by Paula Bosse
Another “best of” list. Today is the final post of 2018 and time to compile the most popular (new) posts of the year, according to readers who have clicked over to read them. And to all you readers who have clicked over to check out the latest look into the history of Dallas: thank you! There is more ahead in 2019!
Here are the most popular Flashback Dallas posts of 2018, starting with the most popular. (To see each full post, click on the title; to see larger images, click on the picture.)
1. “MUNGER PLACE, THE EARLY DAYS: 1905-1909” (March)
This was far and away the most popular post of the year, thanks primarily to a nice shout-out from the hugely popular Facebook page Traces of Texas. Check out all the photos of a very, very early Munger Place, with several showing construction workers alongside their horses and wagons.
2. “THE RAY HUBBARD ESTATE, LAKEWOOD” (March)
This Lakewood Boulevard estate appeared in a 1948 ad for Evervess Sparkling Water. I’m still not sure why it was in the ad, but it was, and because I happened to see that ad, I now know who Ray Hubbard was, what his beautiful house looked like, and what the connection is to Lake Ray Hubbard.
3. “A DRIVE THROUGH DOWNTOWN — 1970” (September)
This was basically just my piggy-backing on the work of Jeremy Spracklen at SMU’s Jones Film Collection. He alerted me to the wonderful newly-digitized 35mm color film footage in the Dallas Theater Center collection, and I contributed some screen-captures. Click over to watch the footage of everyday life in downtown Dallas in 1970.
One day I was driving up Greenville when I noticed that what had been the rickety remnants of what had once been one of Dallas’ most popular amusement areas and swimming pools was lying in fresh piles of rubble. I stopped and took photos, feeling a little sad for what I had never actually seen photos of when it was in its prime. When I got home, I found photos and even some film footage and felt a twinge of nostalgia for a place I had never known but missed nonetheless.
This post features eight Park Cities houses built before 1914, representing various levels of grandiosity — almost all have been replaced by new, larger homes. My favorite is the very odd concrete house which once stood at Preston and University, a fortress made from local pit-run gravel and cement. At the other end of Preston was the unbelievable H. L. Edwards estate (seen in the thumbnail), which was unnecessarily bulldozed in 2017.
6. “THE ‘BLUE HOUSE’ LIVES” (April)
The continuing saga of one of the last remaining 19th-century houses in The Cedars appears to have ended happily (at least so far): the house was disassembled and moved a few blocks away to its new home. I haven’t seen any photos of the house at its new location — either still in pieces or wholly or partially reassembled — but last I heard, the project seemed to be in good hands. This was a follow-up to my original Jan., 2016 post.
7. “CASA MAGNETICA” (April)
People love posts on Six Flags Over Texas, but people really love posts on Casa Magnetica — the childhood attraction that blew our minds! This one was a lot of fun to write.
This wonderful map — with each building apparently rendered accurately — is just fantastic.
9. “THE CABANA MOTOR HOTEL OF DALLAS” (January)
This once-hip hotel was co-owned by Doris Day’s husband and was, most famously, where the Beatles stayed when they came to town in 1964. The place never quite lived up to its investors’ hopes and has been sold and resold several times. Currently there are plans to revive the faded structure and breathe new life into it.
10. “SAM VENTURA’S ITALIAN VILLAGE, OAK LAWN” (July)
This place was an Oak Lawn fixture for over 45 years. It reinvented itself several times over the years, and was variously (and sometimes simultaneously) an Italian restaurant (which operated as a private club in order to sell alcohol), a cocktail lounge, a piano bar, a disco and live rock-music venue, a nightclub, a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, and a Christian dinner-theater — all owned by the Ventura family.
Below are the top 3 all-time most popular Flashback Dallas posts:
- “HOW TO ACCESS THE HISTORICAL DALLAS MORNING NEWS ARCHIVE” (July, 2015) In addition to its being the all-time most popular Flashback Dallas post, it was actually also the second most popular post of 2018.
- “THE WORLD’S LARGEST SANTA & THE CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY — 1953” (Dec. 2014)
- “CARHOPS AS SEX SYMBOLS — 1940” (Feb. 2015)
Sources & Notes
See all three 2018 “Best Of Flashback Dallas” lists here.
See all Flashback Dallas Year-End lists — past and present — here.
Thanks again for reading, and let’s all have a happy 2019!
Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.