50 Years Before Main Street Garden Park

by Paula Bosse

skillerns_statler-hilton_ebayHey, Skillern’s, you’re blocking the view! (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This view showing a Skillern’s drugstore at the southwest corner of Main and Harwood was taken as the Statler Hilton was nearing its opening in 1956. The block bounded by Main, Harwood, Commerce, and St. Paul was filled with businesses (…and later a parking garage) (…and way before that, homes) has been cleared and is now the lovely Main Street Garden Park. It’s always nice to have green space downtown, but, for me, the absolute best thing about this open space is that it FINALLY allows the beauty of the old (soon-to-be-new again) Statler Hilton, the old Titche-Goettinger building, and the old Municipal Building to be seen as they should have been seen all along: in full view, from a distance, without anything impeding the view. And now … the 360°-view — especially at night — is spectacular! Below, that same block these days, captured in a fantastic photo by my favorite Dallas photographer, Justin Terveen.

statler-hilton_justin-terveenJustin Terveen

As much as I love the mid-century skyline of this city, I have to say, the 21st-century version of this end of downtown — this square — wins.

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Sources & Notes

The top photo appeared a couple of months ago on eBay.

The color photo is by Dallas photographer Justin Terveen, used with permission. See more of Justin’s incredible photos here — the one above and many others are available for purchase. I tend to get stuck in the past, but seeing Justin’s photographs of present-day Dallas make me realize how remarkably modern and vibrant the city is right now.

The same view from Main and Harwood, as seen today on Google, is here.

It always felt a little claustrophobic on Main, Harwood, and Commerce — those buildings needed room to breathe. For years, that block in the middle got in the way of fully appreciating Titche’s (this idealized postcard view shows Main Street at the right, St. Paul at the left), the Statler Hilton, and the Municipal Building (this 1920s photo shows people standing on the steps with a former drugstore occupant — Drake’s — across Harwood; Harwood was especially narrow when the building was originally built in 1914, and, as I recall, many were unhappy that such a majestic building was built in a location where it was impossible to fully appreciate its aesthetic qualities, even after the street was widened several years later).

More on Main Street Garden Park is here and here.

Click pictures to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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