Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Architecture/Significant Bldgs.

Stemmons Tower, Downtown Skyline — 1963

stemmons-tower_night_squire-haskins_041963_UTAPhoto by Squire Haskins, 1963 (UTA Libraries, Special Collections)

by Paula Bosse

Another fantastic photo from premier Dallas photographer, Squire Haskins: the new Stemmons Tower (East), with the Dallas skyline serving as a dramatic nighttime backdrop. (See this photo really big at the UTA website, here.)

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Sources & Notes

“Stemmons Tower with downtown Dallas, Texas in the background; photo taken at night,” by Squire Haskins, taken on April 19, 1963; from the Squire Haskins, Inc. Photography Collection, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Special Collections (more info on this photo can be found here).

The first of several “towers,” construction of Trammel Crow’s Stemmons Tower East began in the summer of 1961 and was open and leasing by December, 1962. This office complex was part of the grand vision of the Trinity Industrial District and the “Stemmons corridor” (click ad below to see a much larger image).

stemmons-tower_jan-1963Jan., 1963

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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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

The “Blue House” Lives

blue-house_google_july-2016July, 2016 / Google Street View

by Paula Bosse

In January, 2016, news of an endangered 19th-century house in The Cedars, the area just south of downtown, was in the news: it was to be torn down in order to put in a parking lot. I followed Robert Wilonsky’s stories on it in The Dallas Morning News and read about it in online history and preservation groups, but there didn’t seem to be a lot mentioned about the history of the house. Who built it? And when? I decided to see if I could find the answers. I’d written about the history of houses and buildings and figured it wouldn’t take that long to find the answers, but it actually took a lot longer than I’d thought. But the detective work was fun, and I was surprised by how much research one can do without ever needing to walk away from one’s computer. So much now is within our digital reach: historical city directories, maps, newspaper archives, and genealogical information.

After a marathon session of using everything mentioned above, plus referring to a couple of Dallas-history-related books, I eventually traced real estate transfers back to the man who appears to have built the house: Max Rosenfield, around 1885. I excitedly messaged Robert Wilonsky at 4:58 a.m., knowing that he would be interested to learn this new info (especially as the man who built the house was the father of one of the most noteworthy arts critics in The Dallas News’ long history), and he passed the news on to his readers. (My step-by-step process of researching the house which once stood in a posh residential area of the city is in the post “The Blue House on Browder,” here.)

The house’s fate has been in limbo for a couple of years, but now the 133-year-old “Blue House” will be moved in pieces to its new home half a mile away (at Browder and Beaumont) where it will be reassembled and restored.

The move begins TOMORROW — April 3, 2018. The public is invited to a ceremony in which comments will be made and then the house will begin the move to its new home. For Preservation Dallas’ details on when and where, information on the event can be found here.

Enjoy your new home, Blue House!

blue-house_then-and-now

browder-house_bing

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Sources & Notes

Top photo from Google Street View, July, 2016. (This view from Griffin is actually the side of the house — the front originally faced Browder Street, which no longer continues at that block.) Aerial view from Bing Maps.

Black-and-white photo of the house is from Preservation Dallas; color photo below it is from Homeward Bound, Inc. (used with permission), taken in about 2000.

Read the saga of the fight to save the house and how it will be moved in Robert Wilonsky’s Dallas Morning News article “One of Dallas’ oldest homes, built in the Cedars in the 1880s, ready for its new life on a new lot” (DMN, March 29, 2018), here.

My original step-by-step post on tracking down the history of the house — “The Blue House on Browder” — is here.

Click pictures to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Elks Lodge, Pocahontas & Park

elks-lodge_postcard1817 Pocahontas Street, 1914 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The postcard image above shows the lovely Dallas Elks Lodge No. 71 which once stood at 1817 Pocahontas, at the northwest corner of Pocahontas Street and Park Avenue in the Cedars area, just south of downtown — it had a spectacular view of City Park, which it faced.  Designed by architect H. A. Overbeck (the man behind the still-standing Dallas County Jail and Criminal Courts Building and the long-gone St. Paul’s Sanitarium), the lodge was built in 1914; the land and the construction of the lodge cost $45,000. Surprisingly, this lodge served the Elks for only six years — they returned downtown, where they took over and renovated the old YWCA building on Commerce Street.

The building on Pocahontas became another clubhouse when it was purchased in 1920 by a group of Jewish businessmen who opened the exclusive Progress Club/Parkview Club (read about the building’s acquisition in a May 14, 1920 article in The Jewish Monitor, here); in 1922 the 65 members of the Parkview Club presented the clubhouse to the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA). In 1927, use of the building had expanded, and it became the Dallas Jewish Community Center and the headquarters of the Jewish Welfare Federation — in fact, this was the home for these organizations for more than thirty years, until 1958 when the move was made to the new Julius Schepps Community Center in North Dallas. The building ultimately fell victim to the construction of R. L. Thornton Freeway and was demolished in the early 1960s.

But back to the Elks. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was a social club/fraternal order founded in New York in 1868. Dallas Lodge No. 71 was chartered on January 28, 1888 — it was the first Elks Lodge in Texas and one of the oldest clubs in Dallas. And, after 130 years, it’s still around, now located in Lake Highlands. There aren’t a lot of things that have lasted that long in this city!

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Below, the Overbeck rendering of the Elks’ new home (click for larger image)

elks_dmn_120213_new-lodgeDallas Morning News, Dec. 2, 1913

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A week before its official dedication on Sept. 7, 1914:

elks-lodge_dmn_083014DMN, Aug. 30, 1914

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Colorized and made into an attractive postcard:

elks-club_new_postcard

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In the 1930s, when it was the Jewish Community Center:

jewish-community-center_1817-pocahontas_1930s

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Where it was:

elks-lodge_ca-1912-map_portal1912-ish map detail

Also, see it on the 1921 Sanborn map (as “B.P.O.E. Home”) here.

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The announcement of plans for the construction of the Pocahontas Street lodge:

elks_dmn_112313_new-lodgeDMN, Nov. 23, 1913

And its dedication, on Sept. 7, 1914:

elks_dmn_090814_new-homeDMN, Sept. 8, 1914

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Sources & Notes

Source of postcards unknown. Other images and clippings as noted.

The 1888 report of the first meeting of the Dallas Elks Lodge No. 71 can be read in the Dallas Morning News article “Order of Elks in Dallas; A Lodge Instituted Here Yesterday” (DMN, Jan. 29, 1888), here.

A history of the various Elks’ locations in Dallas between the 1880s and the 1920s can be found in the article “Elks Plan To Have Modern Club Home” (DMN, July 30, 1922), here.

elks_dmn_012903DMN, Jan. 29, 1903

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

900 Block of Main, North Side — 1952

AR447-B1201Main Street, 1952… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This 1952 photo by Squire Haskins shows the north side of Main Street, taken at the intersection with Poydras, looking west to the old Dallas county jail and criminal courts building seen at the far left. The Sanger’s building stands just west of Lamar, and across Lamar is the 900 block of Main, with the legendary E. M. Kahn men’s clothing store (one of Dallas’ first important retail stores, founded in 1872), the Maurice Hotel (in the old North Texas Building, built in the 1890s), and the large Bogan’s grocery store at the northwest corner of Main and Poydras. The old jail and the Records Building (way in the distance) and the Sanger’s building are all that remain. See how this view looks today, here.

There is a flyer for “Porgy and Bess” on the lamppost in front of the Bogan market. “Porgy and Bess” opened the State Fair Summer Musicals series at the State Fair Auditorium (Music Hall) in June, 1952 (see an ad here).

But what about the south side of the 900 block of Main Street? Thankfully, photographer Squire Haskins  not only took the photo above, he also turned to face the other side of the street and snapped companion photos. I posted two of his photos of the south side of Main in a previous post, here. Here’s one of those photos, with Poydras at the left and Lamar on the right:

main-poydras_squire-haskins_uta

A listing of the businesses from the 1953 city directory — there’s a little bit of everything (click to see larger image):

900-block-main_1953-directory

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Sources & Notes

Both photos by Squire Haskins, both from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, University of Texas at Arlington. More info on the top photo can be found here; more on the second photo, here.

More on the south side of Main Street can be found in the Flashback Dallas post “900 Block of Main Street, South Side — 1950s,” here.

All images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“There’s No Place Like Home … In Dallas” — 1940s

dallas-homes_so-this-is-dallas_ca-1943Dallas homes, ca. 1943 — from modest to palatial… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

These photos are from a Chamber of Commerce-like booklet intended to lure new residents to the city. The photo montage above is from about 1943, and the one below is from about 1946. There are some beautiful houses here. In the photo above, I recognize Highland Park in the center and possibly lower right (the lower right has a lot of empty space behind it — maybe Bluff View or Preston Hollow?). The top right might be Oak Cliff? The house that makes me swoon is the white house at the lower left. It and the house above it look as if they might have been in Lakewood. If anyone knows the location of any of these houses — and if they’re still standing — please let me know!

The text that accompanied the above photo montage (circa 1943):

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME … IN DALLAS

Visitors to Dallas invariably comment on its beautiful homes, both large and small, and the care with which they are kept modern and clean.

The women of Dallas have their garden clubs, which are organizations of flower lovers. They vie with each other in striving to make their homes attractive to the passerby and homelike to those who live within.

One reason for this is the high percentage of home ownership. A recent study indicates that 60 per cent of families living in one-family residences own their own home. This is far above the national average.

For several years Dallas has been on a truly remarkable building boom in its residential sections. New homes are springing up at the rate of 14 a day and new subdivisions are being opened as rapidly as others are sold out. The outer fringe of Dallas is, in effect, a brand-new city. Lots that were cotton fields a few years ago now contain beautiful new homes and landscaped gardens.

Any type of home plot is available to the prospective home builder here. If he desires a home in a close-in busy section, that can be found in many places. If he prefers a modest cottage on the outskirts, there are a dozen subdivisions where it can be found. If he is seeking a palatial residence or a rustic cottage on a country estate, he can find that too, and on short notice.

Dallas takes much pride in its wide recognition as a city of homes.

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dallas-home_so-this-is-dallas_ca-1946

The text that accompanied this photo (circa 1946):

HOMES MAKE A CITY

Dallas… Has Planned Beauty

The beauty of Dallas may be attributed to the wide awake and broadminded citizens of some 25 years ago, who at that time, engaged nationally known landscape artists to design and plan the future Dallas. So well was this done and so cooperative were the people of Dallas that in this short time Dallas is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the nation.

Dallas has attractive parks, driveways, public buildings and in fact hardly a house, no matter how humble, that is not improved with planting. As a city of homes the saying, “It is not a home until it is planted well” applies to Dallas. No tenant house is built today that is not surrounded by a setting of nature’s beauty. To the Garden Clubs and various women’s organizations much credit must be given for their untiring efforts to eliminate slum districts, unsightly streets and the planting of our highways.

Much credit is due the nurserymen and landscape architects, who are ever ready to give advice, planting instructions, and who have furnished shrubs, flowers and assistance to many charitable institutions and public places, as well as make talks to the clubs and organizations on when, how and what to plant in order to constantly improve Dallas. The Garden and women’s clubs annually stage flower shows and have garden contests.

All this has made Dallas today, a city beautiful – a place where you want to live.

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Sources & Notes

Photos are from the booklet So This Is Dallas, published by The Welcome Wagon. The top photo is from the circa-1943 edition, used with permission, courtesy of the Lone Star Library Annex Facebook page. The second photo is from the circa-1946 edition, from the author’s collection.

Photos are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Main Street Looking East — 1920s

main-street_east_ca-1925_erik-swansonEast from the 1200 block of Main (photo courtesy Erik Swanson)

by Paula Bosse

This great photo (sent in by reader Erik Swanson) shows Main Street around 1925. The white building seen in the lower right is Hurst Bros., a men’s clothing shop, which was at the southeast corner of Main and Field (1300-1304 Main). It was a little confusing to me at first because it looks like there is a street behind it (to the south), which would have been Commerce, but then the Magnolia Building and the Adolphus would all be out of place. But what appears to be a street was just a wide alleyway/passage (seen on the 1921 Sanborn map here — Main east of Akard can be seen on the Sanborn map here).

The very tall building is the Magnolia, at Commerce and Akard (it opened in 1922 — Pegasus wasn’t added until 1934); to the right, across Akard, is the Adolphus Hotel and the Adolphus Annex. The tall building to the left of the Magnolia is the Southwestern Life Building (southeast corner Main and Akard, demolished in 1972, now a small open plaza area). The 4-story building at the southwest corner of Main and Akard is the Andrews Building. The white building in the center is Hurst Bros. (southeast corner Main and Field), and across Main can be seen the sign for the men’s clothing shop Benson-Semans.

Hurst Bros. was gone by 1929 when it became Hoover-Lehman, another clothing store, and Benson-Semans appears to have vacated that space around 1926, helping to date the photo between 1922 and 1926.

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The Hurst brothers, Melvin K. Hurst and Edgar S. Hurst (along with their father, Alfred K. Hurst) began their men’s clothing business around 1912 and moved into the building seen in this photo in 1915 (it was renovated by prominent Dallas architect H. A. Overbeck, whose still-standing courts building and jail was built at about the same time). The business was dissolved in 1929, and its stock, fixtures, and lease were acquired by a longtime employee who, with a partner, remodeled the store and reopened it as the Hoover-Lehman Co. (A present-day Google Street View of this southeast corner of Main and Field can be seen here.)

main-street_east_ca-1925_hurst-bros-det_erik-swansonDetail from top photo, ca. 1925 (click for larger image)

hurst-bros_dmn_112214_adAd from Nov., 1914

hurst-bros_1920sLate 1920s

hurst-bros_hoover-lehman_091329Sept., 1929

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Sources & Notes

Top photo sent in by Erik Swanson, used by permission. The photo may have been taken by his grandfather, F. V. Swanson, an optometrist (see the post “Thompson & Swanson: ‘The Oldest Exclusive Optical House in Dallas,” here). Thanks for the great photo, Erik!

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“A Glimpse of Dallas” — ca. 1909

postcard_charles-e-arnoldCommerce Street, looking west from St. Paul…

by Paula Bosse

This very attractive postcard shows a growing downtown Dallas, looking west from Commerce and St. Paul, photographed by Charles E. Arnold from the YMCA building (which once sat in the block now occupied by the Statler). The Wilson Building can be seen at the top right, the Praetorian Building (then the tallest building in the city) is to its left, and the Post Office and Federal Building is in the center. The photo was probably taken in 1909 or 1910 (the Praetorian was completed in 1908 and the Adolphus Hotel (not seen in this postcard) was under construction in 1911.

The photo below, taken by Jno. J. Johnson from the exact same vantage point, shows the many changes to the skyline which happened over a very short span of time. The photo below is from about 1913.

new-skyline_c1912_degolyer_smuvia DeGolyer Library, SMU

I zoomed in on this photo in a previous post, “Horses, Carriages, Horseless Carriages: Commerce Street — 1913,” here.

The large “Barrett Cigar” sign seen in the top postcard image is also visible in a 1909 photo by Clogenson, below — it can be seen at the left, atop the Juanita Building on Main Street, opposite the Praetorian.

parade-day_1909_clogenson_degolyervia DeGolyer Library, SMU

I zoomed in on this photo in the post “Parade Day — 1909,” here.

This was the beginning of staggering growth for Dallas, and new skyscrapers seemed to be going up every month.

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Sources & Notes

I came across the postcard image a couple of years ago — I noted that the photographer was C. E. Arnold, but I did not note the source.

The two photos are from the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; further information on each photo can be found at the links posted immediately below the images.

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Highland Park Village From Above

h-p-village_HPHS_1966_ad-detPlenty of parking, above & below ground… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This bird’s-eye view of Highland Park Village is from an ad placed in the Highland Park High School yearbook by Flippen-Prather, who really wanted to stress how there was NO PARKING PROBLEM at this convenient “North Dallas” location, above ground and below ground. Don’t worry, Flippen-Prather had you covered.

h-p-village_HPHS_1966_text1966 ad

Fifty years on from this ad, Highland Park Village is physically still recognizable, just expanded. The tenants, however, are now much more chi-chi.

hp-village_google-2017Google, 2017

I’m not sure when the top photo was taken, but it appeared in the 1966 Highland Park High School yearbook. Here are the tenants of Highland Park Village in 1966 (click to see a larger image).

hp-village_1966-directory

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Sources & Notes

Ad for Highland Park Village/Flippen-Prather Stores, Inc. appeared in the 1966 Highland Park High School yearbook.

Color image from Google.

Listing of Highland Park Village businesses is from Polk’s Greater Dallas City Directory, 1966.

All images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

George Dahl’s Downtown Public Library Is Now the Home of The Dallas Morning News

14DPL_schiwetzcrop

by Paula Bosse

Today is the official beginning of the next step in the history of the George Dahl-designed building at Commerce and Harwood which once housed the Dallas Public Library: after years of abandonment and deterioration, it is now the miraculously preserved and spiffed-up home of The Dallas Morning News! Read Robert Wilonsky’s valentine to the beautiful building — along with photos old and new — on the News site, here.

And while we’re at it, let’s look back to the beginnings of the building as the wonderfully modern Dallas Public Library in one of my very first Flashback Dallas posts, “George Dahl’s Sleek Downtown Library — 1955,” here.

Thank you, DMN, for saving and resuscitating this landmark Dallas building!

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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