Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: East Dallas/Lakewood

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.)

lakewood-country-club_western-architect_july-1914

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: 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.

 

The Ray Hubbard Estate, Lakewood

ad-evervess_mrs-ray-hubbard_1948_detA country estate in the heart of Lakewood, 1948… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Lakewood has a lot of beautiful homes — large and small — but the (very large) Raymond E. Hubbard estate at the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Brendenwood Drive is quite the show-stopper. Built in 1934, the two-and-a-half-acre property is about a mile from White Rock Lake and was known for years for its spectacular landscaping and gardens, much of which was the personal handiwork of owner Ray Hubbard (1893-1970). Hubbard amassed his wealth as an independent oilman during the boom years, but he was known in his later life for his lengthy tenure as president of the Dallas Park Board.

From a 1938 Dallas Morning News article:

Mr. Hubbard is that phenomenon known as a natural tiller of the soil. In the short space of two years he has taken a barren hill and transformed it into a blaze of beauty in the form of a rock garden he designed himself. In the symphony of color, he has even had the subtlety to plant a few onions because there is a blue-green cast to the leaves of the onion that is found in no other plant. Carnations, pansies and pinks mingle in profusion as well as a thousand other oddities you have never seen the likes of  before. (“Edens in Preview,” DMN, April 10, 1938)

In 1948, his wife, Janet Hubbard, was seen in an ad for Evervess Sparkling Water, with photos of both Mrs. Hubbard and a view of the impressive “backyard” of their Lakewood home. (Click ad to see larger image.)

ad-evervess_mrs-ray-hubbard_1948Saturday Evening Post, 1948

I came across this ad a few years ago but had no idea where the house was located or who Ray Hubbard was, other than the probable namesake of the lake which bears his name (the Rockwall-Forney reservoir was named Lake Ray Hubbard in January, 1967, in honor of Hubbard’s devotion to civic affairs and his decades-long service to Dallas parks). I was surprised to learn that this was the somewhat mysterious and foreboding-looking house I’d passed years ago, looking run-down and deserted, surrounded by overgrown shrubs and bushes. The 2012 Google Street View looked like this:

hubbard-house_google-street-view_oct-2012Google Street View, Oct. 2017

Back then the overgrown approach to the house looked like this, and was probably something of a thorn in the side of the Lakewood Boulevard residents.

Since Google Street View was so out-of-date, I decided to drive by the house today to see what it looked like in 2018. It’s beautiful!

hubbard-house_lakewood-blvd_031519_PBphoto: Paula Bosse

The reason for the transformation? The property was bought and restored by Hunter Hunt (grandson of one-time richest man in the world — and White Rock Lake resident — H. L. Hunt) and his wife, Stephanie Hunt. And they did a wonderful job! If I had some, I’d raise a toast to the couple with an ice-cold glass of Evervess Sparkling Water!

ray-hubbard-estate_google-earth_2017
Google Earth, 2017

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hubbard_ray-e-hubbard_find-a-grave

Even though I now know who Ray Hubbard was, I’ll probably still find myself unintentionally (and, okay, sometimes intentionally) calling the lake named after him “Lake Ray Wylie Hubbard” (another former Dallas resident of note, but we’ll leave that for another time…).

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Sources & Notes

Ad found on eBay. This image is from an item offered several years ago, but as luck would have it, another seller has it for sale right now, here. Perhaps if you’re friends with Hunter and Stephanie Hunt, this would make a nice stocking stuffer. (This Evervess advertisement seems to have been part of a 1948 ad campaign featuring society women, their homes, and their favorite sparkling water: another ad, featuring Mrs. Homer Lange and her Chicago home, can be seen here.)

Photo of Ray E. Hubbard is from Find-a-Grave; read a biographical sketch about Mr. Hubbard’s life on the site, here. Not included in this information was that during Hubbard’s 27 years heading the Park Board (1943-1970), the Dallas park system expanded from 4,400 acres to more than 15,000 acres, and the number of parks increased from 54 to 150.

Read about Stephanie and Hunter Hunt and their Hunt Institute at SMU, here.

If anyone knows the original architect of the Hubbard house, please let me know!

For more on Lakewood Boulevard, I really enjoyed the 1992 Lakewood Advocate article “Lakewood Boulevard’s First Resident Looks Back On the Area’s Development; Mrs. Barnett’s Late Husband, Marshall, Built the First House on Lakewood Boulevard in the 1920s,” here.

See a 1932 view of the 7100 block of Lakewood Blvd. (with White Rock Lake at the end of the street), here; this photo was taken two years before the construction of the Hubbards’ house, which would  be built three blocks to the west (Dines and Kraft photo from the Flashback Dallas post “‘Reminiscences: A Glimpse of Old East Dallas,'” here).

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Munger Place, The Early Days: 1905-1909

munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_construction_1Munger Place, the beginning… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Here are a few photos from a great item found in the collection of SMU’s DeGolyer Library: a promotional booklet on the wonders to be found at the new East Dallas development called Munger Place. The photos show the construction of what would become one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Dallas, developed by Robert S. Munger (of Continental Gin Co. fame) and his son C. H. Munger. (His son’s first name was “Collett” — as in “Collett Avenue,” which I had always thought was named after one of the elder Munger’s daughters. But it turns out that “Collett” was the maiden name of C. H.’s mother. I’ve only ever heard the street name pronounced like the woman’s name “Colette,” but I have a feeling it might have originally been pronounced as rhyming with “wallet.”) (UPDATE: According to a Munger relative, the street name *should* actually be pronounced to rhyme with “wallet.”)

munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_cover

Location, location, location. Not quite within the city limits at this time, but close. (All images are larger when clicked.)

munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_location

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_construction_2

Caption: “At work.”

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_paving

Paving.

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_street-railway-construction

Caption: “Building street railroad.” (This appears to be Collett Avenue.)

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_collett-and-junius

Caption: “At work at intersection of Collett Avenue and Junius Street.”

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_collett-and-junius_2

Caption: “Collett Avenue, looking toward St. Mary’s from Junius Street.”

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_gaston-and-collett

Caption: “Gaston Avenue — looking toward the city at intersection of Collett Avenue.” (Today this intersection looks like this.)

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_swiss-avenue

Caption: “Swiss Avenue — this was a corn field, with barb wire fences and hedges, about a year ago.”

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munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_map

Map of Dallas, circa 1905, with Munger Place highlighted.

munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_map-det

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Think you might want to live in “The Place”? Here’s who you need to contact (interesting that the Walter Caruth house is mentioned here…):

munger-place-bk_ca-1905_degolyer-lib_SMU_developer

Collett Henry Munger — who lived in Munger Place, at 5400 Swiss — died from a heart attack at the young age of 48.

munger-collett_photo
C. H. Munger (1879-1928)

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The earliest mention of “Munger Place” I found in The Dallas Morning News was this classified from May 21, 1905:

munger-place_dmn_052105_early-mentionMay 21, 1905

Work was well underway by 1906:

munger-place_dmn_090106DMN, Sept. 1, 1906

A call for “an expert landscape gardener” went out that same year:

munger-place_dmn_101406_landscaperOct. 14, 1906

Not yet ready for lots to go on sale, the public was invited to head to East Dallas to take a look at the progress (“bring your friends and visitors to the Fair”).

munger-place_dmn_102106Oct. 21, 1906

This rendering of the Swiss Avenue entrance was, interestingly, prepared by the architectural firm of Sanguinet, Staats & Hill, who designed several Munger Place residences (including Collett Munger’s).

munger-place_dmn_010107_renderingDMN, Jan. 1, 1907

A sort of “teaser” ad (with a great photo of the intersection of Swiss and Munger) appeared in March, 1907:

munger-place_dmn_032407_ad_photoMarch 24, 1907

In April, 1907, it was announced that finally lots would be available for purchase (but only 40…), with big discounts for those who promised to build immediately.

munger-place_dmn_041407_adApril 14, 1907

“Let it rain…. NO MUD IN MUNGER PLACE at any time.” Apparently a big selling point in 1907!

munger-place_dmn_050307_no-mudMay 3, 1907

By 1909 things were really starting to come together for what quickly became one of the most exclusive (and highly restricted…) neighborhoods in the entire city.

munger-place_worleys-1909-directoryWorley’s Dallas directory, 1909 ad

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Sources & Notes

Photos of Munger Place under construction, map, and text on yellow background are from the promotional booklet “Munger Place: Dallas, Texas,” from the collection of the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; the entire booklet has been scanned by SMU and is available for free download here.

The last image is an ad from the 1909 Worley’s Dallas directory.

Read “Munger Place: Report of Nomination for Landmark Designation as a City Historic District” prepared by the City of Dallas Department of Urban Planning (1980), here.

More on Munger Place and the Munger family can be found is these Flashback Dallas posts:

  • “Munger Place — 1908,” here
  • “Munger’s Improved Continental Gin Company,” here

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Long and Woodrow From Above — 1965

woodrow_1965-yrbk_birdseyeSo much open green space! (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

A few days ago, after having done too many recent posts on Dallas high schools, I decided to post this great 1965 photo of J. L. Long Jr. High School and Woodrow Wilson High School on Facebook and Twitter, rather than write another high school post. But then Facebook follower Chris Prestridge went out and took the same shot with his drone and sent it to me. And it’s cool! So now I kind of have to post both of these great then-and-now photos. (Thank you, Chris!)

In the photos we see Woodrow in the center foreground, Long behind it, the Lakewood Country Club at the upper left, and, in the background, White Rock Lake. Things haven’t changed hugely in the intervening 52 years — it’s still a pretty area, but things just seem more crowded. (How I long for the days of school campuses devoid of the clutter of what I used to call “temporary buildings” — but those buildings don’t seem to be “temporary,” because they never go away. And those displaced fields and playgrounds never come back.)

Here’s the same view today.

woodrow_drone_march-2017_chris-prestridge

Below, the two photos, cheek by jowl. Click to see them bigger.

woodrow-long_1965_2017

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Sources & Notes

Top photo is from the 1965 Crusader, the yearbook of Woodrow Wilson High School; I found it on Flickr, here.

Many thanks to Chris Prestridge who “droned” the present-day photo yesterday, on March 14, 2017. Thank you, Chris! (And thank you, Chris’ drone!)

See another bird’s-eye view of both campuses — but one looking to the southwest rather than the northeast — in the Flashback Dallas post “J. L. Long, Woodrow Wilson — 1958,” here.

Click photos to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The White Rock Lake District: “Where Life Is Worth Living!” — 1926

white-rock-lake-district_dmn_050226_detThe idyllic view from an East Dallas villa…. (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In 1926, East Dallas was in a frenzy of development. There were so many new neighborhoods: Gastonwood, Country Club Estates, West Lake Park, Forest Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Parks Estates, Munger Place Heights, Pasadena, Camp Estates, Hughes Estates, Temple Place.

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The New East Dallas
WHITE ROCK LAKE DISTRICT
Where living is delightful and where life is worth living!

white-rock-lake-district_dmn_050226

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Sources & Notes

Ad from May, 1926. The detail — which shows a heart-stoppingly lovely vision of what might or might not have been a view from a home in the “White Rock Lake District” — is a Dallas I’ve never seen, but it’s one I’ll dream of.

To read a very informative article (or, I think it’s probably more of an “advertorial” written by a real estate company with land holdings in East Dallas), rifle through the Dallas Morning News archives until you find the article/advertisement titled “East Dallas Section Has Fast Growth” (DMN, May 2, 1926). As I said, it’s quite informative — with detailed info on the micro neighborhoods of East Dallas, many of which I’d never heard of.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

J. L. Long, Woodrow Wilson — 1958

woodrow_long_022758_squire-haskins_UTA_smBuccaneers, Wildcats: represent… (click for B-I-G image)

by Paula Bosse

Another fab aerial photo from Squire Haskins: a 1958 southwesterly shot of J. L. Long Jr. High School (on the left) and Woodrow Wilson High School.

…I am not unfamiliar with these East Dallas institutions. 

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Photo taken above Lakewood by Squire Haskins on Feb. 27, 1958. From the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, UTA Libraries, Special Collections — more info here. To see UTA’s super-gigantic image, click the photo!

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Twin Standpipes of Lakewood Heights: 1923-1955

lakewood_water-towers_reminiscencesAbrams and Goliad, y’all… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The two large water towers pictured above loomed over the East Dallas neighborhood of Lakewood Heights for over 30 years. They sat at the southwest corner of what was then known as Greenville Road (not to be confused with Greenville Avenue) and Aqueduct Avenue — the streets are known today as Abrams Road and Goliad Avenue. The towers replaced a previous (single) water tank, which, by the early 1920s, was proving inadequate for the needs of an exploding Lakewood area.

These water tanks — called “standpipes” — were really big: each was 100 feet tall, 60 feet in diameter, and held two million gallons of water. They were erected in October, 1923 and, rather surprisingly, stood until 1955. Even though I grew up in this part of town, I never knew about these tanks until a couple of years ago when I saw a photo in a Dallas history group. It’s hard to believe those industrial behemoths were smack dab in the middle of what is now a jam-packed residential neighborhood.

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Here are a few photos featuring cameo appearance by the omnipresent tanks. In the first one, from the 1930s, they can be seen at the top right, ghostlike in the distance.

lakewood-shopping-ctr_streetcar-tracks_ca1938_reminiscences

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Then there’s this fantastic aerial shot of what would later become the fully developed Lakewood area (and beyond). Looking east, White Rock Lake is in the distance, and the two towers — brand new when this photo was taken in 1923, and taller than anything else in the photograph — are at the left.

east-dallas_lakewood_fairchild_1923_cook-coll_degolyer_smu

Let’s zoom in a bit:

east-dallas_lakewood_fairchild_1923_cook-coll_degolyer_smu_det

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And here is a really wonderful photo which was posted in the Dallas History Facebook group by Mary Doster from the collection of her husband Jim Doster, showing Abrams, looking north, in 1925. (The location of the twin tanks was actually outside the Dallas city limits in 1919 — see the boundary on a 1919 map here.) I never get tired of seeing streetcars, especially traveling down streets I drive everyday.

water-tanks_abrams_dallas-hist-FB-jim-dosterCollection, Jim Doster

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A few articles about the tanks’ beginning in 1923.

water-towers_dmn_022723Dallas Morning News, Feb. 27, 1923

water-towers_dmn_100723a
DMN, Oct. 7, 1923

water-towers_dmn_100723b
DMN, Oct. 7, 1923

The tanks were dismantled in 1955 (pertinent articles are listed below, in the “Notes” section). Their fate, post-dismantling? One of them was destined to be reassembled in Tarrant County for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford water system, and the other one was “to be kept as stand-by storage for the city” (DMN, June 7, 1955).

standpipes_dmn_060755
RIP in HEB…

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Sources & Notes

First two photos from the book Reminiscences, A Glimpse of Old East Dallas.

Aerial photo — titled “East Dallas — 1923” — is a Fairchild Aerial Surveys photograph, from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more information is here. (I have adjusted the color.)

More on the tanks’ removal in 1955 can be found in these Dallas Morning News articles:

  • “Familiar Old Landmark To Be Removed” (DMN, March 20, 1955)
  • “Offers Vary on Standpipe” (DMN, April 26, 1955)
  • “East Dallas Landmark Coming Down” (DMN, June 7, 1955 — has photo taken from inside the tank looking up as dismantling was underway)

The present-day view seen in the top photo — looking south on Abrams — can be seen on Google Street View here.

A very interesting Sanborn Map from 1922 — before the twin tanks were built, but still showing the “Lakewood Heights Water Works” — can be found here. There’s, like, nobody living there, man.

I’d love to see other photos of these particular “standpipes” — if anyone has any, forward them to me and I’ll include them in this post. Contact info is at the top.

As always, images are magically larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

“Reminiscences: A Glimpse of Old East Dallas”

swiss-ave_ca-1950_reminiscencesSwiss Avenue, about 1950… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

(This post has been edited, as the book is no longer available for purchase — all 100-plus copies have sold! Thanks to everyone who bought copies and helped raise money for the Lakewood Library!)

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I’m not sure I’ve ever used this blog to direct a potentially interested audience to something they might want to buy, but I think this is something that warrants mention.

I encourage interested parties to track down a copy of the wonderful  book Reminiscences: A Glimpse of Old East Dallas, edited by Gerald D. Saxon and published in 1983 by the Dallas Public Library.

reminiscences_saxon_front-cover

It contains over 150 historic photos of East Dallas and environs (most of which I’d never seen before) and more than 20 oral histories of the area from older folks who grew up or lived in Lakewood, Munger Place, Junius Heights, and other Old East Dallas neighborhoods (the oral histories are from the Lakewood Community Library Oral History Collection, which one may listen to at the downtown library or at the Lakewood Branch).

reminiscences-book_open

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The photo of Swiss Avenue at the top (with a closer-than-I-always-think downtown in the distance) is one of the great photos in the book. Another is the one below, the caption of which reads: “The 7100 block of Lakewood Boulevard in 1932 looking east to White Rock Lake. (Courtesy of Dines and Kraft, Builders-Developers.)” It’s weird seeing the lake at the end of the street. To see what it looks like today, click here

lakewood-blvd_1932_reminiscences

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And this photo — taken around 1938 — is one of my favorites. It shows the Lakewood Shopping Center, with the old Lakewood Library just right of center. The Junius streetcar tracks are at the right. The empty space at the left is where the Lakewood Theater will be built.

lakewood-shopping-ctr_streetcar-tracks_ca1938_reminiscences

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Sources & Notes

All black and white photos are from the book; top photo is from the collection of the Dallas Public Library (“Bird’s-eye-view of Swiss Avenue,” DPL Call Number PA81-00043). The color has been adjusted. I love this book, but my only complaint is that the text and photos are printed in sepia-colored ink.

All photos are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Gateway to Junius Heights

junius-streetcar_junius-gates_DPL_sm
Welcome to Junius Heights! (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

If you’ve driven along Abrams Road, between, say, Beacon and the Lakewood Country Club, you’ve probably passed two tall stone pillars which stand across Abrams from one another, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “What are those things?”

These things:

junius-heights-pillars_google-street-viewGoogle Street View here

They were built as gateway markers to the Junius Heights neighborhood in about 1909 — they’re just not in their original location anymore. They were originally on either side of Tremont Street, half a block east of Ridgeway. They’ve been moved, but they’re only a stone’s throw from their original site.

In 1973, when the city was in the midst of widening and connecting Abrams with Columbia, the 30-foot pillars were situated on a roadway which was going to be demolished. The pillars would have been destroyed were it not for the efforts of a small group of preservation-minded neighborhood residents who managed to raise enough money to have the historic East Dallas structures dismantled and moved. It took a while for the money to be fully raised, but the pillars were placed on their new sites in 1975.

The thing that is most interesting about the saving of these columns is that this took place at a time when this part of East Dallas — Swiss Avenue included — was on something of a downslide. Many of the houses were in disrepair and many residents had moved out, seeking newer homes and better (i.e. newer) neighborhoods. Thankfully, in the early 1970s people began to focus on historic preservation, and the area began to make a slow comeback. Thanks to the preservation efforts of these people, their persistence in gaining “historic district” status for Junius Heights and Munger Place, and their successful fights on zoning issues, the areas surrounding these stone pillars are once again highly desirable neighborhoods, full of homeowners who are good caretakers and thoughtful preservationists.

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When researching this post, it was very difficult to determine when the pillars had been built. For some reason 1917 seemed to be a popular guess, and it was repeated in several articles I came across. But it was actually earlier. The earliest photo I’ve found (and I was pretty excited to have stumbled across it!) was one that first appeared in a November, 25, 1909 ad for a new development called “Top o’ Junius Heights.” (All photos and clippings are larger when clicked.)

ad-junius-heights_dmn_112509-det

Here’s the full ad:

junius-heights_dmn_112509Dallas Morning News, Nov. 25, 1909

Note how similar this entrance looks to the entrance to Fair Park from the same time:

fair-park-entrance_1910_flickr_coltera

The same photo was used in another ad a few months later. If you live in Junius Heights, perhaps you can find your house in the diagram:

ad-junius-heights_dmn_050810DMN, May 8, 1910

The pillars were actually built as a gateway — the columns connected at the top, spanning Tremont. Lots in Junius Heights first began to be sold in 1906; in 1909, the second addition — called “Top o’ Junius Heights” — began to be offered for sale. The opening of the second addition appears to be when the gateway might have been built. Not only did this gate serve as an entrance to Junius Heights, it actually separated the two additions (see clippings below). It was also a handy landmark, and for many years it stood at the end of the Junius Heights streetcar line (which ended at Tremont and Ridgeway).

Below, part of an ad for Top o’ Junius Heights that appeared in The Dallas Morning News on Nov. 28, 1909, in which the “big stone gate entrance” is mentioned:

junius-heights-ad_dmn_112809_det

Part of another ad for Top o’ Junius Heights:

junius-heights-gates_dmn_050110_ad-det
DMN, May 1, 1910

And part of an ad for just plain ol’ Junius Heights, mentioning that the gate can be seen as a boundary:

junius-heights-gates_dmn_090410_ad-detDMN, Sept. 4, 1910

Here’s a detail from a 1922 Sanborn map which might make the location of the gate a little easier to visualize (and, again, these streets no longer look like this): the blue line represents the streetcar line (which ran all the way to Oak Cliff — the photo at the top of this post shows the Hampton streetcar), and the red circles are about where the pillars were originally planted. (The full map is here.)

junius-heights-gate_1922-sanborn_sheet-394

It was pretty exciting finding that photograph from 1909, but it was also pretty exciting seeing a photograph posted in the Dallas History Facebook group by Jerry Guyer which shows a dreamy-looking view of the gate as seen from the yard of the home owned by his great-uncle, A. P. Davis, who lived at 5831 Tremont between 1911/12 and 1921/22 (see what the house looked like back then, here).  The house was on the northwest corner lot of Tremont and Ridgeway (it is still standing), only half a block away from the gate. This detail of that photo is fantastic!

junius-gates_ca-1920s_guyer_dallas-history-fb

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Another very early photo of the pillars/columns/gateway can be seen in this photo. (I’m afraid it’s a little odd-looking as I took a photo of it on the wall of The Heights restaurant in Lakewood and lights are reflecting off the picture. Please check this large photo out in person. Not only are there other great historical photos on the walls, but the coffee is great.)

junius-heights-gateway_the-heights-restaurant

Here is the same photo as the one at the top. Note that this “gateway” has actual iron gates and that there are smaller secondary pillars on the opposite side of the sidewalks. Also note that the pillar on the right actually extends into the narrow street.

junius-streetcar_junius-gates_DPL

And here’s another view I just came across (I’ve added so much since I originally wrote this post!), from a DVD called Dallas Railway & Terminal — this from 1951 or 1952, showing the Junius streetcar coming through the “gates” (sorry for the low-res):

junius-gates__early-1950s_streetcar-video

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Sources & Notes

Top photo is from the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library (with special thanks to M C Toyer); DPL’s call number for this photograph is PA87-1/19-59-193.

Photo of the view of the gate from the home of Andrew P. Davis is from the collection of Jerry Guyer, used with permission.

More info on Junius Heights and the saving of the pillars can be found on the Preservation Dallas site, here.

A few Dallas Morning News articles on the fight to save the pillars:

  • “Residents Try Saving Pillars From the Past” by Lyke Thompson (DMN, May 30, 1973, with photo of pillar)
  • “Columns Come Down” (DMN, June 2, 1973, with photo)
  • “Cash Raised for Pillars” (DMN, June 7, 1973)
  • “Cornerstone Placed In East Dallas Area” by Michael Fresques (DMN, July 29, 1973, no photo, but description of pillars lying in pieces, awaiting funds to reconstruct them)
  • “Junius Dedicates Columns” by Doug Domeier (DMN, June 16, 1975, pillars finally relocated, with photo of preservationist Dorothy Savage standing beneath one of the pillars)

East Dallas and Old East Dallas are fiercely proud of their history and fight for preservation issues.

old-east-dallas_dmn_072775
July, 1975

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It’s a bit difficult for me to visualize where these pillars were originally. Here’s a 1952 map showing Tremont with the approximate location of the columns before they were moved.

junius-heights-columns_1952-mapsco
1952 Mapsco

And here’s a present-day map, showing the post-Abrams extension. I’m not sure exactly where those pillars originally stood, but it was near the intersection of Tremont and Slaughter seems to have been between Ridgeway and Glasgow (location edited, thanks to Terri Raith’s helpful comments below) — this location is circled in red on the map below; the locations of the pillars today are in blue.

junius-heights-columns_google

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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