Shopping at Sears in Casa View

by Paula Bosse

sears_casa-view_ext_squire-haskins_utaAppliance central… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I’m not in the Casa View area very often, but I was driving through last week and noted that a lot of the elements of the shopping center looked as if they were original to the buildings — specifically the little metal doo-dads along the top of the canopies over the sidewalks. I came across the photo above tonight and was happy to see those little doo-dads back when they were relatively new. The shopping center is a little confusing to me, but I think this is what that building pictured above looks like these days. (Why, why, WHY did someone think this “remodel” of the buildings was a good idea! Slapping on a new facade and removing the decorative metal doo-dads was an unfortunate decision.)

The Sears store pictured above is actually the second Sears in Casa View. The first store opened in October, 1956  at 2211 Gus Thomasson (here’s what the location of the first store looks like now — metalwork still there but that cool brick exterior has been painted over). It was Dallas’ fifth Sears store and opened in the still-under-development Casa View neighborhood. It wasn’t a full department store — its merchandise was limited mostly to appliances and automotive products. It was also a place to pick up catalog orders. (Click photos and clippings to see larger images.)

sears_casa-view_dmn_101156Dallas Morning News, Oct. 11, 1956

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DMN, Oct. 25, 1956

Apparently the store was so successful that in March, 1964, a brand new Sears opened up in a five-times-larger location (2310 Gus Thomasson) across the street — the photo at the top of this post was probably taken when it was in its first months.

sears_new-location_casa-view_dmn_031264-detDMN, March 12, 1964

Its interior — seen below in all its pristine, blinding whiteness — is fantastic. (Is that woman in the apron serving cookies she’s just baked?)

sears_casa-view_int_squire-haskins_uta

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The reason I was confused by the shopping area is that it was built in phases. The first part was built in 1953 and was originally known as Casa View Hills Shopping Center. (Click the ad below to see a larger image.)

casa-view-shopping-center_dmn_100453
DMN, Oct. 4, 1953

But then the ownership changed hands in early 1955, and it was renamed Casa View Village.

casa-view-shopping-center_dmn_031355
DMN, March 13, 1955

In the meantime (I might have this chronology a bit out of whack), Casa View Center had been built in 1954, diagonally across the street. And then in 1955, construction began on an expanded Casa View Village. (This might have been its second expansion. Casa View was hopping in the mid-’50s!) And Sears had had stores in both Casa View Village and Casa View Center. It’s all kinda confusing.

casa-view-shopping_dmn_111055_article

Here’s a nice little Dallas Morning News graphic that helped me visualize the shopping empire going on at Gus Thomasson and Ferguson.

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DMN, Nov. 10, 1955

And here’s a wider aerial photo taken on July 8, 1957:

casa-view-shopping-center_aerial_070857_dmn-photo-blog

The Casa View Shopping Center (I don’t know what its official name is these days, but I’m going with this) is looking a little ragged these days, but it still has a quirky charm, and I’m happy to see it still chugging along after 60 years.

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Photos by Squire Haskins from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, UTA Libraries Special Collections. More info on the top photo showing the exterior of the Sears building can be found here; more info on the interior photo is here. (Click on the thumbnails on the UTA pages to see very large images.)

Aerial photo from July 8, 1957 found on a Dallas Morning News photo blog.

The Casa View Wikipedia page is here.

D Magazine has a “Dallas Neighborhood Guide” to Casa View here.

Photos and clippings are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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