Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: 1910s

Dallas Is For Lovers

fair-park_lovers-lane_postcard

by Paula Bosse

The postcard above shows “Lovers’ Lane, Fair Grounds Park,” and contains the following message to the card’s recipient:

I will have you a fellow this summer & you all can visit this place.

Aw. That’s a true friend.

Below, another postcard from about the same time (around 1910), this one showing “Lovers’ Retreat, Near Dallas, Texas.”

lovers-retreat_postcard_ebay

This might be any old “romantic” place called “Lovers’ Retreat,” but at the time of this card’s publication, Lovers’ Retreat in Palo Pinto County, near Mineral Wells, was a well-known destination for Sunday drives, picnics, camping, church retreats, and family reunions. At 100 miles from Dallas, it would be stretching things to say this view is “near Dallas,” but postcards are sometimes not completely truthful.

And for postcards that just strip away any confusion about local flora and fauna, let’s just cut to the chase. “Please let me tell you in Dallas, Tex.”

lovers-two_cook-collection_degolyer_smu

“Oh! How I love it here in Dallas, Tex.”

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Speaking of lovers’ lanes, I’m not sure where that one at Fair Park (in the top postcard) was, but there were several “lovers’ lanes” around the city. The thoroughfare we know today as Lovers Lane was apparently known for years as a secluded place popular with couples looking for places in which to “spoon.” In a Dallas Morning News article, writer Kenneth Foree reminisced about the days when “it was nothing but a narrow black dirt road winding between two rows of bois d’arc trees.” He commented that “at times you could find lovers under nearly ever tree in Lovers Lane. They would park there in buggies in the early days, later in cars.” In the same article, Margaret L. Pratt, head of the Dallas Public Library’s Texas history department, remembered that “when Southern Methodist University was young and virtually treeless, students would often walk to nearby Lovers Lane for a shady hand-in-hand stroll” (“Walk a Miracle Mile” by Helen Bullock, DMN, Sept. 10, 1961).

When the 1920s hit, “lovers lanes” around the country became hot topics of conversation. This was the “Jazz Age” and the era of the outrageous flappers — a time which an older, disapproving generation saw as scandalous and lacking in respect for propriety or morals. They felt that young women, in particular, were not acting at all “ladylike.” Suddenly the term “petting parties” was all over the newspapers. Young people (…and older people) were making out at parties, in movie theaters, and, especially, in cars parked at night along out-of-the-way country roads. Things were heading to hell in a handbasket.

petting-parties_dmn_022222DMN, 1922

When a Dallas deputy sheriff commented to the local newspapers in 1924 that these open-air necking sessions were out of control, the mayor, Louis Blaylock, said, “It’s getting so a man can not take his sweetheart out on the country road to court her or to propose to her…. Most of the folks celebrating their silver and golden anniversaries in Dallas can look back upon the time when the Lemmon avenue road and Mocking Bird Lane were the causes of all the trouble…. Things aren’t so much worse now than when I was a boy” (DMN, May 23, 1924). Mayor Blaylock — who was born in 1849 — was 74 years old at the time. The deputy sheriff was Not Amused (read his response, reprinted in the Sulphur Springs Daily News-Telegram, here). The mayor laughed off the deputy’s concerns, saying, “I believe that most of [this] talk is purely political and if my memory serves me right we experience this epidemic about every two years, just about election time,” (DMN, May 30, 1924).

primrose-path-lovers-lane_may-1924(click to see larger image)

Despite the mayor’s pooh-poohing of the situation, petting-party outrage remained in the headlines throughout the ’20s … until the public’s attention turned to the next thing to be outraged about. Good for those scandalous pre-Code movies, though!

children-of-jazz_dmn_july-1923“Children of Jazz” at the Palace, 1923

Below is a clever promotion for a movie called “Girl Shy” in which Harold Lloyd played a character named Harold Meadows (“who knows all about women”). It is addressed to the “spooners” of Dallas and is not identified as being an ad for movie.

lovers-lane_dmn_052024May 20, 1924

lovers-lane_dmn_052324
“Girl Shy” at the Old Mill, May 23, 1924

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Sources & Notes

Top two postcards are currently for sale here and here.

The two postcards featuring amorous couples are from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, SMU Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more information on these postcards can be found here and here.

A photo of young frolickers frolicking at Lovers’ Retreat in Palo Pinto County can be found on the Portal to Texas History website here.

Read about petting parties in an article from NPR, here.

Speaking of amorous activities in automobiles, check out my previous Flashback Dallas post, “No Necking Along Country Roads Until Bonnie & Clyde Are Killed or Captured — 1934.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dallas in “The Western Architect,” 1914: City Buildings and Churches


parkland-hospital_western-architect_july-1914

by Paula Bosse

The 7-part Flashback Dallas series of buildings and houses featured in the Dallas issue of The Western Architect finally comes to an end! What I thought would be a quick and painless way to share tons of cool Dallas photos I’d never seen has turned into a seemingly endless dive into the research of a whole slew of buildings, most of which I knew very little (if anything) about. I feel like I’ve been through an immersive, three-week course in “Lang & Witchell”!

This final installment features buildings built by the city (mostly fire stations) and a few churches — six of these eight buildings are still standing. Today’s star architects are Hubbell & Greene.

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1.  PARKLAND HOSPITAL (above), Oak Lawn & Maple avenues, designed by Hubbell & Greene. This new, sturdy, brick “city hospital” was built in 1913 on the beautiful park-like 20-acre-site of the previous city hospital (the old wood frame building — built in 1894 — was cut in pieces and moved farther back on the property, “across a ravine” — it was reassembled and for a time housed patients with chronic and contagious diseases and was the only institution in Dallas at the time that served black and Hispanic patients — part of this old building can be seen at the left in the background of the photo above). The new hospital was “entirely fireproof” and was built with very little wood  — other than the doors, trim, and banister railings, it was all steel, cement, reinforced concrete, plaster, and brick. The original plans called for two wings, but the city had to put construction of the second wing on the backburner until funds became available. As it was, this one-wing hospital (with beds for 100 patients) cost in excess of $100,000 ($2.5 million in today’s money). The building still stands but is barely visible these days behind a wall, trees, and dense shrubbery — it is surrounded by a huge, recently-built complex of similarly-styled buildings. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.) (All images are larger when clicked.)

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postcard dated 1914, via Pinterest

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2.  ART BUILDING, Fair Park, designed by Hubbell & Greene. Known as the Art & Ladies’ Textile Building when it was erected in 1908, this domed building gave Dallas its first public art museum. No longer would the 14 paintings owned by the Dallas Art Association (including works by Childe Hassam and Robert Henri) be relegated to being displayed (when staff was available) in a room in the public library. The building was initially built as a nod to “ladies” and was the place where textile crafts and artworks were displayed during the State Fair (Texas artist Julian Onderdonk was given the task of beating the bushes in New York City for works to be loaned for display in this building during the fair). The art gallery was set in the rotunda — a sort of gallery within a gallery — while textiles and other exhibits were shown in the outer area of the octagonal building. One interesting bit of trivia about the construction of this building is that it was built largely of cement blocks — 70,000, according to newspaper reports. In order to facilitate construction, a “cement block plant” was set up on the grounds in Fair Park, turning out hundreds of blocks a day, which were then laid out to “season” in the sun. (Incidentally, this building was under construction during the historic flood of 1908 — which the newspaper refers to as “the recent high water,” and the bad weather was slowing the construction process.) The building is no longer standing, but it seems to have lasted at least through the end of 1956. It stood just inside the Parry Avenue entrance, to the left, next to the Coliseum (now the Women’s Building) — the site is now occupied by a parking lot directly behind the D.A.R. house. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

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via Dallas Museum of Art blog “Uncrated”

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3.  CENTRAL FIRE STATION, 2012 Main Street (adjoining the Municipal Building), designed by Lang & Witchell. When Adolphus Busch acquired the land Dallas’ City Hall and central fire station sat on (in order to build his Adolphus Hotel), there was a sudden springing to action to build new homes for both displaced entities. The new location for the firehouse was in a building facing Main, adjacent to the new Municipal Building — when it became the headquarters for the Dallas Fire Department in 1913, the already-standing two-story building was remodeled, and a third floor was added. It was, I believe, the first Dallas firehouse built without horse stalls, as it housed only motorized firefighting vehicles. The building’s use as a fire station ended in the 1920s; it was thereafter used by other municipal offices: for a while in the 1930s its third floor was used as a women’s jail, and for many years it was the site of Dallas’ corporation court. It looks like the building is still there, but I’m unsure of its current use. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

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central-fire-station_dallas-firefighters-museum_portalDallas Firefighters Museum, via Portal to Texas History

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4.  OAK LAWN FIRE STATION, Cedar Springs & Reagan, designed by Hubbell & Greene. This still-active firehouse (!) — Dallas’ first “suburban” fire station — was built in 1909 as the home of No. 4 Hook and Ladder Company. When construction of the building was announced, it was described as being a gray brick structure topped by a roof of “cherry red Spanish tiling.” It was — and still is — a beautiful building. (I’ve written about this firehouse previously, here.) (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

firehouse_oak-lawn_western-architect_july-1914

firehouse_oak-lawn_western-architect_july-1914_architectural-details_2

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5.  NO. 6 ENGINE COMPANY, Forest Avenue (now MLK Blvd.) & Kimble, South Dallas, designed by H. B. Thomson. This South Dallas fire station was built in 1913 and was in service until 1955 when it was demolished to make way for the “South Central Expressway” (see more photos in a previous post on this, here). (See it on a 1922 Sanborn map, here.)

firehouse_no-6-engine_western-architect_july-1914

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Dallas Firefighters Museum, via Portal to Texas History

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6.  FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, S. Harwood & Wood, designed by C. D. Hill. Built in 1911-12, this impressive building boasted “the largest monolith columns in the city” (a claim which might have been surpassed by architect Hill’s be-columned Municipal Building built soon after this church, two blocks away — and rivaled by Hubbell & Greene’s Scottish Rite temple, one block away). Still standing and much expanded, the church is still looking great. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

first-presbyterian-church_western-architect_july-1914

first-presbyterian-church_dmn_032412Dallas Morning News, March 24, 1912

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7.  WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 2700 Fairmount (at Mahon), designed by Hubbell & Greene. Before looking this one up, I had no idea what part of town this church was in — I was surprised to see it was in the area now known as “Uptown” … and it’s still standing. This congregation (organized in 1892) had occupied churches in the McKinney Avenue/State-Thomas area for several years before this church was built in 1910-11. When the congregation moved to their current location on Devonshire in the 1940s, the building was taken over by Memorial Baptist Church. When that congregation was dissolved, the church was given — for free! — to the First Mexican Baptist Church (Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana). After several decades, they, too, eventually moved to a new location, and the old church has had a variety of occupants come and go. (Read about its recent past — and see tons of photos — at Candy’s Dirt, here.) (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

westminster-presbyterian-church_western-architect_july-1914

westminster-presbyterian-church_websitevia Westminster Presbyterian Church website

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8.  FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, corner of Cadiz & Browder, designed by Hubbell & Greene. This Christian Science church was built in 1910 on the southern edge of downtown for $100,000 (over 2.5 million dollars in today’s money). Following its days as a Christian Science church, it has had secular and non-secular occupants. It still stands (as a lonely building in what is mostly a sea of parking lots), and it is currently a house of worship once again. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

first-church-of-christ-scientist_western-architect_july-1914_exterior

first-church-of-christ-scientist_western-architect_july-1914_foyer

first-church-of-christ-scientist_western-architect_july-1914_readers-desk

christian-science-church-postcard

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And that concludes this 7-part series featuring photos from the 1914 all-Dallas issue of the trade publication The Western Architect, which can be viewed in its entirety (with additional text), here (jump to p. 195 of the PDF for the July, 1914 scanned issue).

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Sources & Notes

The Western Architect, A National Journal of Architecture and Allied Arts, Published Monthly, July, 1914. This issue, with text and critical analysis in addition to the large number of photographs, has been scanned in it entirety by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of its Brittle Books Program — it can be accessed in a PDF, here (the Dallas issue begins on page 195 of the PDF). Thank you, UIUC!

In this 7-part series:

western-architect-in-dallas_dmn_060414
Dallas Morning News, June 4, 1914

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dallas in “The Western Architect,” 1914: Places of Leisure, Etc.

hippodrome-theater_western-architect_july-1914

by Paula Bosse

Continuing with the series of photos from the all-Dallas issue of The Western Architect, which featured photos of new buildings which had popped up all over the city between the years of about 1910 to 1914. Today, in an attempt to categorize the seven buildings in this post, I’ve decided on “places of leisure” — although one of the places is a high school, and a high school is hardly a place of leisure. Two of these buildings are still standing: one which you’ve no doubt heard of as being at death’s door for a few decades now, and the other… well,  you’ve probably never seen it or been aware of it (but it’s my favorite one in this group!). 

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1.  THE HIPPODROME THEATER (above), 1209 Elm Street, designed by architects Otto Lang & Frank Witchell. Built along Dallas’ burgeoning “theater row” in 1912-1913, the Hippodrome was one of the city’s grandest “moving picture playhouses.” Among its lavish appointments was this odd little tidbit: “Over the proscenium arch there is an allegorical painting representing Dallas as the commercial center of the Southwest,” painted by the theater’s decorator, R. A. Bennett. Below was a fire curtain emblazoned with a depiction of Ben Hur (a “hippodrome” was a stadium for horse and chariot races in ancient Greece). So that was a nice little weird culture clash. Though originally a theater which showed movies exclusively, it eventually became a theater featuring movies as well as live vaudeville acts. As the Hippodrome became less and less glamorous, it resorted to somewhat seedier burlesque acts (it was raided more than once,for employing female performers who were too scantily clad) and the occasional boxing or wrestling match. The building was sold several times and was known as the Joy Theater, the Wade, the Dallas, and, lastly, the Strand. I was shocked to learn this old-looking-when-it-was-new building stood for almost 50 years and wasn’t demolished until 1960 (that façade must have looked very different by then). (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.) (All images are larger when clicked.)

hippodrome_theater-row_night_postcard_flickr_coltera
via Flickr

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2.  THE CAMPBELL HOUSE HOTEL, 2004 Elm Street (southeast corner of Elm & Harwood), designed by Lang & Witchell. A few blocks east on Elm from the Hippodrome was the Campbell Hotel, built in 1910-1911 by Archibald W. Campbell, a man who knew how to invest in Dallas real estate and left an estate worth more than a million dollars when he died in 1917 (a fortune equivalent to almost $20 million today). The Campbell Hotel lasted until 1951, when it  was sold and became the New Oxford Hotel. It was demolished sometime before 1970; the site is currently occupied by a parking garage. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

campbell-house_western-architect_july-1914

campbell-house_flickr_coltera_ca-1918

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3.  DALLAS AUTOMOBILE COUNTRY CLUB, at the time 6 miles north of Dallas (roughly at what is now Walnut Hill and Central Expressway), clubhouse designed by Lang & Witchell. Built in 1913/1914, this club for wealthy “automobilists” was located on what was originally 26 acres donated by W. W. Caruth — in order to get there, you had to drive, which was part of the relaxing experience this golf course-free country club counted as one of its benefits. The club grounds included a 6-acre lake and was a popular site for boating, fishing, and swimming (a top-notch golf course was eventually added). The name of the country club changed a couple of times over the years: it became the Glen Haven Country Club in 1922 and then the Glen Lakes Country Club in 1933. Glen Lakes had a long run, but northward-development of Dallas was inexorable, and the club and golf course were closed in 1977 when the land the country club had occupied for over 60 years was sold for development. (See it on a 1962 map here — straddling Central Expressway — and just try to imagine the value of that land today.)

dallas-automobile-club-house_glenlakes_western-architect_july-1914

glen-lakes-country-club_aerial-photo_1959

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4.  DALLAS COUNTRY CLUB, Preston Road & Beverly Drive, clubhouse designed by C. D. Hill. One of the reasons the Dallas Automobile Country Club had to change its name was because people kept confusing it with the granddaddy of Dallas’ country clubs, the Dallas Country Club, in Highland Park, built in 1911 and still the most exclusive of exclusive local clubs and golf courses. (See part of the club’s acreage on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.) (I don’t think any of the original clubhouse still stands, but I could be wrong on this.)

dallas-country-club_western-architect_july-1914

dallas-country-club_matchbook_cook-collection_degolyer_smuvia DeGolyer Library, SMU

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5.  LAKEWOOD COUNTRY CLUB, 6430 Gaston Avenue, clubhouse designed by C. D. Hill. This East Dallas country club and golf course was built in 1913-1914 on 110 acres of “rolling prairie and wooded glades, broken with ravines and set with stately trees that offer puzzling hazards” (it was estimated that there were over 1,000 pecan trees on the land). I don’t know anything about golf, but trying to play a round on this original ravine-ravaged course sounds … exhausting. This large structure (which seems too big to be called a “clubhouse”!) stood in Lakewood until it was demolished at the end of 1959 or beginning of 1960 when a new clubhouse was built. (See it on a 1922 Sanborn map — out in the middle of NOTHING — here. Note that many of the street names have changed over the years, including Abrams, which was once called Greenville Rd.)

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lakewood-country-club_tea-room_western-architect_july-1914

lakewood-country-club_dmn_051813_drawingDallas Morning News, May 18, 1913

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6.  DALLAS HIGH SCHOOL, Bryan & Pearl streets, designed by Lang & Witchell. Located on the site of the previous Dallas High School, this new building was built in 1908. For years Dallas’ only (white) high school, the building expanded over the years and has been known by a variety of names (Dallas High School, Bryan Street High School, Crozier Tech, etc.). I like this description of the original “somewhat novel” color scheme of the classrooms: the ceilings were in cream, the “under wall” in warm green, then the blackboards, and beneath them, the walls, in RED. This building has valiantly managed to survive for 110 years — seemingly forever under threat of demolition — but it still stands and, recently renovated into office space, it appears to have a rosy future. (See the main school building on a 1921 Sanborn map here; the gymnasium is here.)

dallas-high-school_western-architect_july-1914

dallas-high-school_flickr_colteravia Flickr

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7.  SEARS, ROEBUCK & COMPANY OF TEXAS, EMPLOYEES’ CLUB HOUSE, S. Lamar & Belleview, designed by Lang & Witchell. I love this little building! When plans for the 1913 expansion of the massive Sears warehouse were drawn up, this modest building was to be a (three-story) clubhouse for employees. A description of the not-yet-built expansion included this:

This clubhouse will contain ample cafeteria, dining room and lunch room [space] to accommodate 600 employees at one time. The main cafeteria will be so arranged that it can be turned into an assembly room for the benefit of the employees, having a stage built at one end, and means will be afforded for all variety of social, musical and athletic activities as may be developed by the employees themselves. (Dallas Morning News, Feb. 5, 1913)

What a perk! But by 1918, Sears had basically outgrown the building (which had ultimately been built as only one story, with a half-basement), and the company offered the use of it to the Dallas YWCA who used it as an “industrial branch” lunchroom/cafeteria (and lounge) in which meals were served to both YWCA members as well as to the general public (including many who worked at Sears). Prices of these wholesome meals served by wholesome girls varied over the years from a nickel to 25 cents — 200-400 patrons were served daily. The building’s half-basement was used as the men’s dining room and as a gymnasium for the YWCA girls (I believe it was also made available to Sears-Roebuck employees). (Read an article about this little “industrial branch” of the YWCA in a Dallas Morning News article from Aug. 15, 1920, here). The YWCA used this Sears building from at least 1918 to 1922. I’m not sure what its use was after the YWCA closed their “Sears-Roebuck Branch,” but I’m delighted to see that it still stands as part of the South Side on Lamar complex. (See the employee club house on a 1921 Sanborn map, here — it appears to be connected to one of the main buildings by a tunnel).

sears-warehouse_western-architect_july-1914_clubhouse-det

sears-roebuck_postcard_ebay_det
Detail of this postcard

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Next: churches, firehouses, an art gallery, and a hospital (the last installment!).

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Sources & Notes

The Western Architect, A National Journal of Architecture and Allied Arts, Published Monthly, July, 1914. This issue, with text and critical analysis in addition to the large number of photographs, has been scanned in it entirety by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of its Brittle Books Program — it can be accessed in a PDF, here (the Dallas issue begins on page 195 of the PDF). Thank you, UIUC!

In this 7- part series:

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas in “The Western Architect,” 1914: The Adolphus Hotel

adolphus_terracotta-detail_western-architect_july-1914
Behold… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

My look at buildings and houses featured in the 1914 issue of The Western Architect continues — today: the Adolphus Hotel.

In June, 1910 it was announced that St. Louis beer magnate Adolphus Busch would buy the land beneath the then-current city hall at Commerce and Akard for $250,000 in order to build a 20-story, one-million-dollar hotel. The City of Dallas — who owned the land — was all for it, even though their city offices, the police department, and a firehouse were currently occupying the site. Talk about clout. (Money talks, and the amount that Mr. Busch was about to sink into Dallas was equivalent in today’s money to about 34 million dollars. Desks were being cleaned out before the ink was dry on the check.) It was agreed that the city would quickly establish a temporary city hall (on Commerce, opposite the YMCA), find new quarters for the police department, and relocate the No. 4 Engine Company. The old city hall was demolished in October, 1910, and the city scrambled to come up with plans for a new city hall.

This new hotel — when completed, Dallas’ tallest building — was built catty-corner to another Busch-owned hotel, the swanky Oriental Hotel (in later years the site of the Baker Hotel). During the early days of construction, this new million-dollar building was referred to as “the New Oriental,” but it was ultimately decided to call it “The Adolphus” (ostensibly by a groundswell of the grateful people of Dallas, in a newspaper contest). When informed of the city’s desire that this great new hotel be named after himself, Busch responded thusly in a telegram to the Dallas Chamber of Commerce:

If all those interested in the new hotel and the good people of Dallas desire to name the great hostelry now being erected “The Adolphus” I shall cheerfully acquiesce and be proud of it. I sincerely and earnestly hope that this new palace will be a source of pride and pleasure to all concerned and may be another step in the movement for a greater Dallas. Very sincerely, Adolphus Busch. (Dallas Morning News, March 10, 1911)

Excavation of the site (by Vilbig Bros.) began in January, 1911 and took 4 months.

adolphus_excavation_dmn_052111The old Oriental watches over the “New Oriental,” DMN, May 21, 1911

The rest of the construction of what The News described as “the tallest hotel building in the world” went smoothly, except for one hitch: the dreaded prospect of Prohibition in Dallas. All work was halted in July, 1911 by the powers-that-be in the Busch camp. After recent Texas elections, it seemed a very real possibility that Dallas would go for the “local option” and put laws into place severely restricting, if not downright banning, the sale of alcohol. The Busch representative issued a lengthy statement on why they could not go ahead with the project if that were to happen — not because the money was coming from a man with massive brewery holdings, he said, but because such a prospect would be death to a major hotel: out-of-town visitors accustomed to imbibing would avoid Dallas like the plague. (Read the very strong — though likely disingenuous — statement, here.)

But something happened between that “we absolutely will not build here if Prohibition is on the horizon” proclamation made on July 30, and August 1 when work was resumed. All that was said in news accounts was that the Busch representative was swayed by stockholders, local businessmen, and concerned citizens who urged the completion of the hotel (which was already up to seven stories high when worked had been stopped). This all sounds odd — like some sort of power-play or shake-down, but whatever it was, work resumed, and the hotel opened to a rapturous welcome in October, 1912.

…And Prohibition did come to Dallas — it went into effect in November, 1913, one year after the hotel opened and just seven-and-a-half weeks after Adolphus Busch had died while on vacation in Germany. RIP, Adolphus. Your beautiful, no-expense-spared hotel continues to be, as you had hoped, “a source of pride and pleasure” for the city of Dallas.

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Adolphus Busch, via Wikipedia

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All of that is a bit of a lengthy prologue to the article about the Adolphus which appeared in the 1914 issue of The Western Architect. The photos from the article are below; the text is here (it is, incidentally, the same text provided by the Busch company to local newspapers when the hotel opened). (All photos are larger when clicked.)

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THE ADOLPHUS HOTEL, northwest corner Commerce and Akard, designed by Tom Barnett of Barnett, Haynes & Barnett of St. Louis.

adolphus_western-architect_july-1914

adolphus_terracotta-detail_western-architect_july-1914

adolphus_entrance-detail_western-architect_july-1914Akard Street entrance (those lamps!)

adolphus_ladies-tea-room_western-architect_july-1914Ladies’ tea room

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Next: a hotel, a theater, clubhouses, and a school.

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Sources & Notes

The Western Architect, A National Journal of Architecture and Allied Arts, Published Monthly, July, 1914. This issue, with text and critical analysis in addition to the large number of photographs, has been scanned in it entirety by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of its Brittle Books Program — it can be accessed in a PDF, here (the Dallas issue begins on page 195 of the PDF). Thank you, UIUC!

Adolphus Busch never saw the Adolphus Hotel or the Busch Building (later renamed the Kirby Building) in person — in fact, he visited Dallas only once, in 1892, when he arrived to check out his new endeavor, the Oriental Hotel. Read an interview with him published during his Dallas stay (DMN, Dec. 1, 1892), here. (One of the questions he is asked is “Can beer be brewed successfully in the south?” To which Busch responds, “A kind of beer can be made here, but not good beer.” Something about the yeast….)

In this 7-part series:


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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas in “The Western Architect,” 1914: Businesses

mkt-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

by Paula Bosse

The continuing week-long look (…well, it looks like that’s going to be more like a two- or three-week-long look…) at the Dallas buildings featured in the July, 1914 issue of The Western Architect plods on. Today: business buildings. Nine of these ten buildings are, remarkably, still standing (some are even still recognizable!), and, as seems to be the trend with architecture of this period in Dallas, the powerhouse firm of Otto Lang and Frank Witchell dominates.

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1.  MKT BUILDING / KATY BUILDING, Commerce & Market, designed by architect H. A. Overbeck (who also designed the nearby Criminal Courts Building). This building (seen above) was built in 1912 as the general offices of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway; it has been spiffed up in recent years and is one of my favorite downtown buildings. An article appearing at the time the offices opened described the building as being faced with dark brick (“gun metal shade”) and light colored terracotta. The wide-angle photo below, which shows employees in front of the new building, is interesting because of the buildings seen to the left and right (all images in this post are larger when clicked). (See the building on a 1921 Sanborn map here.)

mkt-bldg_dmn_120112_employees-new-bldgDallas Morning News, Dec. 1, 1912

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2.  JOHN DEERE BUILDING, 501 Elm Street (northeast corner of Elm & Houston), designed by Hubbell & Greene. This building was built about 1901/1902 for the Kingman Texas Implement Co. (construction permits were issued the same week in 1901 as its also-still-standing-across-the-street-neighbor, the Southern Rock Island Plow Co., better known as the Texas School Book Depository). It is thought to be the earliest example of Sullivan-esque architecture in Dallas. The John Deere Plow Co. moved into the building around 1907 and built the warehouse, which extends back to Pacific. After the Deere Co. moved out, it was the home of apparel manufacturing and wholesaling offices for many years. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

john-deere-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

john-deere-building_flickr_colteraca. 1949, via Flickr

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3.  BOREN & STEWART BUILDING, 1801 N. Lamar (at Hord), designed by Lang & Witchell. This attractive building was built in 1913 in what is now the Historic West End District — the building is still standing. Boren-Stewart, billed in ads at this time as “Dallas’ oldest grocery house,” had been established in the late 1880s by Robert H. Stewart and Benjamin N. Boren. At the time of the construction of this new building, its president was R. H. Higginbotham (whose Swiss Ave. house was also featured in The Western Architect); its treasurer was A. W. Cullum, who would go on to form the Tom Thumb grocery store chain. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map here.)

boren-and-stewart_western-architect_july-1914

boren-stewart_lang-and-witchell-drawing_dmn_083013Lang & Witchell drawing, 1913

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4.  COTTON EXCHANGE BUILDING, 401 S. Akard (southwest corner of S. Akard & Wood), designed by Lang & Witchell. Built in 1911, this was the hub of the cotton market in Dallas, a city which, in a 1912 article in The Dallas Morning News, was described as “the greatest and largest interior cotton market in the world, handling cotton worth $100,000,000 per year” (about 2.7 billion dollars in today’s money!). The Dallas Cotton Exchange was handling up to one-third of the cotton grown in Texas and Oklahoma. This handsome building was vacated by the cotton people in 1926 when their much larger new exchange building went up at St. Paul and San Jacinto. (Read about the Dallas cotton traders unhappiness with not being acknowledged as one of the country’s most important exchanges in a March 20, 1912 article in The Dallas Morning News here.) (See this building on a 1921 Sanborn map here.) This is the only building in this group of ten that is no longer standing — the site is now occupied by a parking lot.

cotton-exchange-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

cotton-exchange-building_postcard_ebay

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5.  S. G. DAVIS HAT CO. BUILDING, 800 Jackson St. (southeast corner of Jackson and S. Austin), designed by Lang & Witchell. When it was built in 1913 it was advertised as “facing the new Union Depot” (which hadn’t yet been built and was three blocks away). The Davis Hat Company — a manufacturer and wholesaler of men’s hats — was established in Dallas in 1900. This building might be familiar to many people for its “Office Equipment Co. sign painted on the back exterior. (See the location of this building on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

davis-hat-co-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

davis-hat-co-building

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6.  BUTLER BROTHERS, 500 S. Ervay (between Young and Marilla, immediately east of City Hall), designed by Mauran, Russell & Crowell Architects (Harre Bernet, Dallas representative). This massive building (11 acres of floorspace before any additions were made) was one of the branches of the Chicago company which was known at the time as the largest wholesale business in the world. Construction began in 1910 (see a photo of the work in progress, by Vilbig Brothers Construction, here) and, over the years, various additions were made. When Butler Bros. sold the building in 1951, it had grown to 670,000 square feet and soon became home to the newly branded Merchandise Mart. The building still stands (as residences), but it doesn’t look a lot like it did a century ago: it was apparently resurfaced in the 1960s and currently sports a regrettable exterior color, which makes it look a bit like a large Hampton Inn. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

butler-brothers_western-architect_july-1914

It even had its own artesian “deep well.”

butler-brothers_det_western-architect_july-1914

butler-brothers_ad_110610November, 1910

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7.  “STORE AND FLAT BUILDING,” northwest corner of West Jefferson & Tyler, designed by C. A. Gill. Luckily I recognized this building — because I love it and have written about it before — because, otherwise, there’s very little to go on to determine its location. It was built in 1911 or 1912 for use as retail establishments on the ground floor and apartments (“flats”) and the occasional doctor’s offices on the second floor. Still looking good in Oak Cliff. (See it on a 1922 Sanborn map, here.)

oak-cliff_mallory-drugstore_western-architect_july-1914

oak-cliff_jefferson-tyler_1929_oak-cliff-advocate_DPL1929 (Dallas Public Library photo, via Oak Cliff Advocate)

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8.  HUEY & PHILP BUILDING, 1025 Elm Street, designed by Lang & Witchell. Built in 1913-1914 for the Huey & Philp hardware company (founded in Dallas in 1872 by Joseph Huey and Simon Philp) — this building is still standing, but you’d probably never ever guess it. First off, it looks nothing like it once did: it’s much taller now and it was one of the many downtown buildings that went through bizarre refacings in the 1950s and ’60s — beautiful buildings were stripped of all their character and uglified, for reasons I can’t fathom. Anyway, the other reason it’s hard to believe this is the same building is that, when it was built, it sat on the northwest corner of Elm and Griffin; now it sits on the northeast corner. How does something like that happen? In the 1960s, Griffin was “realigned” and widened, in order to provide a north-south artery through downtown’s west side — part of this road construction meant that Griffin suddenly cut right through the 1000 block of Elm (it also did away with poor little Poydras Street). The old Griffin can still be seen in the Griffin Plaza walkway (here — with the old Huey & Philp/Texas & Pacific building to the left, now a hotel and looking nothing like the century-old building it is). Crazy. Huey & Philp closed its retail business in 1934 but continued for several decades as wholesalers. (Read more about this building at Noah Jeppson’s Unvisited Dallas site, here. And see a street-level early-1920s photo in the UTA collection here, with the Sanger’s building in the background at the left.) (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

huey-and-philp_western-architect_july-1914

huey-philp_unvisited-dallasvia Unvisited Dallas

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9.  SANGER BROTHERS BUILDING, Main & Lamar, designed by Lang & Witchell. One of the earliest Dallas business institutions (the Sanger brothers arrived in Dallas in the 1870s, at about the same time as Simon Philp), Sanger’s slowly acquired a ton of downtown real estate (for warehouses, etc.), but this building — their retail department store — was their centerpiece, and it grew and grew over the years. The expansion(s) of 1909 and 1910 included the addition of two floors to their already 6-story building, the building of a new 8-story addition which went up at the corner of Main and Lamar, and then when that was completed in 1909, another addition matching the rest of the store was built on the Elm Street side, resulting in a store taking up half a block of prime real estate (they would eventually own the entire block). More than a century later — now as part of El Centro College — the building still looks good. (See it on a 1905 Sanborn map, here, and a 1921 map, here.)

sanger-bros-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

Here’s what it looked like before this flurry of construction began:


sangers-bros-postcard

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10.  SEARS, ROEBUCK & COMPANY OF TEXAS WAREHOUSE AND CLUB HOUSE, S. Lamar & Belleview, designed by Lang & Witchell. When Sears, Roebuck & Co. decided to open their first branch outside of Chicago, their choice was Dallas. A huge warehouse was built along South Lamar in 1910. Then, in 1912 a second huge warehouse was built. And, in 1913 a third one. This growth was pretty spectacular. All three of these buildings were designed by Lang & Witchell (building 3 is the one seen below). The massive Sears complex is now known as South Side on Lamar, and it’s beautiful. (More on this clubhouse is here.) (See the Sears buildings in a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

sears-warehouse_western-architect_july-1914

sears-roebuck_postcard_ebay

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Next: the Adolphus Hotel.

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Sources & Notes

The Western Architect, A National Journal of Architecture and Allied Arts, Published Monthly, July, 1914. This issue, with text and critical analysis in addition to the large number of photographs, has been scanned in it entirety by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of its Brittle Books Program — it can be accessed in a PDF, here (the Dallas issue begins on page 195 of the PDF). Thank you, UIUC!

In this 7-part series:

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dallas in “The Western Architect,” 1914: Skyscrapers and Other Sources of Civic Pride

scottish-rite-cathedral_western-architect_july-1914The Scottish Rite Cathedral, Harwood & Young… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This is the third installment of a week-long look at the July, 1914 issue of the The Western Architect, which chronicled the impressive growth of Dallas. Today we look at sources of civic pride: from skyscrapers to the world’s longest concrete viaduct. The black-and-white photos below appeared in The Western Architect — click to see larger images.

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1. THE PRAETORIAN BUILDING, northeast corner of Main and Stone, designed by architect C. W. Bulger & Son. The city’s first true skyscraper — and, upon its completion around 1909, the tallest building in the Southwest. Those awnings halfway up the building are … cute. The building was demolished in 2013 and replaced by a giant eyeball. (More photos of the Praetorian are here.)

praetorian-bldg_western-architect_july-1914_crop

praetorian_empire__main-street_postcard_ebay

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2. THE BUSCH/KIRBY BUILDING, northeast corner of Main and Akard, designed by Barnett, Haynes & Barnett (St. Louis)/Lang & Witchell (Dallas). Built in 1912/1913 by Adolphus Busch, the first five floors were occupied for many years by the A. Harris department store, and the upper floors were leased by various businesses. Buildings change names, and although it was built as the Busch Building, it later became the Great Southern Life Building, and, in 1922, the Kirby Building (when it was purchased by the Kirby Investment Co. of Houston, John H. Kirby, president). The building still stands, as The Kirby apartments.

Fun facts: when work on the construction of the Adolphus Hotel was completed, the crew walked across the street to the new site to start work on the Busch Building. The first 5 floors were built especially for the A. Harris Co., but, sadly, Adolph Harris died before the store opened in November, 1913 (Adolphus Busch also died before tenants moved in). Busch, the German-born beer baron, had planned a rathskeller in the basement — a handy place to sell his beer — apparently there were laws at the time which prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages below street level … so it became the A. Harris bargain basement instead.

busch-bldg_kirby-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

busch_bldg_postcard

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3. SOUTHWESTERN LIFE INSURANCE BUILDING, southeast corner of Main and Akard, designed by Lang & Witchell. Built in 1911/1912, the Southwestern Life Building was described by architect Otto Lang as “dignified but not ostentatious.” In 1965 the building was bought as an investment by Bill Clements (who later became Governor of Texas), but was torn down in 1972, sold, and then paved over to become a parking lot for many years. The site is now occupied by Pegasus Plaza, an attractive greenspace.

southwestern-life-insurance-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

southwestern-life-insuranec-bldg_postcard_ebay

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4. COMMONWEALTH NATIONAL BANK BUILDING, 1000 Main Street (southeast corner of Main and Poydras), designed by, yes, Lang & Witchell. Built in 1912, this no-longer-standing building had a dizzying number of names, as the banks it was affiliated with kept reorganizing or merging and changing names. It was known for most of its life as the Fidelity Union Building until the Fidelity Union Life Insurance people moved to their new location at Pacific at Bryan in the early 1950s.

commonwealth-national-bank-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

commonwealth-bank-bldg_portal

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5. SCOTTISH RITE CATHEDRAL, 500 S. Harwood (at Young), Hubbell & Greene, architects. This stunning building was formally dedicated in 1913, almost seven years after its groundbreaking. It is still standing — and is a place I’ve always meant to visit. Money appears to have been no object in the construction and decoration of this grand building, from its hand-fluted columns out front to its sky-blue ceiling with stars painted in gold, its leather inlaid walls and its double-laned bowling alley in its basement. Not only did it have the largest performance stage in Texas, but it also had “easily the largest organ in America [with] 8,000 speaking pipes.” Read the incredible no-detail-too-small description of the building and its appointments by chief architect (and mason) Herbert Miller Greene here.

The photo that appeared in The Western Architect is at the top of this post. Here’s a postcard view that looks like it sat in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

scottish-rite-cathedral

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6. YMCA BUILDING, 1910 Commerce Street, near St. Paul, designed by Lang & Witchell. This building was built somewhat sporadically (when money was available) between 1907 and 1909. After the Y moved to larger digs, this building became home to the Savoy Hotel (which I read about several years ago and seem to remember it sounding kind of seedy). It was demolished in 1950 to make way for the much-delayed construction of the Statler-Hilton Hotel.

ymca-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

ymca-building_postcard

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7. MUNICIPAL BUILDING, Main and Harwood, designed by C. D. Hill. I love this building, built in 1913/1914, and I wrote about it here. It is still standing and is currently undergoing a lengthy and loving restoration.

municipal-building_western-architect_july-1914

city_hall

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8. DALLAS COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTS AND JAIL BUILDING, Main and Houston, designed by H. A. Overbeck. I’ve also written about this still-standing building, which opened for business in 1915, here.

criminal-courts_jail_western-architect_july-1914

dallas-county-criminal-courts_jail_ebay

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9. OAK CLIFF VIADUCT (HOUSTON STREET VIADUCT), designed by Ira Hedrick (Kansas City). Dallas loves big things, and in 1912, the city really put on the dog in celebrating the opening of the word’s longest concrete bridge. I will write about this in detail one day, if only to go into detail about the good ladies of some organization who convinced the City Fathers to forego the christening of the viaduct with a bottle of champagne and, instead, celebrate by releasing homing pigeons (imported for the occasion from the far reaches of the state) with messages of “Hey, they opened a new bridge in Dallas today!” strapped to them as they were set off on their merry away during the dedication ceremony. Still standing. Still cool-looking.

oak-cliff-viaduct_western-architect_july-1914

trinity-river-viaduct_western-architect_july-1914

oak-cliff-viaduct_postcard_stats_ebay

The second black-and-white photo stumped me — what was this:

trinity-river-viaduct_western-architect_july-1914_det

Took a while to figure it out — it was a street light.

oak-cliff-viaduct_lighting_dmn_021112Dallas Morning News, Feb. 11, 1912

These three-globed ornamental cluster-lights were used along the viaduct and, apparently, on the approach to Oak Cliff. A lighted viaduct was a new thing, and people absolutely loved it. They also loved shooting out the bulbs and globes. You can see what they looked like (…sort of) in this postcard:

oak-cliff-viaduct_postcard_ebay

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Next: business establishments.

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Sources & Notes

The Western Architect, A National Journal of Architecture and Allied Arts, Published Monthly, July, 1914. This issue, with text and critical analysis in addition to the large number of photographs, has been scanned in it entirety by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of its Brittle Books Program — it can be accessed in a PDF, here (the Dallas issue begins on page 195 of the PDF). Thank you, UIUC!

In this 7-part series:

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas in “The Western Architect,” 1914: Residences of East Dallas, South Dallas, and More

higginbotham-r-w_house_western-architect_july-1914

by Paula Bosse

This is the second installment of a week-long look at the wonderful photos published in 1914 in the journal The Western Architect. Today’s installment features photos of homes built between 1911 and 1913 in Munger Place and Old East Dallas, South Dallas, Uptown, and Oak Cliff — of the eight homes featured here, six are still standing. (All photos are larger when clicked.)

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Residence 1: (above) the beautiful sprawling home of businessman RUFUS W. HIGGINBOTHAM (Higginbotham-Bailey, Boren-Stewart, etc.), 5002 SWISS AVENUE, designed by Charles Erwin Barglebaugh, chief designer for Lang & Witchell and a former employee of Frank Lloyd Wright (more on Barglebaugh — who was one of the architects responsible for the Medical Arts Building — can be found here). This beautiful Prairie-style house still stands. (It can be seen on a 1922 Sanborn map here.)

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Residence 2: another house from the firm of Lang & Witchell, this one for banker GEORGE N. ALDREDGE, 5125 LIVE OAK (at Munger). (In 1921 the family moved into the former Lewis home at 5500 Swiss — that house is now known as “The Aldredge House.”) This Live Oak house was torn down in 1958 to make way for an apartments. (The surprisingly large lot this house sat on can be seen on a 1922 Sanborn map here.)

aldredge-g-n_house_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 3: an apartment house built for J. H. MEYERS, 4920 VICTOR (between Fitzhugh and Collett), designed by C. W. Bulger & Son. The elder Bulger designed what was probably the most famous building in the city when this apartment was built — the Praetorian Building, the tallest “skyscraper” in the Southwest. But the key to business success is to diversify, and this nifty apartment house still stands and looks great (I love that those “arrows” on the front are still there). (On the 1922 Sanborn map here.)

meyers-apartment-house_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 4: the unusual-looking (in comparison to the others) house belonging to lawyer MARION N. CHRESTMAN, 4525 JUNIUS, also designed by C. W. Bulger & Son. (When I saw it, my first thought was that it was reminiscent of the nearby “Bianchi House” at Reiger and Carroll, which was built at the same time and has been in preservation news in the past couple of years.) This house is still standing and, though renovated, looks pretty spiffy (I don’t want to intrude on anyone’s privacy, but if you Google the address, some MLS listings show photos of the house’s interior). (See it on the 1922 Sanborn map, here — right next to the Haskell Branch creek, the proximity of which no doubt caused problems during heavy rains. And mosquito season.)

chrestman-house_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 5: the beautiful home of Sanger Bros. executive MAX J. ROSENFIELD, 2527 SOUTH BOULEVARD, designed by Woerner & Cole. I love this house, and I’m happy to see it’s still standing in the South Boulevard-Park Row Historic District in South Dallas — and it still looks beautiful. (Rosenfield was the man who built the circa-1885 “blue house” in the Cedars which was recently moved to a new location — I wrote about him and that previous house, here.) (See this house — and the one below — on the 1922 Sanborn map here. It’s interesting to note that this map — drawn almost 10 years after the construction of Rosenfield’s house — shows most of the lots on that side of South Blvd. being vacant; the south side of the street, however, is mostly full.)

rosenfield-max-house_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 6: a house with distinctive arches built for MRS. SALLIE SALZENSTEIN (widow of clothing merchant Charles Salzenstein), 2419 SOUTH BOULEVARD, designed by Lane & Witchell. This house — one block from the Rosenfield house — is still standing. (This and the Rosenfield house can both be seen on the 1922 Sanborn map, here.)

salzenstein-house_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 7: the ELMWOOD APARTMENTS, built by A. R. PHILLIPS, 2707 ROUTH STREET (at Mahon), designed by Hubbell & Greene. No longer an apartment house, the building is still standing in the Uptown area and looks great (see it from a 2011 Google Street View here). (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

phillips-apartment-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 8: the Oak Cliff home of developer LESLIE A. STEMMONS (yes, that Stemmons), 100 N. ROSEMONT (at Jefferson), designed by Brickey & Brickey. This home is no longer standing (the block is now occupied by the Salvation Army), but while it was it was named an “Example of Civic Attractiveness” in 1913. (See it on a 1922 Sanborn map, here — a large lot north of W. Jefferson, on the left side of the map.)

stemmons-house_western-architect_july-1914

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Coming next: skyscrapers and civic pride.

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Sources & Info

The Western Architect, A National Journal of Architecture and Allied Arts, Published Monthly, July, 1914. This issue, with text and critical analysis in addition to the large number of photographs, has been scanned in it entirety by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of its Brittle Books Program — it can be accessed in a PDF, here (the Dallas issue begins on page 195 of the PDF). Thank you, UIUC!

In this 7-part series:

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dallas in “The Western Architect,” 1914: Park Cities Residences

edwards-h-l_estate_western-architect_july-1914_highland-park

by Paula Bosse

The magazine/journal The Western Architect devoted an entire issue in 1914 to then-recently completed architectural achievements in Dallas. It’s an incredible collection of photos, most of which I’d never seen. I will be devoting an entire week to these photos.

First up, notable residences, part one. These eight homes were built in Highland Park and University Park, both of which were beyond Dallas’ city limits at the time. All appear to have been built between 1911 and 1913. One is still standing (…possibly). (All photos are larger when clicked.)

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Residence 1: (above) the eye-wateringly beautiful HARRY L. EDWARDS estate, 4500 PRESTON ROAD, designed by architect C. D. Hill & Co., whose stunning Dallas Municipal Building/City Hall was under construction when this issue of The Western Architect was published. Edwards was a Welsh-born cotton tycoon who had been in Dallas since about 1899 and was said to have been the largest cotton buyer in the Southwest. And that was saying a lot — when cotton was king, money was no object, and Edwards spent a lot of money in the construction of his sprawling 6-acre estate. The house was perhaps most famously owned in later years by the late real estate mogul Trammel Crow, who purchased it in the early 1960s. If it looks vaguely familiar, you might have seen news footage of its recent demolition. …Um, yeah. (See the architect’s rendering and description of the not-yet-built “handsome residence” of H. L. Edwards, the “Prince of Cotton,” in a November, 1911 Dallas Morning News blurb, here.) (See this property on a 1921 Sanborn map, here — it is the second property north of Armstrong, just below the Highland Park Pumping Station. Note that these maps were issued a decade or so after most of the homes in this post were built — back then there were considerably fewer homes in Highland Park.)

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Residence 2: the somewhat less dazzling Highland Park home of JOHN B. HEREFORD, 3832 BEVERLY DRIVE, designed by Hubbell & Greene. Hereford was in insurance, and the house cost $15,000 to build (about $400,000 in today’s money). I’m a fan of what I hope is a doghouse, even though its roofline should really match that of the house and garage. (See it on the 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

hereford-j-b_western_architect_july-1914

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Residence 3: the lovely home of real estate man WILLIAM A. DYCKMAN, 3705 GILLON, also designed by Hubbell & Greene (and also costing $15,000). The children in the yard is a nice touch. Now demolished, it looked like this within living memory. (See it at the top, far right of a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

dyckman-w-a_house_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 4: the simple-yet-stately home of FRANK C. CALLIER, JR., 4008 GILLON, designed by H. B. (Hal) Thomson. Callier was the son of the founder of the Trinity Cotton Oil Co. and the brother-in-law of Lena Callier, whose endowment  helped fund what later became the Callier Hearing and Speech Center. This is the only house in this group which may still stand. I’m not sure if the listing is current, but the house shows up on several real estate sites as being for sale as a “tear-down.” (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

callier-frank-house_highland-park_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 5: another attractive but minimally adorned house in Highland Park, built for Butler Bros. general manager ANTHONY M. MATSON at 3715 MIRAMAR, designed by Harre M. Bernet. Here we see a view of both the front and the back. (It should be on this 1921 Sanborn map, but I can’t find this address!)

matson-a-m_house_highland-park_western-architect_july-1914_front

matson-a-m_house_highland-park_western-architect_july-1914_back

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Residence 6: a house designed for bridge-builder FRANK E. AUSTIN, 4015 BEVERLY DRIVE, by architect Hal Thomson. It’s not terribly sexy, but the Dallas News dubbed it an “Example of Civic Attractiveness,” in November, 1913. Seems like the house is in dire need of a veranda (or at least a larger porch) to accommodate all that furniture. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

austin-frank-house_highland-park_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 7: the house of civic and business leader CLARENCE LINZ, 4419 HIGHLAND DRIVE, beautifully designed by Lang & Witchell. This is the house of my dreams. (See it on a 1921 Sanborn map, here.)

linz-clarence-house_western-architect_july-1914

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Residence 8: an oddball structure built by gravel man RHEA MILLER in rugged and mostly undeveloped University Park at 6221 PRESTON ROAD (which later became 6421, at the southwest corner of Preston and University), designed by architect Ernest E. McAnelly (Miller’s brother-in-law, who died suddenly in 1916 at the age of 33). It was made of concrete, and it almost seems to have been built to prove to people that, yes, you, too, can have a great big house made out of concrete. Or it might have been a tax write-off, seeing as it was featured in a 1914 ad for the company Miller worked for, the J. Fred Smith Gravel Co., under the caption, “A concrete residence on Preston Road, near Dallas, made from our pit-run gravel. The walls were made of four sacks of cement to one cubic yard of pit-run gravel. The floors are one to five.” The grainy photo from the ad is here. This out-in-the-boonies house didn’t have an actual address for years — it was just simply “Preston Road, south of University.” I have no idea when it was torn down, but that must have taken considerable more effort than the usual residential demolition. A classified ad from 1931 read, “Eight rooms, concrete home, 6221 Preston Road. On bus line. Fireproof.” It’s hulking and, well, hulking, but … it’s kind of interesting. The longer I look at it, the more it grows on me. Not only was this fortress fireproof, but once sequestered inside, you were pretty much safe from enemy attack or almost any natural disaster — except maybe a sinkhole or quicksand. Pit-run gravel never looked so inviting.

miller-rhea-house_preston-road_western-architect_july-1914

I’m fascinated by the concrete house and have been trying to determine exactly where it was and when it was demolished. For many years its address was 6221 Preston Road, but the address seems to have changed to become 6421 Preston sometime between 1939 and 1941. William H. Lohman owned a house at that address (probably still the same concrete house?) between about 1933 and 1956 when whatever house was there at the time was torn down to build the Presley Apartments (which were themselves torn down in 2007 in order to make way for the next-door Church of Christ expansion). That block of Preston — the southwest corner of Preston and University — is now home to the Preston Road Church of Christ. The only online Sanborn map I’ve been able to find with the house on it is from a 1952 update (Vol. 7, sheet 728), but it is illegible. The house sits on a very large lot. Below is detail of that map (click to see a larger, but still impossible to read, image):

concrete-house_sanborn_1952_vol-7_sheet-728_det

I would love more information about this concrete house!

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Next: eight more fabulous homes, in Munger Place and Old East Dallas, South Dallas, Oak Cliff, and a cool, still-standing apartment house on Routh Street. Amazingly, six out of the eight are still alive and kicking. That post is here.

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Sources & Notes

The Western Architect, A National Journal of Architecture and Allied Arts, Published Monthly, July, 1914. This issue, with text and critical analysis in addition to the large number of photographs, has been scanned in it entirety by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of its Brittle Books Program — it can be accessed in a PDF, here (the Dallas issue begins on page 195 of the PDF). Thank you, UIUC!

In this 7-part series:

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Co.

oak-lawn-ice-and-fuel-co_krystal-morrisThe fleet… (click to see larger image) / Photo: Krystal Morris

by Paula Bosse

Above, another great Dallas photo shared by a reader — this one shows the Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Co., which sold ice to independent dealers and to retail customers. Krystal Morris sent in the family photo — her great-great-grandfather J. F. Finney is standing next to the horse-drawn wagon.

The first mention I found of the Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Co. was in a notice of “New Texas Charters” in Dec., 1912 (there was a classified ad from Dec., 1909, but that appears to be either another company with the same name or an earlier incarnation of the business seen above). Below, an ad from 1913:

1913_oak-lawn-ice_19131913

The company was located at 3307 Lemmon Avenue, at the MKT railroad track (now the Katy Trail) — on Lemmon between the railroad tracks and Travis Street (see the location on a map composed of two badly-cobbled-together Sanborn maps from 1921 here). The location is marked on a present-day Google map below (click to see a larger image):

lemmon-and-katy-trail_google-map

In 1917, the City of Dallas, in partnership with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad began to eliminate grade crossings in the Oak Lawn area — one of those crossings was at Lemmon Avenue: Lemmon was to be lowered and the MKT tracks were to be raised. Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Co. General Manager Clarence E. Kennemer (who, along with his brothers, operated something of an ice empire in Texas) was concerned about the negative impact of this construction on his business. (All images are larger when clicked.)

1917_oak-lawn-ice_dmn_013117_katy-crossing     Dallas Morning News, Jan. 31, 1917

To the surprise of many, the ice company was awarded damages by the city.

1917_oak-lawn-ice_dmn_120617_katy-crossingDMN, Dec. 6, 1917

Things apparently continued fairly well until 1920 when the company began to experience tensions with its residential neighbors. Early in the year, city building inspectors responded to nuisance complaints and ordered the company to move its horse stables as they were too close to adjoining residences (ice delivery even into the 1940s and possibly 1950s was often done via horse-drawn wagons). Later the same year, still-unhappy neighbors filed suit to “force the company to remove its plant from the thickly settled residence district” (DMN, Dec. 1, 1920). The ice company appears to have won the lawsuit, since the company (under various names) was at 3307 Lemmon until at least 1939 or ’40, but these problems might have led them to build a new plant at Cole and what is now Monticello in 1922 (as with the Lemmon location, this new plant was also built alongside the MKT tracks). The mere prospect of this new icehouse was met with loud protests by the new neighborhood — before construction even began — but a judge ruled in favor of the ice people. Construction went ahead, and the plant was a neighborhood fixture for many years. (See the location on a 1921 Sanborn map here; “Gertrude” — near the top edge — was the original name of Monticello Avenue.)

In 1923, ads for the Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Co. began displaying both addresses: the original location, 3307 Lemmon, was now being referred to as “Plant No. 2,” and the new location, 4901 Cole, was being referred to as the “Main Office/Plant No. 1.”

1923_oak-lawn-ice_1923-directory
1923 Dallas city directory

By 1924 the company expanded as it absorbed other ice companies.

1924_oak-lawn-ice_sept-19241924

By 1925, “Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Company” had become “American Ice Co.” (another C. E. Kennemer enterprise).

1925_american-ice-co_aug-19251925

By 1933, American Ice Co. was swallowed up by City Ice Delivery Co.

city-ice-delivery_1934-directory1934 Dallas city directory

In the late 1930s or early 1940s City Ice Delivery Co. was acquired by Southland Ice (the forerunner of the Southland Corp., owners of 7-Eleven convenience stores). The Lemmon Avenue location became a meat-packing plant sometime in the mid-’40s (if neighbors were bent out of shape by an ice company, imagine how they felt about a meat-packing plant!); the Cole location became a 7-Eleven store and later a Southland Corp. division office.

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But back to Jonathan F. Finney, the man standing next to the ice wagon in the top photo. He came to Dallas from Alabama around 1916 and bought a house at 3001 Carlisle Street, where he lived for most of his life in Dallas. His occupation was “ice dealer,” and he seems to have worked in both the wholesale and retail areas, as a driver, a salesman, and even for a while the owner of his own company. His great-great-granddaughter Krystal Morris (supplier of these wonderful family photos) says she believes he was the manager of the Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Co. The 1932 directory lists him as foreman of the City Ice Delivery Co., and as he lived at 3001 Carlisle, it seems to make more sense he was working at the Lemmon Ave. location (which was less than half a mile away from his home) rather the Cole Ave. location. The actual address of the photo at the top is unknown, but it may show the Lemmon Ave. location when Finney was working as an independent ice dealer, standing beside his own wagon.

Below, the Finney family around 1920 (J. F., daughters Thelma and Viva Sue, and wife Wenona), and below that, their house at 3001 Carlisle (which was at the corner of Carlisle and Sneed — seen in a 1921 Sanborn map here).

finney-family_krystal-morris-photoFinney family, circa 1920 / Photo: Krystal Morris

finney-home_3001-carlisle_krystal-morris-photo3001 Carlisle, Finney family home / Photo: Krystal Morris

J. F. Finney, born in 1885, died in Dallas in 1962, long after the era of necessary daily ice deliveries to residences and businesses. The occupation listed on his death certificate was “painter” but I have a feeling “once an iceman, always an iceman.”

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Sources & Notes

All photographs are from the family photos of Krystal Morris and are used with her permission. Thank you, Krystal!

The history of ice delivery is very interesting, especially to those of us who have never lived in a house without an electric refrigerator. Here are links-a-plenty on the subject:

  • “Icehouses — Vintage Spaces with a Cool History” by Randy Mallory (Texas Highways, Aug., 2000) here (additional photos can be found in the scanned issue on the Portal to Texas History site, here)
  • “Keeping Your (Food) Cool: From Ice Harvesting to Electric Refrigeration” by Emma Grahn on the Smithsonian National Museum of American History blog, here
  • “Delivering the Ice: Ice Wagons” — from an online exhibit based on an exhibit that was on display at the Woods Hole Historical Museum in Woods Hole, Massachusetts during the summer of 2015, here
  • “Portals to the Past: Golden Days of Home Delivery (ice, as well as bread, milk, groceries, etc.) by Waco historian Claire Masters, here
  • “The Iceman Cometh” by Dick Sheaff from the Ephemera Society of America blog, here

Here’s a fantastic little clip of a woman ice deliverer manning the tongs (and wearing heels):


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And, lastly, the Southland Corp. to the rescue with an ad from Dec., 1948 with news of the arrival in Dallas of “genuine” ice cubes! “Now for the first time in Dallas: Genuine Taste-Free, Hard Frozen, Crystal Clear Ice Cubes delivered to your home!”

city-ice-delivery_southland-ice_dec-1948
1948

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Wilson Building, Main and Ervay

wilson-bldg_dallas-illust-hist_payneLooking northwesterly… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Another photo of the always impressive Wilson Building, this one showing the U. S. Coffee & Tea Co. (at the northwest corner of Elm and Ervay) in the background.

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Sources & Notes

Photo from Dallas, An Illustrated History by Darwin Payne (Woodland Hills, CA: Windsor Publications, 1982; Sponsored by Dallas Historic Preservation League); original photo source is the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved

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