Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Old East Dallas

Worth Street, A Century Ago

worth-street_461_rppc_1908_ebay“A hearty welcome awaits…” (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above is a photograph of the new home of traveling salesman Everett F. Bray (1873-1915) and his wife Erminia Connor Bray (1874-1962); they had moved to Dallas in 1907 with their young children Everita and Melville. The picture-postcard is dated Aug. 28, 1908 and was sent to a friend with Erminia’s message:

Dearie, I hope it won’t be very long before I can have the pleasure of entertaining you in my Dallas home. […] A hearty welcome awaits you at 461 Worth St. Dallas any old time.

worth-street_461_rppc_1908_ebay_msg

The 1905 Sanborn map of this Old East Dallas neighborhood (which, more specifically, is in OED’s Peak’s Suburban Addition) can be found here (461 is an empty lot, near the upper right corner). After the city-wide address-change of 1911, the 400 block of Worth became the 4400 block. As is the case with many of the houses in this neighborhood, Erminia’s house still stands. …But with a whole lot more vegetation.

worth-street_google-street-view_20162016 Google Street View

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Worth Street — which stretches through Junius Heights, Munger Place, and Peak’s Suburban Addition — may be a bit funkier these days, but there are still many beautiful homes lining the street. Below are a couple of postcards from a century ago, well before the “funky” era.

worth-street_postcard_weichsel_ebay

worth-street_corner_postcard_weichsel_ebay

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After I posted the top image on Instagram, a person (whose handle is @uneik_image_inc) made this interesting comment:

We have painted quite a few houses on Worth Street! Interesting fact: lots of these homes are built on Bois D’Arc tree stumps for foundation piers and a solid 85% are still standing and being lived in!

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Sources & Notes

All postcards are from eBay.

The Brays had moved from their Worth Street home by 1915 when 41-year-old Everett Bray was killed in an automobile accident. Erminia — known as “Minnie” — lived almost 50 years longer than her husband, dying in Duncanville in 1962 at the age of 88.

worth-street_461_rppc_1908_ebay_sm

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Star Lounge, 4311 Bryan

star-lounge_next-to-brannon-bldg_city-of-dallas-preservation-collectionThe 4300-block of Bryan Street… (City of Dallas photo)

by Paula Bosse

You know those photos that just really grab you? This is one of those for me. It shows the Star Lounge & Bar (that sign!), located at 4311 Bryan, just east of Peak in Old East Dallas. The Star Lounge was opened in 1962 by Mrs. Wanda Nolan; Clark K. Curtis closed it in 1978 or 1979: that’s a lot of beer and cocktails over the lips and through the gums.

The building was built in 1922 by J. S. Johnson (the building permit had the estimated cost of construction at $3,500). Before the arrival of the Star Lounge, previous occupants of the space had included a barber shop, a cleaners, and a floor-covering and linoleum-installation company. (In 1931, when ABC Cleaners was there, the back wall of the building was blown out when two sticks of dynamite were planted one night by racketeers who were attempting to control the dry cleaning industry in Dallas by threatening violence if small-business owners refused to raise prices as a bloc and funnel the extra cash — basically “protection money” — back to them. The bad guys were thwarted.)

Early classified ads for the Star Lounge were want-ads for waitresses; in 1965, want-ads for “waitresses” were replaced by ads for “amateur go-go girls and exotic dancers.” I’m not sure how long that lasted, but it’s interesting to note that both sides of the 4300 block of Bryan were, at one time, jammed with bars which had similarly-themed retro-cool names (but which probably were more seedy than cool): the Orbit Lounge, the Rocket Lounge, the Space Lounge, and the Apollo Lounge. I’ve never seen that before. By 1970 those space-age gin mills were joined by an adult theater/bookstore. So… lively place! I’m hoping there was a lot — or even some — neon strobage going on.

This photo was probably taken around 1974, the year that Strom Radio & Appliances seems to have left the neighborhood. Neighboring businesses seen in this photo are Golden Furniture & Appliances (which has signs for Zenith and RCA-Victor out front), Peak & Bryan Beauty Shop, and the D & B Cafe. The three-story building on the corner of Bryan and Peak is the Brannon Building. All those buildings still stand — see the (sadly) more sedate block these days on Google Street View, here.

star-lounge_google-street-view_june-2018Google Street View, June, 2018

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Sources & Notes

This photo is from a really great, somewhat random collection of 35mm slides from the City of Dallas Historic Preservation Program archives — most are from the 1970s and ’80s. Read about the recently rediscovered photos here, and browse through the entire fantastic collection on Flickr, here.

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Copyright © 2019 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

A Gaston Avenue Plumbing Company, Its Windmill, and a Water-Whooshing Neon Sign

gaston-ave_strip-shopping_colteraConsumers Plumbing Co., Gaston and Hall

by Paula Bosse

A few years ago I came across this photo, showing the 3200 block of Gaston Avenue, just west of Hall. At the time I was more concerned with whether the deco-esque building still stood (it does not) that, somehow, I don’t think I even noticed the windmill (!). I know I didn’t notice that absolutely fantastic sign at the right, which I only hope was an animated neon sign with water whooshing from a faucet and then bubbling up at the bottom.

The business seen here is a plumbing supply business referred to over the years as both Consumers Supply & Plumbing Co. and as Consumers Plumbing Supply Co. It began in Dallas in 1924 when Sam Glickman opened a location on Main Street; two years later, the company incorporated, with two locations — one in Dallas and one in Fort Worth: the incorporators were Glickman and his wife, Minnie, and Morris Strauss and his wife, Josephine.

consumers-plumbing_main-st_july-1924
July, 1924 (click for larger image)

In these early years, an incident in July, 1927 involving partner Morris Strauss (who ran the Fort Worth store) led to a highly publicized trial which garnered front-page coverage. Morris was abducted from his house late one night by several men, some of whom may have been wearing masks (which, on its own, was illegal, per the anti-mask law), had a hood placed over his head, and was driven to a deserted country road where he was beaten and flogged with a whip or rope and a tree limb. He was left bloodied, in his robe and pajamas, with a warning that the same fate awaited his partner, Glickman, in Dallas.

Newspaper reports suggested that the masked “floggers” were affiliated with a plumbers’ organization whose members were reportedly unhappy with what they thought was shoddy work and low-ball bidding on city projects by Consumers Plumbing. There was huge interest in the ensuing trial of one of the men implicated in the beating, a former FW police detective with ties to the Ku Klux Klan, but the trial ended anti-climactically in a hung jury. In 1990, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article (“KKK Links Lurk In Tarrant Past” by Hollace Wiener, FWST, Feb. 25, 1990) noted that this incident was precipitated not so much by the fact that Strauss was outselling the competition, but, more importantly, it was because he was Jewish (both Strauss and Glickman were Russian-Jewish immigrants). Not only did the defendant have Klan connections, so did the judge (and probably several members of the jury). Strauss had been granted permission by the city manager to carry a firearm for his protection, and as far as I can tell, there were no further attacks. But the Fort Worth branch of Consumers Plumbing did not make it into the 1930s, and Mr. Strauss appears to have left town.

consumers-plumbing_flogging_detroit-free-press_100127
Detroit Free Press, Oct. 1, 1927

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Samuel G. Glickman (1898-1967) was born in Russia and, as a boy, immigrated with his family to the United States, settling in New Orleans. He initially trained as a telegraph operator but eventually became a plumber and moved to Dallas to set up his own retail/wholesale plumbing company, offering plumbing services and selling supplies and fixtures.

In 1934 or 1935, he moved into a large building in Old East Dallas at 3207-3211 Gaston, next to the 1890s-era Engine Co. No. 3 firehouse (which stood immediately east of Consumers Plumbing, at the corner of Hall, until about 1963). The building had a second floor, where Glickman lived for a time. In fact, he was sleeping there when a huge early-morning 4-alarm fire broke out in the half-block-long building in January, 1949. Despite being right next door to a fire station, the building was gutted. Glickman rebuilt. And the new building (seen at the top) and THAT SIGN were pretty cool. (All images are larger when clicked.)

consumers-plumbing_fire_011349_ad
Jan., 1949

consumers-plumbing_gaston_100249Oct., 1949

consumers-plumbing_gaston_oct-1949Oct., 1949

And because everything — no matter how obscure — seems to end up on the internet — here are a couple of random photos from a 1959 Volkswagen trade publication, showing Consumers workers loading plumbing-related things onto the back of a VW pick-up — some copywriter was no doubt ecstatic to have the opportunity to use “Everything goes in, including the kitchen sink!”

consumers_VW-truck_1959

consumers_vw_1959_thesambadotcom_1via TheSamba.com

At some point the Eveready Supply Co. (another of Glickman’s businesses) joined Consumers in the same block. Glickman died in 1967, and the businesses either moved or closed in the 1970s. The building is, unfortunately, long gone, and that block of Gaston is just one of … EVERY SINGLE BLOCK IN THAT AREA which seems to have been swallowed up by the gargantuan, ravenous, real-estate-gobbling machine known as Baylor Hospital (or whatever it’s called these days).

God, I wish I’d seen that neon faucet sign.

Oh, and the windmill? Aside from being an attention-grabber to passersby, Consumers also sold farm and ranch supplies.

consumers-plumbing_gaston_oct-1947
Oct., 1947

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Sources & Notes

Top color photo is from a postcard found several years ago on a Flickr page of superstar user “Coltera,” here.

I love neon signs, and Dallas used to have them everywhere. I haven’t seen another sign with quite this same water-whooshing-out-of-a-faucet design, but the one seen in this video is similar (but not as good!). Dripping faucets are popular — like this one. A great page featuring eccentric vintage neon signs of plumbing establishments is here.

And only because one of those Volkswagen trucks is featured prominently in a previous Flashback Dallas post, check out the floating VW pick-up bobbing along a flooded 4600-block of Gaston (mere blocks from Consumers Plumbing), here. And — why not? — a Clarence Talley Volkswagen ad from 1961 can be found here.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Flooding Along Gaston

flood_flooding_gaston-avenue_ebayI do believe some of these vehicles have drifted out of their lanes…

by Paula Bosse

It’s been a rainy, flood-y day — why not post a picture of part of Big D underwater? The photo above appeared on eBay several months ago, minimally described as capturing a scene of a flooded Gaston Avenue in Old East Dallas (Peak’s Suburban Addition). I took a virtual drive down Gaston via Google Street View to see if I could find the exact location of the photo, and it looks like it was taken in the 4600 block of Gaston at Annex (Gaston, between Carroll and Fitzhugh). The two houses on the left in the photo above are still standing, the house on the right has been replaced by an apartment building. Below is a Google view from 2014. (The most recent Google Street View capture is here.)

gaston-annex_google-feb-2014Google Street View, Feb., 2014

Stay dry!

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Sources & Notes

Top photo from eBay.

Color image from Google Street View.

A 1961 Clarence Talley ad featuring the same (or very similar) dropside VW pickup is here. Speaking of Volkswagens and flooding, might as well watch a 1967 TV commercial showing that, yes, a VW Beetle does float, here.

Click pictures to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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

higginbotham-r-w_house_western-architect_july-1914

by Paula Bosse

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

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

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

aldredge-g-n_house_western-architect_july-1914

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

meyers-apartment-house_western-architect_july-1914

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

chrestman-house_western-architect_july-1914

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

rosenfield-max-house_western-architect_july-1914

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

salzenstein-house_western-architect_july-1914

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

phillips-apartment-bldg_western-architect_july-1914

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

stemmons-house_western-architect_july-1914

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Coming next: skyscrapers and civic pride.

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Sources & Info

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

In this 7-part series:

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Dallas Ice Factory

dallas-ice-factory_dallas-observer_ebayIce… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Lordy, it was hot today. At one point I looked at my phone and it told me it was 112° (but thanks to the chill factor, it felt like a refreshing 110°). It’s 10:00 p.m. and it’s 100°. That’s too many degrees.

Above is a photo of a horse-drawn Dallas Ice Factory wagon and its driver. There was probably ice in there.

Here’s an ad from 1888 showing the factory:

dallas-ice-factory_1888-directory1888 Dallas directory

Here’s an ad from 1894 not showing the factory:

dallas-ice-factory_1894-directory1894 Dallas directory

Here’s a link to an 1899 Sanborn map showing you where the Dallas Ice Factory was located (in Old East Dallas, at Swiss and Hall): link.

That’s about all I can muster. It’s too dang hot.

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Sources & Notes

Photo from a 2011 eBay listing, reproduced in The Dallas Observer by Robert Wilonsky; now owned by Peter Kurilecz.

Ads from Dallas directories.

Heat from the sun.

And here’s an ice-factory-related post I actually did some work on, when I wasn’t feeling like a sweaty, limp dishrag (…a long, long time ago…): “Oak Lawn Ice & Fuel Co.”

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The L. P. Sigler Jewelry Store, Peak & Elm

peak-and-elm_cook-collection_degolyer_SMUNorth Peak & Elm, southeast corner… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Dr. Lough Phillip Sigler (1884-1951) was an optometrist who moved to Dallas from Denton County in 1908; the following year he opened a jewelry and watch store inside an Old East Dallas pharmacy at 4301 Elm Street, at the northeast corner of Elm and North Peak, eventually expanding into the adjoining storefront. In 1930 he moved across the street into a brand new building at the southeast corner of Peak and Elm: 132 N. Peak, seen in the photo above.

This type of neighborhood retail strip of shops and cafes was a common site throughout the city, and there are several still standing, most of which I’ve seen in Old East Dallas and Oak Cliff. I love these strips, and, thankfully, the one seen in the photo still stands.

peak-and-elm_googleGoogle Street View, 2016

The jewelry company founded by Dr. Sigler had an amazingly long life: the store opened at Peak and Elm in about 1910 (at the northeast corner) and remained in business (at the southeast corner) until well into the 1970s. The business which currently stands at 132 N. Peak is a very charming Mexican restaurant called Peak & Elm Cocina y Bar (check it out!).

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Sources & Notes

Top image — “Peak & Elm Sts.” — is from a real photo postcard in the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more information on this photo can be found here.

If I had to guess the date of the image, I’d guess around 1930 when Sigler moved into the new location. The strip appears to have been built in 1929, with its first tenants showing up in the 1930 city directory. See it today on Google Street View, here.

Just as an interesting historical note, directly across Peak from Sigler’s jewelry store were car barns and machine shops for some of the city’s electric railway streetcars — they can be seen in a 1922 Sanborn map here. Those blocks are currently occupied by Dallas Area Rapid Transit facilities.

The 1922 map showing blocks occupied by Mr. Sigler’s store(s) is here (his first location at 4301-03 Elm is seen, but the building which housed his later store at 132 N. Peak is not seen as it would not be built for another seven or eight years). 

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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.

 

The Buell Planing Mill — 1901

buell-planing-mill_dallas-fire-dept-annual_1901_portalPews a specialty… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The Buell Planing Mill — originally the Buell & Connelly Planing Mill — was established in 1886 by F. T. Buell, a Canadian who came to Dallas as a teenager in 1877. The factory (seen above in an ad from 1901) was built in 1890 just west of the H&TC Railway tracks, at the southwest corner of Hawkins and Montezuma (a street which no longer exists but which ran between Bryan and Live Oak). The mill can also be seen in this ad from 1896:

buell_dallas-directory_18961896 Dallas city directory

The wood frame building burned down in a massive fire in November, 1910, and a larger (concrete) factory was built on the same site (an approximate view of the mill’s location as seen today — just to the east of and slightly behind Crozier Tech — can be seen here). The company later became the Buell Lumber & Manufacturing Company in 1918, moved a few times (it left its Hawkins and Montezuma location for Hawkins and Swiss in the late 1940s), eventually became Buell & Co., and was still in business at least into the 1980s.

buell_buell-planing-lumber
Franklin Thomas Buell (1859-1938)

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Sources & Notes

Ad from the Dallas Fire Department Annual, 1901, from the collection of the Dallas Firefighters Museum; it can be viewed on UNT’s Portal to Texas History site here.

To get an idea of what the surrounding neighborhood looked around the time that photo was taken, see the 1899 Sanborn map here; the 1921 Sanborn map shows the larger post-fire operation, here. Note the neighboring “Central High School”/Bryan Street High School (known more familiarly as Crozier Tech High School); over the years, thousands of high school students walked past (or might even have lived across from) this mill and lumber yard.

Read about the massive fire of Nov. 30, 1910 that destroyed many of the businesses and houses that surrounded the Buell mill in the Dallas Morning News account “East Dallas Fire Damage $75,000; Near Conflagration at Live Oak and Central Destroys Parts of Four Blocks” (DMN, Dec. 1, 1910) here. The Buell mill was deemed a “total loss” with damages amounting to more than $20,000 (equivalent to over half a million dollars in today’s money). Ads from several of the businesses affected were placed on the page this story appeared on. Below, the Buell ad.

buell-planing-mill_fire_dmn_120110

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Even Lower Than Lowest Greenville

greenville-ave_lindell_bryan-pkwy_sears-parking-lot_squire-haskins_UTAWhere Greenville begins to peter out… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The photo above shows the lowest part of Greenville Avenue, between Lindell and Bryan Parkway, almost down to where Greenville turns into Munger. It was taken from the parking lot of the Sears store at Ross and Henderson (a shopping center now anchored by a Fiesta grocery store), a place where I spent many hours as a child. I have vivid memories of that store, especially the intense smell of popcorn that hit you like a buttery thunderclap as you entered from the parking lot.

I love that fact that a couple of the buildings seen in this photo (including the Munger Place Church, seen partially at the far right) are still standing.

That cool Fina station seen in the top photo — at the corner of Greenville and Bryan Parkway — has been “modified” somewhat under the thatched hut roof of the Palapas Seafood Bar, but it’s definitely still recognizable. And Fina’s next-door neighbor, the Minute Service Garage, is still alive, too, looking a little less garage-y these days, but still looking pretty good.

greenville_google-street-view_feb-2017Google Street View, Feb. 2017

Then and now:

greenville-ave_from-sears_then-now

Keep on keeping on, Greenville Avenue!

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Top photo by Squire Haskins from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. collection, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Special Collections; more info on the photo is here — click the thumbnail on that page to see a very large image.

More Squire Haskins photographs taken around the perimeter of this Sears store (which opened in September, 1947) are here, here, here, and here.

Click pictures to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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