Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Shopping

Neiman-Marcus Toy Department — 1965

n-m_toys-northpark_1965_marcus-papers_degolyerThat kangaroo is fab… (click to see it bigger!)

by Paula Bosse

This photo shows the world’s least-cluttered toy department at the then-new Neiman’s store at the then-new NorthPark mall. What were the well-heeled tots of 1965 playing with? Model castles, stuffed tigers, dolls, robots, and kangaroo-shaped slides.


This photo — “Toy Department, Neiman Marcus, NorthPark”– is from the Stanley Marcus Papers, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more info on the photo can be found here.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Neiman-Marcus Shoe Salon — 1965

n-m_shoe-salon_1965_nyt-magazine_dec-2016Behold, the shoe salon… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Look at this.



Sources & Notes

1965 photo by Ezra Stoller. It appeared in the December 1, 2016 New York Times magazine as part of a slideshow, here; it was a companion to a short article about Stanley Marcus by James McAuley, here.

I never thought of myself as a fan of lime green upholstery until I saw that salon furniture. The wallpaper is a bit … busy (in a tasteful, sophisticated way…), but that furniture is, as they say, to die for. (And the door that disappears into the wall is a nice touch.)


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Shopping at Sears in Casa View

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

by Paula Bosse

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

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

Oct. 25, 1956

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

sears_new-location_casa-view_dmn_031264-detMarch 12, 1964

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



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

Oct. 4, 1953

But then the ownership changed hands in early 1955, and it was renamed Casa View *Village* and reopened in April under the new name.

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

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


Sources & Notes

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

The Casa View Wikipedia page is here.

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

Dallas Morning News articles:

  • “Name Changed” (from Casa View Hills Shopping Center to Casa View Village) (DMN, March 13, 1955)
  • “Avery Mays Announces New Shopping Center” (expanded Casa View Village, with aerial photo) (DMN, Nov. 10, 1955)
  • “New Sears Opening in Casa View” (DMN, Oct. 11, 1956)

Other businesses once located in these shopping centers can be found in the post “Bryan Adams High School: Yearbook Ads from 1961 and 1962,” here.

Photos and clippings are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Christmas Toy Sale at Sanger’s! — 1955

xmas_sangers_dmn_122255aBargains ahead: Santa’s clearing the shelves…

by Paula Bosse

Look at all the toys that were on sale in the final days before Christmas — “at all three [Sanger’s] stores: downtown, Highland Park and Preston Road.” Need a “Ricky, Jr. doll”? A kiddie Geiger counter? A two-foot-tall Donald Duck toy dressed as Davy Crockett? Look no further — Sanger’s has it. (Click ad to see a larger image and take a walk down Childhood Toy Memory Lane.)



Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


The Expanded “Texas Size” Titche’s Building: Twelve Glamorous Acres of Department Store — 1955

titches_utaDallas’ largest department store, ca. 1955… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This photo of the Titche-Goettinger department store (Main and St. Paul) was taken soon after the store’s expansion which increased its size from 250,000 square feet to a whopping 504,000 square feet. When the greatly enlarged store introduced itself to the Dallas public at an open house in March, 1955, one of the most notable things about it (for me, anyway) was the fact that 93-year old Max Goettinger — founder of the department store in 1902, along with Edward Titche — attended the festivities.

The beautiful original building — designed by George Dahl — was built in the late 1920s and was a commanding presence at only half its later size. (Click pictures to see larger images.)


The postcard view above has handily erased most of the other buildings in that block which one would have seen in a photograph, including the Pollock Trunk Co. and the old Hilton Hotel (later the White Plaza, currently the Indigo). A 1942 view of the block, looking west from Harwood, looked like this:


When construction of the new part of the store was completed in 1955, this new 12-acre “Texas Size” Titche’s was the largest store in Dallas, a head-spinning prospect for a city that loves to shop.


If you want a much more comprehensive overview of the Titche’s building — and want to see wonderful photos of the building, inside and out — I highly recommend Noah Jeppson’s Unvisited Dallas post, “Titche-Goettinger Building,” here. My favorite part? Its innovative system of pneumatic tubes!


Sources & Notes

Top photo by Squire Haskins, from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, UTA Libraries, Special Collections — more info here) (click on the thumbnail image on the page to see this photo BIG).

Postcards are from previous Flashback Dallas Posts: “George Dahl’s Titche-Goettinger Building,” here; and “Main Street — ca. 1942,” here.

Read more on the expansion at the Dallas Morning News archives:

  • “Titche’s Reports Plans to Double Present Size” by Edd Rout (DMN, Sept. 7, 1952)
  • “Visitors Jam Opening of Texas-Sized Titche’s” by James A. Cockrell (DMN, March 15, 1955)

This wonderful building is still standing, modified to accommodate its current owners, the University of North Texas. Here’s how the building looks these days, via Google Street View, here.

More on the Titche-Goettinger Building on Wikipedia, here.

Images and clipping are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Neiman-Marcus Expands — 1927

n-m_construction_1927_pioneers-of-dallas-co-FB-page_coll-frances-jamesThe first addition under construction, 1927… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In 1927, construction began on Neiman-Marcus’ first expansion. The addition was adjacent to the famed department store, which had occupied its spot at Main and Ervay since its construction in 1914. (This was the company’s second location – their original store, which opened in 1907 at Elm and Murphy, was destroyed by fire in 1913.) The store had outgrown its old building, and expansion was deemed necessary. The new addition was designed by the Herbert M. Greene architectural firm, led by George L. Dahl. While the new building was going up, the old building was being renovated and updated. 

The photo above shows the construction of the addition, which extended the store’s footprint from Main all the way to Commerce. One of the interesting features of this construction was the look of the site itself.

One of the features of the Neiman-Marcus project is the ornamental barricade, containing window boxes and fashionable silhouettes, which has been put up around the new construction. (Dallas Morning News, May 8, 1927)

It’s the nicest-looking hard-hat area I’ve ever seen!

The new building (which was four floors, but was designed so that sixteen additional stories could be added if needed) opened in October, 1927. Less than a month after the formal opening of this new building, another addition was announced — it opened the following year. With that “third unit” opening in 1928, Neiman-Marcus had increased its size by 50% (there would be further expansions over the years), and its sales were the highest in the company’s history. Also, notable at this time was the fact that a full 40% of the store’s sales were to people who lived “in other cities of the Southwest.”

The formal opening on Oct. 3, 1927 attracted a crowd estimated at more than 25,000 people. Invited guests wore gowns and tuxedoes.

Expansion completed.


Oct. 2, 1927 (full-page ad — click to see larger image)

Oct., 1927


Sources & Notes

Top photo was posted in the Facebook group Pioneers of Dallas County; it is from the collection of Dallas historian Frances James.

A special section of The Dallas Morning News which coincided with the opening of the expanded store appeared in the October 2, 1927 edition of the paper; in it are several photos and articles.

Read more about the history of the Neiman Marcus building on Wikipedia, here.

Click images to make them bigger.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved

Knox Street, Between Cole and Travis

knox_from-travis_1924Knox in its salad days… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, Knox Street looking southeasterly from Travis in 1924. The Ro-Nile Theater (later the Knox Theater) is on the left. Today it is, I think, Pottery Barn Baby (and I think it is the original  building). It directly faces what it now Weir’s Furniture. See what this view looks like today, here.

Below, a snow-covered Knox Street — around 1949 — looking northwesterly, from about Cole. The Knox Theater is on the right. See what this view looks like today, here.


I used to love when Knox was charming and funky. When I drive around this area now, I’m afraid I always end up feeling claustrophobic.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Highland Park Village — The Original Model

hp-village_model_gallowayDallas’ most exclusive shopping destination (click for huge photo)

by Paula Bosse

The model of the Highland Park Shopping Village (“9 Acres of Property”) was, for many years, on display in the sales office of the Flippen-Prather Realty Co., the company that developed Highland Park and this beautiful shopping “village.” (I’m not sure where this photo was taken — it looks like a Flippen-Prather promotional table set up in an exhibition space of some sort.) Construction began on the shopping area in early 1930 and took several years to complete.

Below, a slightly closer look at this cool model, complete with little cars (but no little people…).



Sources & Notes

The photo (credited to the collection of Hugh Prather, Jr.) is from the really wonderful book The Park Cities, A Photohistory by Diane Galloway (Dallas: Diane Galloway, 1989). (This is an essential book for anyone interested in historic photos of Dallas and the Park Cities. If you come across a copy priced under $30.00, snap it up!)

More on the Highland Park Village of today can be found here.

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


NorthPark — 1965

northpark_melody-shop_1965_northpark-websiteMarching band members, foliage, Melody Shop

by Paula Bosse

NorthPark Center — the only mall I’ve ever enjoyed being in — turned 50 last year. Developed by the legendary Raymond Nasher, it opened in August of 1965 on 90-something acres of old Caruth farmland. Sleek, cool, uncluttered. There was art! There were ducks! There were naughty playing cards and black light posters in Spencer’s! There was even a dime store! I spent a lot of time there as a kid in the ’70s, which is probably why I feel completely lost in the expanded, ultra-upscale version of today. I used to know where EVERYTHING was. Now? Since its recent “augmentation,” it doesn’t feel like “my” mall anymore. Now, for me, it’s just another upscale Dallas mall (albeit in an unusually appealing building and in still-sleek, aesthetically pleasing surroundings). But then I’m a person who is generally not a fan of shopping and feels anxious in shopping malls, so I’m clearly in the minority amongst Dallas women. Today’s NorthPark is still going strong and is as popular as ever (if not moreso), but I will always prefer the NorthPark of my childhood — it’s the only shopping mall I’ve ever felt completely at home in.


At the top, the Melody Shop — where I bought my first records. People were always in there playing the organs.

Neiman’s was there, too, of course — at the swankier end of the mall. N-M was intimidating. There weren’t a lot of black light posters and Keds in there.


Which is why I spent most of my time in the stretch between the Melody Shop and Penney’s.


This was the part of the mall I might have liked the best, if only because of … Orange Julius!! (See recipe below.)


(Am I crazy, or hadn’t Orange Julius moved to the space next to where it is in this 1965 photo? I swear in the ’70s it was facing Penney’s.)

But the one thing that absolutely everyone who ever spent any time there as a kid remembers most?

northpark_slides_dth_np-websiteDallas Times Herald photo

Come to think of it, what I remember most about the NorthPark of my very early childhood is how smooth and cool-to-the-touch everything was — especially for children like me who were climbing all over everything: the tiles of those “slides,” the concrete of the fountains and planters, the floors, and those white bricks, inside and out. Everything was so smooooth. Happy belated birthday, NorthPark!


Most of these photos are from 1965, and most are from the history page of the NorthPark Center website, here. Their entertaining NorthPark50 blog is here.

More on the history of NorthPark at Wikipedia, here.

A 15-minute 50th anniversary video by The Dallas Morning News is on YouTube, here.

One of the first mentions of the future super-mall (and its 99-year lease) was in the March 5, 1961 edition of The Dallas Morning News in the article “Big Shop Center Slated in Dallas” by Rudy Rochelle.

See a cool color photo of the brand new mall here.

Want to make your own Orange Julius? Here’s a good recipe. The secret ingredient is powdered egg whites, available at Whole Foods and most larger grocery stores. The added sugar is important, but you might not want to use a whole quarter-cup.

UPDATE: The powdered egg whites I used to buy at my local Tom Thumb — “Just Whites” by Deb El — is no longer available. I tried several grocery stores today and couldn’t find powdered egg whites anywhere. They may be available in health food or vitamin/supplement stores. I just ordered some online. If you don’t mind using egg whites out of the shell, substitute 2 egg whites for the powdered in the recipe below.


Most pictures larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Ervay, Live Oak, and Elm: Just Another Wednesday Night — 1953

ervay-live-oak-elm_haskins_uta_010753“Tomorrow’s weather: warm & cloudy” (click for much larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Here’s what 7:18 PM looked like at the old five-point intersection of Ervay, Live Oak, and Elm streets on January 7, 1953, a Wednesday night. All that neon — especially that Coca-Cola sign, which was probably flashing and strobing like crazy — gives this scene a sort of mini-Times Square feel. Imagine this intersection on a Friday or Saturday night when the streets and sidewalks would have been packed with people heading to theaters, restaurants, and night clubs!

On the left, at the street light (I love those street lights!) and the Walgreen’s sign, is N. Ervay. To the left of the Coca-Cola sign is Live Oak, which used to come through to Elm. To the right, Elm Street, heading east.

So many interesting things here: the Mayflower Coffee Shop (with its “Anytime Is Donut Time” clock and its animated Maxwell House Coffee sign), that incredible neon sign above the Lee Optical store which gave the forecast, that Fred Astaire Dance Studios sign (with “Astaire” in a fantastic neon font), and the Tower and Majestic theater signs lit up for moviegoers who ventured to the movies on a school night. Unseen: the public restrooms (or “public comfort stations”) hidden beneath the street, with the entrance (I think) on the Lee Optical triangular “corner.”

I love all the neon, but this quiet little vignette of a woman carrying some sort of sack or parcel down a chilly downtown street is why I wish I had been around back then — it’s weird to feel nostalgia for a time and place you never actually experienced.



A map showing that this intersection once had five points.

ervay-elm-live-oak_1952-mapsco1952 Mapsco (click for larger image)

A listing of the businesses along Live Oak, between N. Ervay and N. St. Paul, from the 1953 city directory (click to read):


And the businesses along Elm, between N. Ervay and the old Dallas Athletic Club:



This photograph — an untitled night scene — was taken by Squire Haskins on Jan. 7, 1953; from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Special Collections, accessible here.

See this same view during the DAY in the post “Tomorrow’s Weather at Live Oak & Elm — 1955-ish,” here.

All images larger when clicked; the top photo is very large.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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