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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 “Blue House” Lives

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

by Paula Bosse

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your new home, Blue House!

blue-house_then-and-now

browder-house_bing

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UPDATED: More on how the actual move went and an interview with the new owner of the house can be found at Candy’s Dirt, here.

Below is footage of the first part of the move — the disassembly — captured by D Magazine:

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Sources & Notes

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

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

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

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

Click pictures to see larger images.

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Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ownby Stadium, With Room To Breathe

smu_aerial_color_postcardMustangland… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Look at all that wide open space!

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Sources & Notes

This undated postcard — captioned on the back “Southern Methodist University Campus And Owen [sic] Stadium From The Air, University Park, Dallas, Texas” — is for sale here.

What many of us think of as Ownby Stadium began life as the much smaller Ownby Oval, named after SMU alumnus Jordan Ownby who had donated $10,000 toward the construction of the new stadium. The oval was dedicated on Oct. 10, 1923 during its inaugural football game in which the SMU Mustangs defeated the Austin College Kangaroos 10-3.

Info and specs can be found in this captioned drawing that appeared in The Dallas Morning News on July 23, 1923 (click to see larger image).

ownby-stadium_dmn_072323DMN, July 23, 1923

The first phase of Ownby Stadium — much enlarged and improved from the old 8,000-seat oval — was built in 1926. The two steel stands from the old field were moved to form the temporary east section of the new stadium, and a new $190,000 “west unit” (designed by Dallas architects DeWitt and Lemmon) was built, adding more than 12,000 seats. Jordan Ownby Stadium was formally opened on Oct. 2, 1926 during half-time ceremonies of the football game between SMU and Trinity University (SMU won, 48-0).

Here’s a scrubby, somewhat desolate photo from 1927, taken by Joseph Neland Hester, from the DeGolyer Library, Central University Library, Southern Methodist University; more info on this photo can be found here.

SMU_ownby-stadium_1927_degolyer-library

The new stadium was even featured in an ad for the University Park Development Co., which used the ever-expanding SMU campus as a selling point to attract potential investors.

ownby-stadium-construction_university-park-real-estate-ad_oct-1926Ad detail, Oct. 1926

All images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

“Reminiscences” — Sold Out!

reminiscences_saxon_front-cover

by Paula Bosse

I’ve  been asked by the manager of the Lakewood Branch of the Dallas Public Library to pass along word that all copies of the Reminiscences book I wrote about a few days ago have sold. SOLD OUT! That was a LOT of books y’all bought! The library and the Lakewood Library Friends are very, very happy for the enthusiasm shown by those who flocked to the library and bought the book. If a reprint is ever a possibility, I will certainly pass the news along, as I know many people were unable to get a copy. On behalf of the Lakewood Library, thank you!

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Exploitation Flicks on Elm Street

leo-theater

by Paula Bosse

Not all of the theaters on “Film Row” were first-run Majestic-caliber. Check out the double-bill at the Leo, in a post from 2014, here.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Year-End List! Most Popular Posts of 2015

interchange_hwys-67-and-80_THC_flickr_lgY’all loved it: I-30 & Buckner, about 1948 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The final Flashback Dallas post of the year — and the last list! Today: the most popular posts of 2015, as determined by the number of hits to the website. I’m so happy that the blog continues to attract new readers, because I’m still excited to write each new post, even after two years of what some might consider excessive posting! Thanks to everyone who reads, “likes,” shares, and comments on the posts, here, on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter! Thanks for a great (and surprisingly productive!) 2015, and let’s all have an even better 2016!

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Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2015

1. thumb_interchange_hwys-67-and-80_THC_flickr_sm “THE 67-80 SPLIT NEAR MESQUITE — ca. 1948.” This one has me stumped. I mean, it’s a cool photo (it’s at the top of this post — click it to see a super-gigantic image), but its crazy popularity has been completely unexpected. It became the top post of the year after only a couple of days — it was posted less than three weeks ago, and it’s still going strong. Perhaps I need to focus more on the Buckner/R. L. Thornton area more! By FAR, the most popular post and photo of the year!

2. thumb_construction_jan-1925 “THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR ROSS AVENUE’S DOWNTOWN MANSIONS — 1925. A look at the beautiful and imposing homes that once stood in the block of Ross Avenue, now replaced by the Dallas Museum of Art and First United Methodist Church. This is another post which was surprisingly popular, posted in November and still racking up hits daily.

3. thumb_water-detention-vault “COLE PARK WATER DETENTION VAULT.” I found this COOL video when we were in the midst of heavy flooding in the spring, and now I know where all that storm water goes.

4. thumb_male-car-hops_AP_1940 “CARHOPS AS SEX SYMBOLS — 1940.” I had two posts this year which had a life of their own throughout Internetland: this one, about carhops in skimpy outfits, and the one above about, yes, city infrastructure — the alpha and omega of Dallas history.

5. thumb_republic2_parrish_1_1968 “AN INCREDIBLE VIEW FROM REPUBLIC TOWER 2 — 1968.” A collection of several photos taken by a teenager in 1968, all of which are fantastic!

6. thumb_pecan-tree_small “CELEBRATE THE PECAN TREE’S 150th CHRISTMAS!” Our beloved Pecan Tree turned an unbelievable 150 years old this year! Posted only last week, this has been shared more than any other post of mine on Facebook.

7. thumb_ad-funeral-home_mckinney-routh_directory-1929-det “NOT DEAD YET AT McKINNEY & ROUTH.” Yes, you’ve probably dined in this old funeral home at some point over the years….

8. thumb_st-pauls_nursing-stn_1910_utsw_sm “ST. PAUL’S SANITARIUM — 1910.” I love all of the photos of the former Old East Dallas landmark in this post, but there’s one that stands out for me: the photo of the “mattress sterilization room.” Somehow I forgot to include that in my personal favorite photos of the year, so I’ve gone back and added it to that list.

9. thumb_cash-register_ncr_tx-centennial_ragsdale “THE GIANT CASH REGISTER AT THE TEXAS CENTENNIAL — 1936.” Who doesn’t love a giant cash register?

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10. thumb_white-rock-station_glen-brewer_062468 “WHITE ROCK STATION.” Didn’t know there was a popular suburban passenger train depot near Jupiter & Kingsley? There was!

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Top 3 Posts from 2014 — posts from last year, all of which received more hits in 2015 than they did in 2014!

1.  “THE WORLD’S LARGEST SANTA & THE CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY — 1953.” This was actually the second most popular post of 2015, and will probably leap to the top of the stats every Christmas.

2.  “THE TRINITY RIVER AT THE CITY’S DOORSTEP.” This great photo of the river before it was straightened is justifiably popular!

3.  “THE LIGHTHOUSE CHURCH THAT WARNED OF SIN’S PENALTY WITH A BEAM OF BLUE MERCURY VAPOR SHOT INTO THE SKIES ABOVE OAK CLIFF — 1941.” I’m not exactly sure why, but this old post went crazy this year. This building is still my favorite undiscovered gem in the city.

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Still the Most Popular Flashback Dallas Post EVER…

Hard to see how this one will ever be toppled from its throne, originally posted in 2014: “HENRY STARK’S ‘BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF DALLAS’ — 1895/96.”

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Thanks again for a fun 2015!

For all the “Year-End  Best of 2015” lists, click here.

For the “Year-End Best of 2014” lists, click here.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Year-End List! My Favorite Posts of 2015

oak-downs_hurst_bwLove Field-area dog racing? (photo: Robert Hurst)

by Paula Bosse

I’m not sure how many Flashback Dallas posts I wrote this year, but it was a lot — somewhere between 250 and 300. I realize I churn out a lot of these, and I appreciate everyone who checks in trying to keep up with what, admittedly, feels like a flood of Dallas-related information. In the past few days I’ve made inevitable year-end lists, and sometimes even I’m surprised by how much I’ve written in a relatively short time. I’m even more surprised to find that I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed writing all of them, which is why it’s hard to narrow them down to my top 15 or so. But I’ll give a try. Here are the posts I most enjoyed researching and writing over the past year. (Click titles to read the full posts.)

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1. “OAK DOWNS: DALLAS’ BRIEF FLIRTATION WITH GREYHOUND RACING.” I never would have guessed that Dallas had a dog racing track, but then a reader sent me an amazing photo (seen above), and I dove in. I researched this thing to death, and I’m going to blame the fact that I wrote it almost a year ago for no longer remembering exactly how parimutuel betting works. This may be the only thing I’ll ever write in which I’m able to use a socially-conscious Mickey Mouse comic strip, quote extensively from a Texas governor’s speech on gambling legislation, and insert the phrase “dog-riding monkeys.” For these reasons and more, this is my favorite post of the year. Thank you, Mr. Hurst, for sharing your wonderful photos with me!

2. “WHEN A VIRGIN SACRIFICE AT FAIR PARK ALMOST CAUSED AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT — 1937.” I’d always wanted to know more about The Greater Texas & Pan-American Exposition, which was held at Fair Park the year after the very successful Texas Centennial, so when I saw a postcard touting an “Aztec Sacrifice” as one of its attractions, I knew the time had come to finally look into the Pan-American Exposition. And it was pretty fun, especially reading about the ridiculous brouhaha that erupted over the re-enactment of, yes, a human sacrifice.

3. “MARDI GRAS: ‘OUR FIRST ATTEMPT AT A CARNIVAL FETE’ — 1876.” So many fun and weird things happened during Dallas’ first Mardi Gras celebration….

4. “UNIVERSITY PARK’S MONARCH BUTTERFLY WRANGLER.” This, I think, is the post that has stuck with me the most. Every time I see a butterfly now, I think of Carl Anderson and his love of the Monarchs.

5. “TRACKING DOWN A PHOTO LOCATION & DISCOVERING A CITY PIONEER: D. M. CLOWER, THE MAN WHO BROUGHT THE TELEPHONE TO DALLAS.” I hesitated writing this because I thought a post about the step-by-step procedure I took to solve the mystery of where a photo had been taken would be too dry and dull, but I was happily surprised to see how many times this was shared all over Facebook and how excited people were to realize that digging for historical facts could be a fun detective game and that slogging through seemingly tedious searches often pays off with the discovery of something really, really interesting you never guessed you’d find. “Research porn.”

6. “THE NELLIE MAURINE: WHEN A PLEASURE BOAT BECAME A RESCUE CRAFT DURING THE GREAT TRINITY RIVER FLOOD OF 1908.” I’d been meaning to write about the 1908 flood, but it just seemed too big to tackle, until I stumbled across two “real photo” postcards of a boat called Nellie Maurine.

7. “ORSON WELLES IN DALLAS — 1934-1940.” I loved writing this.

8. “SNAG BOAT DALLAS — 1893.” Yeah, we should probably let the Trinity River just be a river instead of trying to “tame” it.

9. “F. J. HENGY: JUNK MERCHANT, LITIGANT.” There’s money in junk. Enough to keep an attorney on permanent retainer.

10. “THE DALLAS AQUARIUM: THE BUILDING EMBLAZONED WITH SEAHORSES — 1936.” I loved going to the Fair Park aquarium when I was a child, and reading and writing about this left me feeling all warm and nostalgic.

11. “TEATRO PANAMERICANO / CINE FESTIVAL — 1943-1981.” J. J. Rodriguez is kind of an unsung icon in the history of Dallas’ Mexican-American community. AND he owned one of the coolest buildings ever to house a movie theater in Dallas!

12. “THE DALLAS NEWS SPECIAL: FAST TRAIN TO DENISON — 1887.” G. B. Dealey had the brilliant idea to use trains to implement same-day newspaper delivery to areas well beyond Dallas. The ride-along articles that appeared in The Dallas Morning News about this brilliant idea (probably written by Dealey himself) are fantastic — self-congratulatory, hyperbolic, and, surprisingly, sweetly poetic all at the same time.

13. “MOVIE HOUSES SERVING BLACK DALLAS — 1919-1922.” I think Deep Ellum will always be the most interesting part of town for me, and I love imagining what it must have been like when it was a thriving area filled with people, shops, cafes, and movie houses.

14. “2222 ROSS AVENUE: FROM PACKARD DEALERSHIP TO ‘WAR SCHOOL’ TO LANDMARK SKYSCRAPER.” I still wonder what happened to that art deco facade that was carefully removed and packed away to use on another project that never saw the light of day.

15. “THE ELEGANT MUNICIPAL BUILDING — 1914.” A look at what may be Dallas’ most classically beautiful building.

Runner-Up #1: “CARHOPS AS SEX SYMBOLS — 1940.” My viral post of 2015. The photo of two young men in cowboy boots and short-shorts was shared everywhere — it even led to my being interviewed on KERA radio. Popular and fun to write!

Runner-Up #2: “HOT LEAD: LINOTYPE MACHINES AT THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS — 1914.” This led to a brief obsession with all-things-Linotype for me. Seriously. Those machines are incredible. Etaoin shrdlu rules, OK!

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For all the “Year-End  Best of 2015” lists, click here.

For the “Year-End Best of 2014” lists, click here.

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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