traditional three balls, and, better, the Campbell Hotel (Elm and Harwood) has a camel!

rothstein_south-side_b

*

The White Plaza on Main St. (at Harwood) was originally the Hilton Hotel and is now Hotel Indigo. There were some great buildings in this block.

rothstein_south-side_vert

*

That light is blinding.

rothstein_center

*

The towering Tower Petroleum Building (Elm and St. Paul) is pretty cool-looking here.

rothstein_north-side_vert

*

The 2000 block of Elm (seen in the foreground, just east of the Majestic block) was full of furniture stores, pawn shops, and tailors. This is my favorite detail from this photograph. Sadly, the entire block — which was once filled with businesses and activity — was completely demolished; the “camel” side of the street is now occupied by an ugly parking garage, and this side of the street is a wasteland of ugly asphalt parking lots. Yep.

rothstein_north-side

*

1941 plates.

rothstein_texas-1941-plate

*

Below, Elm Street businesses from the 1943 city directory, beginning at N. St. Paul and ending at N. Olive. Next stop: Deep Elm.

elm-street_1943-directory

*

The view today? Here. Hope you weren’t too attached. Kiss most of it bye-bye.

***

Photo from the Library of Commerce, here. This photo is all over the place, including the great Shorpy website, here (click the “supersize wallpaper” link under the photo to see it BIG). If you want a super-gigantic 26.3 MB file (5978 x 4619) (!), download the TIFF file in the dropdown beneath the photo.

The movie playing at the Majestic Theatre is “Tarzan’s Secret Treasure.” Newspaper ads show that the movie opened on January 9, 1942 and played just one week, closing on January 16.

tarzans-secret-treasure

Thanks, Cody and Chris for asking about this photo!

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and everything’s bigger when it’s clicked.

*

Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements