Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: 1960s

Aerial View of the JFK Memorial — 1970

jfk-memorial_postcard_portalThe JFK memorial, newly dedicated… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The Kennedy Memorial — designed by architect Philip Johnson at the behest of Stanley Marcus — was dedicated on June 24, 1970. This postcard view is one I’ve never seen before. The caption from the back of the card:

jfk-memorial_postcard_portal_caption

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Sources & Notes

Postcard “Aerial of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, Dallas, Texas” from the Texas History Collection provided by Dallas Heritage Village to the Portal to Texas History; more here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Highland Park High School: Ads from the 1966 Yearbook

ad_HPHS_1966_goffs“Senior Cools” at Goff’s… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Yesterday I posted photos from the 1966 Highland Park High School Highlander yearbook — today I’m posting a lot of ads from the same yearbook, many of which include students posing at the businesses. Most of the ads are larger if you click them.

Above, Goff’s. My mother refused to patronize this establishment as the owner once said something disparaging about my shaggy-haired 10-year-old brother (Mr. Goff really didn’t like long hair on boys and men), so I’m one of the few native-born Dallasites who never had a Goff’s hamburger.

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On the other hand, I enjoyed a lot of Ashburn’s Ice Cream as a kid — the locations on Knox and on Skillman. I can’t remember ever getting anything other than Butter Pecan.

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Whittle Music Company. (I wrote about Whittle’s previously, here.)

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Hillcrest State Bank, designed by architect George Dahl.

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M. E. Moses, Snider Plaza. I didn’t grow up in the Park Cities, but my parents both went to SMU and my mother worked in University Park for several years, so I spent a lot of time as a kid wandering around HP Village and Snider Plaza as a kid. And what kid didn’t  love a dime store? I can remember where everything was at that Moses. The memory of that ramp between what I always thought of the “sunny side” of the store and the cave-like dark side of the store is a weird, fond memory. (For some reason I never imagined there was actually a person named “M. E. Moses.”)

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Cooter’s Village Camera Shop.

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Cerf’s.

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Preston State Bank. I know that PSB was very early entering the credit card market — I remember my parents had a Presto-Charge card — but I’d never heard of this “Presteen” checking account geared to teenagers.

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Mr. Drue’s Beauty Salon — “We Specialize in Teen-Age Hair Styling.”

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Dr Pepper.

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Bob Fenn Apparel for Men and Boys.

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Young Ages.

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Lou Lattimore.

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Roscoe White’s Corral, Easy Way Grill, and Westerner. (My family’s favorite neighborhood restaurant was the Corral.)

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Salih’s in Preston Center.

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W. R. Fine Galleries. (This building is still standing on Cedar Springs.)

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Dick Chaplin’s School of Social Dancing.

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Spanish Village.

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Johnson Brothers Chevrolet. The daughter of one of the brothers was a close friend of my mother’s, and I remember visiting her parents’ house on St. Andrews  several times — that huge yard was pretty magical to me as a little girl.

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Highland Park Cafeteria.

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Expressway Bowling Lanes.

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The Gondolier, 77 Highland Park Village. This photo was split across two pages, but I tried to piece it back together because this is a view you don’t see that often in a photo of Highland Park Village, looking east toward Preston. The space is currently occupied by Mi Cocina — see a similar view today, here.

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Marlow’s, “The Camera Store in Dallas Since 1915.”

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NorthPark without the Melody Shop is like a day without sunshine.

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Speaking of music, here are a couple of ads placed by teen bands, something I’d never seen before — but what better way to market your band than to advertise in a high school yearbook?

After the Beatles first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964, a million garage bands sprang up overnight. “Battle of the Bands” contests were ubiquitous. The two Dallas bands that had ads in the 1966 Highlander played all over town and participated in a few of these contests.

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Sept., 1965

First, the Rogues — described in The Dallas Morning News as “a group of young socially prominent Dallas residents” (DMN, April 1, 1966): Rusty Dealey, Wirt Davis, Mitch Gilbert, Doug Bailey, and Mike Ritchey. “The Tuff Sound for Parties and Dances.”

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And the Outcasts (not to be confused with the cult-favorite garage band of the same name from San Antonio): Gary, Donny, David, Jim, and Wally. Dig that groovy background!

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Sources & Notes

All ads are from the 1966 Highland Park High School Highlander yearbook.

The companion post — “Highland Park High School: Photos from the 1966 Yearbook” — can be found here.

Click ads to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Highland Park High School: Photos from the 1966 Yearbook

HPHS_1966_flagHPHS ROTC… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I love looking through old yearbooks. Highland Park High School in the mid ’60s was a happening place. Below are a few photos I particularly like — most of which show students away from the classroom. (All photos are larger when clicked.)

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The 1966 Highlander was dedicated to science teacher Margaret Sauer. The caption of this photo: “Mrs. Sauer takes a down to earth approach to the study of botany.”

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Here is student Carol Roach working on a painting:

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“Sophomores taking the California Mental Maturity Tests listen carefully to Mrs. Jones’ instructions.”

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“Practicing snowball marksmanship not used for two years, Mark Shriver, Tony McClung, Fred Lundberg, and Ked Rike cavort in the snow outside school.” (The houses seen in the background are still there on Emerson.)

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Speaking of cold weather, Vaughn Aldredge and Greg Uhl “brave the cold on the way to school wearing face masks.”

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Speaking of fashion statements:

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Speaking of saddle shoes, “Shan Martin, Nan Weintraub, Betsy Wagner, and John Richardson exchange tips on cleaning their saddle oxfords.”

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Yeah, HPHS is known as “the Scots,” but plaid fashions were everywhere in 1966: “Hi-Lites Big Sisters Beverly and Barbara Kuykendall entertain little sisters Connie See and Lisa Ferguson with lunch and shopping at NorthPark.”

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The 1965-1966 school year coincided with the construction of a new boys’ gym:

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HPHS BMOC: “Ken Hamlett, Bob Winstead, and Charles Watkins proudly don new letter jackets.”

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In 1966, everyone had a band: “Scots listen to competition between the Aces, the Continentals, and the Townsmen at the Howdy Dance.”

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If you’re at something called a “Howdy Dance” I guess you’d probably better dance: “Suzanne Rogers and Dale Hastings display their proficiency in dancing to the music of The Townsmen.”

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Transportation? Kids got places to go, man, and scooters are always cool: “Dare Majors and Nancy Northcutt take advantage of fall weather with a motorcycle ride.”

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But, come on, it’s Highland Park. It’s a Corvette or nothing: Alinda Hill checks the oil in her ’65 Stingray as Eddie Richburg looks on from behind the wheel of his Park Cities jalopy.

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Coming next: Part 2 — ads for the hangouts, the businesses, and a couple of bands that were favorites of HPHS students in 1965-66.

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Sources & Notes

All photos from the pages of the 1966 Highlander, the yearbook of Highland Park High School.

All photos larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Event: “Remixing the News” Screening at SMU

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by Paula Bosse

UPDATE: The screening was great! For those of you who might have missed this event — or who would like to see the films again — the one-hour program is airing on KERA-Channel 13’s “Frame of Mind” on Thurs. Nov. 16, 2017 at 10:30 p.m., with another airing at 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 20.

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I’m really late announcing this event — WHICH TAKES PLACE TUESDAY, NOV. 14!! — but it sounds like something that people who are interested in Dallas history and/or video art would really enjoy: “Remixing the News,” presented by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection at the Hamon Arts Library (SMU), in collaboration with KERA television and Dallas VideoFest.

So what is it?

The Jones Collection at SMU includes the WFAA Newsfilm archive which contains what must be thousands of hours of 16mm film footage from the 1960s and ’70s, originally shot to be used as part of Channel 8 News broadcasts (this includes tons of B-roll footage shot to supplement the stories, but not always used in newscasts). As you can imagine, this is an unusual treasure trove of local news, history, and pop culture. I’ve dipped in and showcased some of the offerings in previous posts about the State Fair of Texas, and on Dallas appearances by Jimi Hendrix, Tiny Tim, and Glen Campbell.

Jeremy Spracklen, head curator of the Jones Collection, describes how this interesting local news archive was “reappropriated, recontextualized, and deconstructed” to become something altogether different:

We went in a unique direction in this — we did an experiment where we gave 10 local filmmakers a hard-drive with several hundred hours’ worth of footage on it and had them create their own interpretation of it. So, it is part history and part new video art.

I love this sort of thing. Eleven short films were produced by ten Texas filmmakers (Spracklen himself contributed two). Here are the films which will be shown Tuesday night, November 14:

  • “2,000 Hours in Dallas” by Jeremy Spracklen
  • “The Story of Jane X” by Christian Vasquez
  • “Dallas Circle” by Justin Wilson
  • “Lawmen & Cowpokes” by Gordon K. Smith
  • “History Lessons” by Steve Baker
  • “Beyond 10” by Carmen Menza
  • “Glass” by Madison McMakin
  • “Poofs are New” by Blaine Dunlap
  • “Divided” by Michael Thomas & Dakota Ford
  • “The Night in the Last Branches” by Michael Alexander Morris
  • “Echoes of the Past” by Jeremy Spracklen

The FREE advance screening of this collection (which will air at a later time on KERA’s long-running “Frame of Mind” series) will be held at SMU in the Owen Art Center on Tuesday, Nov. 14 (which might be TODAY!) — it begins at 7:30 p.m. After the screening, Bart Weiss, artistic director of the Video Association of Dallas, will host a Q&A with several of the filmmakers in attendance.

ALSO, Jeremy Spracklen tells me that those who are interested are invited to tour his very chilly subterranean film-archive lair after the event. So much Texas film history lurks beneath the SMU campus!

This event sounds great. Be there!

remixing-the-news_smu_hamon

“Remixing the News”

Presented by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, in collaboration with KERA and VideoFest

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

O’Donnell Hall, room 2130, Owen Arts Center (see map below)

FREE to the public

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Resources & Notes

More on this event can be found on the SMU website here and on the Hamon Arts Library blog here; the Facebook event page is here.

The event is free, and parking on the SMU campus after 7:00 p.m. is also free. Parking at SMU scares me, but here is what Jeremy advises: “The closest parking is in the meters in front of the Meadows building (they are not active after 7:00), the ‘U’ lot just south of the building, and, if those are full, the Meadows Museum parking garage is open — it is just down Bishop Blvd. and about a 5-minute walk.”

His map is below, with the parking areas highlighted in red. (Click to see larger image.)

SMUCampusMapNamesBLK

More on the WFAA Newsfilm archive can be found in a Flashback Dallas post “How the News Got Made.”

One of the filmmakers who has contributed a film to this event is Blaine Dunlap — I have posted links to two of his films, both of which I really enjoyed: Sunset High School on Film — 1970″ (which he made while he was a Sunset student) and “‘Sometimes I Run’: Dallas Noir — 1973” (about a philosophizing downtown street cleaner).

More on “Frame of Mind” here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

KRLD News Crews, At the Ready

krld_news-crews_early-1960s_akdartThey mean business: they’re wearing suits and ties…

by Paula Bosse

Early-’60s-era KRLD radio and TV mobile news crews are seen above, showing off their fleet and ready for breaking news. Behind them, the Dallas skyline, seen from an unusual vantage point: the Trinity levees. See this photo really big here, and explore the skyline, from the Republic Bank Tower on the northern edge of downtown, to the Dallas Morning News building on the southern edge.

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Sources & Notes

Photo is from an interesting collection of “very old pictures from KRLD radio and TV,” presented on the website akdart.com.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Bishop College — 1969

bishop-college_1969Welcome to Bishop College… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Bishop College was a historically black college founded in Marshall, Texas in 1881 by the Baptist Home Mission Society. The main building on the Bishop College campus was a grand plantation house built with slave labor in the late 1840s for the wealthy Holcombe family, who allowed it to be used during the Civil War it as the headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Agency of the Confederate Post Office Department. That it became the home of one of the first institutions of higher education for African Americans in Texas seems almost poetic.

In 1961 — 80 years after its founding, Bishop College moved to the Highland Hills area of South Dallas, along Simpson Stuart Road, to become Dallas’ first black college. The move was made in a push to increase enrollment and was made possible by money raised by a group of Dallas businessmen headed by Carr P. Collins, Sr., by the American Baptist Convention, and by the Negro Baptists of Texas. Dallas businessman and philanthropist Karl Hoblitzelle donated the land. What started in 1961 as a 103-acre campus with only seven buildings and an enrollment of 651 students, grew to a campus stretching over 360 acres and a peak enrollment of about 2,000 students.

Despite its move to a major metropolitan area and an increase in enrollment, the college was never on firm financial ground. After years of financial mismanagement, charges of embezzlement, and mounting government debt, the college lost its accreditation and eligibility to receive further funds. In a last-ditch effort to remain open, the college filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1987, but they were never able to recover, and Bishop College closed in 1988 after 107 remarkable years. In 1990, the property was purchased by Comer S. Cottrell, who persuaded the powers-that-be of Waco’s Paul Quinn College — the oldest African-American college in Texas — to move to Dallas and take over the defunct Bishop College campus. Paul Quinn College has been operating in Dallas since 1990.

The photos below are from the 1969 Bishop College yearbook, back in its happier, groovier days of growth and progress. (Click to see larger images.)

Below, class registration.

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Campus buildings, including the “homage” to the old Bishop administration building in Marshall, “Wyalucing.”

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Above, Raymond Hall, who taught classes in African and American culture.

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Above: “Energetic students got in the groove. Charles Hunt and members of the Bishop Collegians, the lab band, played and really socked it to the students attending the show. From the lab band has come four different groups which are worthy credits to the band and Mr. VanBolden, director.”

Below: “Theopolis Jones, a freshman from Birmingham, Ala., worked out on the drums. He was but one of the forty freshmen who were members of the Ambassadors of Band. Fellow members of the class stood by and looked on with real enthusiasm.”

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Below: “Joyce Morris, a sophomore from Oklahoma, was one of the feature vocalists at the talent show which was sponsored by the Ambassadors of Band, the Bishop College Marching Concert Band.”

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Concert choir, under the direction of John S. Meeks.

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Staff of the college newspaper, the Bishop Beacon.

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Zale Library “study-in” (note the 1968 mural by Louis Freund — see it in color, on the Paul Quinn website, here).

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I love these two photos: above, campus security; below, a photo one would never guess was taken in the late 1960s, featuring two men who worked in the receiving department (Wesley Hayes and Roy Sallings).

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Mrs. Annie Mitchell, mother of music teacher Maurine Bailey (who was a legendary instructor at Lincoln High School for many years), with be-ruffled students Harolyn Morris and Estella Parker.

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Homecoming half-time fashion parade.

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Happy students on the hilltop.

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Graduation.

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bishop-college_paul-quinn_paris-news-062490Paris (TX) News, June 24, 1990 (click to read)

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Sources & Notes

All photos from the 1969 Tiger, the yearbook of Bishop College.

More details on the demise of Bishop College can be found in the Dallas Morning News article “Where Did Bishop Fail? Those Involved With College Disagree on Cause of Fiscal Problems” by Sherry Jacobson (DMN, March 20, 1988).

Bishop College links-o-rama!

All photos are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Titche’s Discovers the Suburbs — 1961-1968

titches_dallas-stores_1969-directoryTitche’s has you covered… (click to see larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Edward Titche and Max Goettinger founded the Titche-Goettinger department store in Dallas in 1902, and in 1904 they moved into the new Wilson Building. In the late 1920s they built their own George Dahl-designed building at Main and St. Paul, which was greatly enlarged and expanded in 1955. The store was popular with downtown shoppers, and profits continued to rise. The next logical step was to open additional stores. It took a while (59 years), but in October, 1961 they opened three — three! — new suburban stores. How was that possible? Because Titche’s (or their then-parent company) purchased the Fort Worth department store chain The Fair of Texas, and several of its stores were re-christened as Titche’s stores (the others eventually became Monnig’s stores).

The ad above is from the 1969 Dallas city directory and shows that by 1969, there were seven Titche’s stores in the Dallas area. Titche’s bit the dust decades ago, and I have to admit that the only Titche’s store I actually remember ever being in was the one in NorthPark (and I might mostly be remembering Joske’s…). I had no idea about any of these other stores (other than the one at Main and St. Paul, which I wish I had been to!).

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The oldest store in the ad above was the one on Main at St. Paul, still standing, still looking good (but, sadly, with that fab logo gone forever).

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The second store was located in North Dallas in the Preston Forest Shopping Center, at the southeast corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane. When this opened as Titches’ first suburban store, the paint must still have been wet. It was originally built as a Fair of Texas store, with its opening scheduled for August, 1961. It was opened in October, 1961 as a Titche’s store — remodeled from the original Amos Parrish Associates of New York design (seen here, in a rendering). (The Fair version was much more interesting!)

titches_1969-directory_preston-forest

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One week later (!), the next two stores opened on the same day: in the Wynnewood Shopping Village in Oak Cliff, and in the Lochwood Shopping Village on Garland Road in far East Dallas. These two stores had been Fair stores and had opened at the same time in August, 1960. The two drawings below look pretty much the same as the rendering of the pre-remodeled Preston Forest store (all designed by Amos Parrish Assoc.). (An interesting tidbit about the Lochwood location: when this store was built by The Fair of Texas — a department store with Fort Worth roots going back to the 1880s or 1890s — it was the first Fair store in Dallas. In honor of this hands-across-the-prairie moment of business expansion, a truckload of Fort Worth dirt was brought over and “mixed symbolically” with Dallas dirt at the 1959 Lochwood groundbreaking.)

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The Arlington store was also a former Fair store; it opened as Titche’s in July, 1963.

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The NorthPark store — which occupied a quarter of a million square feet — was one of the first five stores to open in the brand new mall, in July 1965. NorthPark Center is known for its wonderfully sleek, clean, no-nonsense modern architecture (as seen below), but an early proposed Titche’s rendering from 1962 (seen here) looks a little fussy.

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And, lastly, in this 1960s wave of expansion, a second downtown Dallas location was opened in the new One Main Place in December, 1968 in the form of “Miss Titche,” a concept-store created to appeal to “career girls” who worked downtown and enjoyed shopping during their lunch hours. It was located on the “plaza level” which sounds like it might have been part of the then-new underground tunnel system of shops. If newspaper ads are anything to go on, it looks like Miss Titche managed to hang on until at least 1975.

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Titche’s continued opening new stores into the 1970s, but in August, 1978, it was announced that Titches’ parent company, Allied Stores Corp., was changing the names of all Dallas-area Titche’s stores to “Joske’s.” The nine Titche’s stores operating until the changeover were the flagship store downtown, Preston Forest, Lochwood Village (which became The Treehouse in 1974), Wynnewood, Arlington, NorthPark, Town East, Irving, and Red Bird.

And, just like that, after 72 years, the name of one of Dallas’ oldest department stores vanished.

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Sources & Notes

Ad and details from the 1969 Polk’s Greater Dallas City Directory.

More on Titche-Goettinger can be found at the Department Store Museum, here.

Images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Film Footage: “The State Fair of Texas in the 1960s”

sfot_1960s_jones-collection_smu_men-in-suits_ice-creamEveryone likes ice cream…. (G. William Jones Collection, SMU)

by Paula Bosse

Thanks to Twitter, I discovered this cool video of film clips of the State Fair of Texas, shot throughout the 1960s, courtesy of SMU’s WFAA Newsfilm Collection/G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, put together by Moving Image Curator Jeremy Spracklen. There are 15 or so clips, some in black and white, some in color, some silent, some with sound. This compilation runs about 24 minutes. Watch it. You’ll enjoy it — especially the montage of fair food at the end! (Make sure you watch in fullscreen.)

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Here are a few screengrabs I took, to give you an idea of the content (images are much cleaner in the video!).

Getting ready for the fair.

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Fair Park entrance.

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Crowd, baby, binoculars.

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Neuhoff hot dog stand.

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The monorail (with a cameo by Big Tex).

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I don’ t know who this guy is, but he’s in several shots and I love him! Here he is losing out to the woman who correctly guessed his weight.

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Kids eating … Pink Things! “Made famous at Six Flags.”

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Aqua Net and Moët. (I have to say, I’ve never seen champagne at the fair, but perhaps those are circles I don’t travel in.)

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Everyone needs a corny dog fix.

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Everyone.

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Have a groovy time at this year’s State Fair of Texas!

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Sources & Notes

Film clips from Southern Methodist University’s WFAA Newsfilm Collection/G. William Jones Film and Video Collection; the video has been edited by SMU’s Moving Image Curator, Jeremy Spracklen. The direct link to the video on Vimeo is here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Historic Neon: The Super-Cool Sigel’s Sign

sigels-neon-sign_greenville-ave_072717One of Dallas’ favorite neon signs… (photo: Paula Bosse)

by Paula Bosse

I stopped by Sigel’s liquor store the other day (as one does…) and saw this legendary Sigel’s sign, recently installed in its new home in the parking lot of the Sigel’s store on Greenville Avenue, between Lovers Lane and Southwestern Boulevard, across from the Old Town Shopping Center. I love this neon sign. (See a very large image of it here.)

The sign’s design can be traced back to Dallas artist Marvin M. Sigel (whose great-uncle Harry Sigel founded the business in 1905) — this Fabulous Fifties design was created around 1953 specifically for the then-new store at 5636 Lemmon Avenue (at Inwood). When that store closed in 2009, the sign was refurbished and moved up to the company’s Addison location until that store fell victim to the company’s bankruptcy and was closed. Here’s a video of the fabulous sign when it was in Addison, with close-ups of its flashing neon and dancing bubbles:


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Marvin Meyer Sigel was born in Poland in 1932 and settled in Dallas in 1937 with his immigrant parents, both of whom had been doctors in Poland (his mother a dentist, his father an M.D.), although only his father continued to practice medicine in the United States. He lived in the vibrant Jewish enclave of South Dallas and went to Forest Avenue High School where he seems to have been a popular kid, interested in art, drumming, and ROTC. Below, a photo from the 1949 yearbook with the caption “Marvin ‘Hot Drums’ Sigel plays with the Swing Band.”

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His Forest Avenue High School senior photo, from 1949:

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And his 1953 senior photo from the University of Texas:

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After studying art at both SMU (under Ed Bearden and DeForrest Judd) and the University of Texas and receiving his B.F.A. from UT in 1953, Sigel served a stint in the Eighth Army in Korea. Back in Dallas, he was remarkably active in the local art community — for decades — as both a fine artist and as an art instructor. He also worked for a while at Peter Wolf Associates, in advertising (on projects for companies like Braniff), and he even did a lot of the tedious paste-up work for Sigel’s ads (back when every picture of a bottle of wine or spirits had to be cut out individually and pasted into one of those huge ads!). But his passion was art, and at the same time he had those regular-paycheck gigs, he also managed to maintain a furious pace of painting new pieces to exhibit at a dizzying number of art shows. Below is an example of one of his watercolors, from 1957 (which was recently offered at auction by David Dike Fine Art). The title? “Cocktail Abstraction” — appropriate subject matter for a member of the Sigel family!

sigel-marvin_cocktail-abstraction_1957_david-dike-fine-art_jan-2016
“Cocktail Abstraction” by Marvin Sigel (1957)

When the Sigel’s Liquor store No. 7 opened at Lemmon & Inwood, it was suggested by family members that, hey, we have an artist in the family, let’s get Marvin to design a sign for us. According to Marvin, his cousin Sidney Sigel, who ran the company, probably just wanted a “rectangular sign with block letters,” but other family members wanted something newer and more exciting — something modern that would jump out of a sea of boring rectangular signs with block letters and draw attention. And it certainly did just that. If, as reports have it, that dazzling neon sign was designed in 1953, Marvin Sigel was only 21 years old!

When news broke 56 years later, in 2009, that the Lemmon & Inwood store was closing, there was a concerned uproar from the public about what would happen to the sign. Mr. Sigel was a bit taken aback by how much the people of Dallas had grown to love that sign and considered it a city landmark. Marvin Sigel, then 77 years old, said in a 2009 Dallas Morning News interview, “It was clever, but I figured it would be replaced by something more clever in a half-dozen years.”

The sign was built by the venerable Dallas firm of J. F. Zimmerman & Sons (est. 1901) who for generations had installed decorative neon elements all around town and had built innumerable lighted signs for companies big and small — their work could be seen on the Mercantile Building’s wonderful tower, on the exterior of the downtown Titche’s store on Main Street, and in the instantly recognizable signs for places as varied as the Cotton Bowl, Big Town, and, presumably, various other Sigel’s stores around the city.

The sign which was moved from Store No. 7 at Lemmon & Inwood to Addison had on its pole a small plaque (seen here) which said:

This Non-Conforming Sign designed by Marvin Sigel was built in the early 1950s. It was moved from Dallas, TX at Lemmon Ave. & Inwood. After being granted a variance it was refurbished to Code and installed here in June of 2009. Sign refurbished and installed by Starlite Sign of Denton, TX.

Interestingly, the plaque on the new location of the sign has a slightly different text:

sigels-sign-plaque_greenville-ave_072717

It appears that this is a different Sigel’s sign. In 1965, there were two Sigel’s stores on Lovers Lane: Store No. 8 was along the Miracle Mile on West Lovers Lane, near what is now the Dallas North Tollway, and Store No. 12 was on East Lovers Lane at Greenville (then near Louanns nightclub).

sigels-stores_1965-dallas-directory
1965 Dallas directory

In an April 22, 2009 Dallas Morning News article by Jeffrey Weiss (“The Story Behind That Sigel’s Sign”), is this quote from Mr. Sigel’s son, David S. Z. Sigel, about the original sign at Lemmon & Inwood, with mention of another similar sign: “He created the designs for this sign, as well as a similar but smaller sign which stood outside the Lovers Lane store (where Central Market now stands) for many years.” Here’s a map from a November, 1964 grand opening ad for the new store at 5744 E. Lovers Lane:

lovers-lane_new-store_110664
Detail from a grand opening ad, Nov. 6, 1964

So is the sign currently standing in the parking lot of the Sigel’s Fine Wines & Great Spirits at 5757 Greenville Avenue the sign which originally stood only a short four-tenths of a mile away? I hope so! And if it is, welcome back to the neighborhood, cool sign!

Whichever sign this is, it is one of the greatest neon designs Dallas has ever had, and I’m so happy it’s survived for over a half-century, through phenomenal city growth, physical displacement, and even company bankruptcy.

Thanks, Marvin, for designing this wonderful sign! And thanks, Starlite Sign of Denton, for the beautiful refurbishing!

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Sources & Notes
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Top photo and photo of blue plaque taken by me on July 27, 2017 at the Sigel’s store at 5757 Greenville Avenue.

YouTube video by Andrew F. Wood, shot in Addison in 2013.

Sources for other images as noted.

The Zimmerman & Sons nameplate can be seen on the original Lemmon & Inwood sign here (click to enlarge), posted on Flickr by Tim Anderson (a detail of his photo can be seen below) (there is another Zimmerman nameplate posted in the comments on that Flickr page); what appears to be a Zimmerman plate is on the side of the sign at the Greenville Avenue location facing the store’s entrance, not on the side seen in my photo at the top.

zimmerman-nameplate_sigels-sign_lemmon-inwood_flickr-det

Please check out the Dallas Morning News article in the DMN archives titled “Sigel’s Sign Designer Surprised by Its Fame — Project for Family’s Liquor Store Wasn’t a Hit with Boss, He Recalls” by Jeffrey Weiss (April 28, 2009) in which Marvin Sigel discusses his famous sign.

Also, check out these related (online) DMN articles:

  • “Sigel’s Beverages, A 111-Year-Old Dallas Chain, Filed for Bankruptcy; Wants to Close 5 Stores” by Maria Halkias (Oct. 21, 2016), here
  • “Sigel’s Iconic Neon Sign Returning to Dallas After Years Wasting Away in Addison” by Robert Wilonsky (March 27, 2017), here

If anyone can verify that this sign is, in fact, the sign from Store No. 12 (Lovers & Greenville), please let me know!

Most images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Map of Downtown Dallas, For the Curious Conventioneer — 1962

big-d_aia-convention_aia-journal_aprill-1962Welcome to Convention City! (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In May, 1962, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) had their national convention in Dallas. The April, 1962 edition of the AIA Journal contained a boosterific article on Big D’s exciting architecture, a handy bibliography of previous Journal articles on specific Dallas projects and architects, a few photos, and a helpful map of downtown, containing, I suppose, the Big City sites that the visiting architect might find worth a look. In addition to your staples like Neiman-Marcus, the relatively new Statler Hilton, and the Republic Bank Building, it also contained a lot of … odd things. Like Magicland, M & M Leathercraft, and Ring and Brewer Western Wear. AND a lot of bars. A lot. Some of them pretty seedy. And several of which employed the talents of “exotic” dancers. (Hey, what happens in Dallas stays in Dallas.)

The map is actually pretty good — even though many of the simply-drawn buildings look absolutely nothing like their real counterparts (I mean … come on, architects!) — it’s helpful because it shows exactly where so many of these off-the-beaten-path bars and restaurants and shops were located. For instance, I’ve heard my aunt talk for years about her favorite Happy Hour destination back in the ’60s, but it wasn’t until I saw this map that I actually knew where Victor’s Lounge was: across Commerce from the Statler Hilton (right next to the architect’s favorite Dallas stop, Warehouse Cut-Rate Liquors).

Check it out. The alphabetical key is printed on the map, the numerical key is below. Click the map so you, too, can find out where exactly Sol’s Turf Bar was and which thoroughfare one needed to take to reach the Sportatorium (’cause if there’s anything architects love more than magic tricks, it’s professional wrestling!).

downtown-dallas-map_aia-journal_april-1962_convention

1. YMCA
2. Magicland; Phil’s Delicatessen
3. Rheinishcherhoff Restaurant
4. Cattlemen’s Restaurant
5. Majestic Theatre
6. Capri Theater
7. Tower Theater; Sigel’s Liquors
8. Corrigan Tower
9. Tower Petroleum Bldg.
10. Miller Bros. Jewelry
11. Ring & Brewer Western Wear
12. Filet Restaurant
13. Mexico City Restaurant
14. First National Motor Bank
15. Rio Grande Life Bldg.
16. National Bank of Commerce
17. E. M. Kahn Department Store
18. Texas Bank Bldg.
19. Wholesale Merchants Bldg.
20. James K. Wilson Co.
21. Santa Fe Bldg.
22. WFAA Radio Station
23. Oriental Cafe
24. Davis Bldg.
25. First National Bank
26. Cullum & Boren Sporting Goods
27. Palace Theater
28. 211 North Ervay Bldg.; Forget-Me-Not Gift Shop
29. Praetorian Bldg.; Shoe Center
30. Eatwell Cafe
31. Black Angus Restaurant
32. Mobil Bldg. (Magnolia Bldg.)
33. Golden Pheasant Restaurant; Hoffman’s Men’s Wear
34. Melody Shop; Shoe Center
35. Sol’s Turf Bar
36. Copper Cow Restaurant
37. Reynolds-Penland Department Store
38. E. M. Kahn Co.
39. Dreyfuss & Son
40. Volk’s Department Store; Rogers Factory Shoe Store
41. Mercantile Security Bldg.
42. Dallas Mercantile Bldg.; Tall Fashions
43. Victor’s Lounge
44. Warehouse Liquors
45. Town & Country Restaurant
46. Skeffington’s Men’s Wear
47. Lone Star Gas Co.
48. M & M Leathercraft
49. National Bankers Life Bldg.
50. Zoo Bar
51. Steak House Unique
52. Dallas Power and Light
53. 209 Browder Bldg.
54. Bell Telephone Co.
55. Federal Reserve Bank
56. Community Chest
57. Employers Insurance
58. Reserve Life Bldg.
59. Life Bldg.; Moore-DeGrazier Jewelry Co.
60. Theater Lounge (burlesque)
61. Horseshoe Lounge
62. Carousel Club (burlesque)
63. Colony Club (burlesque)
64. Brockles Restaurant

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Sources & Notes

Photo and map from the April, 1962 issue of AIA Journal. The entire issue is contained in a PDF, here. The Dallas content begins on page 39 of the PDF. The bibliography — which contains articles that I’d actually love to read! — can be found on page 83 of the PDF.

Images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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