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Thread: What is the oldest building in Dallas?

  1. #1
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    What is the oldest building in Dallas?

    Anyone know what the oldest building in Dallas is, as what the current preservation status is? And don't say it's the John Neely Bryan cabin, because that's just a replica.

  2. #2
    Supertall Skyscraper Member TexasStar's Avatar
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    Cumberland Hill School Building (1889)?
    It sits directly across the street from the Hunt Tower and it seems well preserved.


  3. #3
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    1845 farmhouse at Dallas Heritage Village? Originally from near DFW Airport, though



    or 1847 log house from Oak Cliff (also at Dallas Heritage Village)



    http://www.oldcitypark.org/

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    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    You'd have to be really dedicated to history to volunteer at Old City Park to dress up in period dress and pretend like it's 1850. They can't even get it right- why is that man working in the garden? That's women's work!

  5. #5
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    I believe the Hart Furniture Building, at Elm and Harwoowd was built in 1887.

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    High-Rise Member Mephis Gooseberry's Avatar
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    From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two - the "race" of the decent man and the "race" of the indecent man. Viktor E. Frankl

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    Super Moderator cowboyeagle05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    You'd have to be really dedicated to history to volunteer at Old City Park to dress up in period dress and pretend like it's 1850. They can't even get it right- why is that man working in the garden? That's women's work!
    Well the fact that Women is made of straw makes it a little harder for her to enjoy a life of working for the man in her life on the farm.

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    Low-Rise Member kozzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyeagle05
    Well the fact that Women is made of straw makes it a little harder for her to enjoy a life of working for the man in her life on the farm.

    HAHAHA! That's hilarious. I actually did not notice that until you mentioned it...but it's still funny as hell!

  9. #9
    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    Two of the oldest buildings downtown are virtually ignored and have no historic protection. Both of them are stores from the 1800s. One of the buildings is at Elm and Pearl and now houses a nightclub. It has a cast iron front - partly covered now - and for years housed Honest Joe's Pawnshop. It's in the same block with that police suppy place. The other old buildiing is in much better shape and is on Elm next to the West End Hotel. Its until recently held a hat makers supply place and is pretty much as built. Both of these are from the 1880 and 1890s and are likely not to survive. There was some discussion of moving the hatmakers supply building to old city park but its like a three story building so that would be costly. It's also interesting that Elm would up with more of these old buildings. In the old days Commerce and Main were considered the most fashionable downtown addresses while Elm was sort of across the tracks. All the best retailers and offices were on Main, then Commerce and finally Elm got the overflow. That's perhaps why some of the oldest small buildings survived redevelopment in the 1930, 40s and 50s.

  10. #10
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clipper
    Two of the oldest buildings downtown are virtually ignored and have no historic protection. Both of them are stores from the 1800s. One of the buildings is at Elm and Pearl and now houses a nightclub. It has a cast iron front - partly covered now - and for years housed Honest Joe's Pawnshop. It's in the same block with that police suppy place. The other old buildiing is in much better shape and is on Elm next to the West End Hotel. Its until recently held a hat makers supply place and is pretty much as built. Both of these are from the 1880 and 1890s and are likely not to survive. There was some discussion of moving the hatmakers supply building to old city park but its like a three story building so that would be costly. It's also interesting that Elm would up with more of these old buildings. In the old days Commerce and Main were considered the most fashionable downtown addresses while Elm was sort of across the tracks. All the best retailers and offices were on Main, then Commerce and finally Elm got the overflow. That's perhaps why some of the oldest small buildings survived redevelopment in the 1930, 40s and 50s.

    Milliner’s Supply Company Building
    911 Elm

    This c. 1880 historic building is one of the oldest surviving in the central business district. Milliner’s Supply, a wholesale/retail business for hats, moved into the building in 1925. Responsible long-term owners maintained the integrity of the building allowing customers to “step back in time” and experience early Dallas. Milliner’s is not protected from demolition with an historical designation, but it is eligible for local landmark status as well as listing in the National Register of Historic Places. This property is threatened by potential redevelopment at this site and its adjoining surface parking lot.



    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...80856945538842
    Last edited by dfwcre8tive; 17 December 2007 at 04:37 PM.

  11. #11
    All Purpose Moderator warlock55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleygirl
    You'd have to be really dedicated to history to volunteer at Old City Park to dress up in period dress and pretend like it's 1850. They can't even get it right- why is that man working in the garden? That's women's work!
    Hehe, I used to do that.
    Consumers are not [the same as] citizens, and when a system pretends that they are, peculiar and even perverse things happen to decision making and democracy... - Benjamin Barber

  12. #12
    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    Honest Joe's before it's latest redo. Tax man says built in 1930 but that's totally bogus.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clipper
    Honest Joe's before it's latest redo. Tax man says built in 1930 but that's totally bogus.
    I've always liked that building. It's going to be demolished when they expand Central, correct?

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...70579820440341
    Last edited by dfwcre8tive; 17 December 2007 at 04:31 PM.

  14. #14
    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    Yep, the freeway is supposed to go right through there.

  15. #15
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clipper
    Yep, the freeway is supposed to go right through there.
    How hard is it to move a building like that? If they demolished the little shop next door could they slide this building out of the way of road expansion? Or is there no chance for the building's survival?

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    Mega-Tall Skyscraper Member BigD5349's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clipper
    Yep, the freeway is supposed to go right through there.
    Ugh. That corner was the major crossroads for the Deep Ellum Blues & Jazz scene. Right across the street was the Tip Top club where Buster Smith got his start. Blind Lemon played on that corner. What a shame to wipe away the last building that was really there during those go-go years.

  17. #17
    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    Indeed that whole little bock with several surviving one and two-story buildings is one of the last intact chunks of old Deep Ellum. Quite a few of the buildings were knocked down back when they put in the elevated I-45.

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    Honest Joe's is now . . TePheJez (sp?) or something like that. That corner is coming down? Damn. I love those buildings right there.

    When is this supposed to happen?
    "You look at Chicago, New York, San Francisco, you'll find lots of small businesses. But here in Dallas, they hold up big businesses and kick out small businesses, and that's not good."

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    Lakewooder Lakewooder's Avatar
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  20. #20
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel Hutz
    Honest Joe's is now . . TePheJez (sp?) or something like that. That corner is coming down? Damn. I love those buildings right there.

    When is this supposed to happen?
    There was a pdf of the new street layouts here but now it has disppeared (http://forum.dallasmetropolis.com/sh...postcount=109). They plan on converting Central into an expanded 2-way boulevard like it is a few blocks away near the Farmers Market. They also plan on turning Pearl into a 2-way street.

  21. #21
    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    When I went to school there is was already old.

  22. #22
    The smartest gal in town! trolleygirl's Avatar
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    So aren't there a bunch of buildings on the "endangered" list fr Preservations Dallas? I'm not sure what the criterie is for listing on Preservation Dallas' top list of endangered sites.

    Also, we are slow at preservation in Dallas. That's why we have so many building that are "in danger" when other, older cities that know better, have managed to preserve their historic buildings.

  23. #23
    Urban/Street photographer SDORN's Avatar
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    Yes trolleygirl there are.
    In fact several of the photos are mine I submitted to them on thier website, on that list the entire block of 1900 main fell to the wrecking ball this summer.

    Dallas is losing quite few old structiures lately, yes we are slow to preserve our past.
    That it why I do what I do with my camera

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    Mega-Tall Skyscraper Member BigD5349's Avatar
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    People just flat out don't understand that the music that was produced there shot all around the world -- it represents one of our most influential cultural contributions. And now we have no qualms about finishing the job they started back in the 1960s -- wiping out old Deep Ellum. No one pays attention to that little block today only because everyone thinks Deep Ellum starts on the opposite side of Central. This city kills me sometimes.

    Preservation Dallas has been asleep at the wheel again.

  25. #25
    Stuck in the past clipper's Avatar
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    Preservation Dallas exists in name only. The only thing they are preserving are their salaries.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFWCRE8TIVE
    I've always liked that building. It's going to be demolished when they expand Central, correct?

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...70579820440341
    how why would they demolish it for Central? it's a good block away?

  27. #27
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xen0blue
    how why would they demolish it for Central? it's a good block away?
    This building is on the corner of N Central Expressway and Elm. Look at the link provided.

  28. #28
    Skyscraper Member sterling's Avatar
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    Just Bulldoze It Dallas!

    As for Dallas being "slow to preserve it's past". Slow is not the word. "Unmoved" is more like it. In Dallas, the thrill of newer, bigger, shinier has always trumped the minute drudgery of preservation. So many opportunities have been passed up year after year. Why should it change now? All that's left are a few things that only a truly "Hysterical Preservationist" would bother with. Dallas loves it's Tabula Rasa approach. I only wish it could come up with something other than a parking lot as it's accepted Phase II for everything.

  29. #29
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    Oldest Building in Dallas

    Some great comments about specific buildings and it's always great to see some preservation talk/attitudes here; sometimes this site waxes a little too eloquent about what should replace things, much like the public energies that are growing less potent, like PreservationDallas which, face it, represents foundation property holders and still has to convince property owners that it's in any way a plus to renovate or keep an older structure. I own several and there is nothing but red tape and hassle from City Code and no real tax breaks.

    To return to the original question, I think it's telling that many comments focus on buildings built after the railroad expansions of 1872; any building built before then tended to be of limestone & mortar or of wood. Oddly, the oldest brick/wood structure survived until the Kennedy Memorial wiped it out, our old market. The oldest familiar buildings are hard to spot sometimes. Millermore, containing the cabin segment and additions of the Miller family, was moved from Hord's Ridge (with the Hord cabin) to Old City Park; it could be designated the oldest surviving home but it's not in it's original place. The Penn Homeplace out near Joe Pool is also that age, having developed on the site from a dogrun cabin. Some of the oldest construction surviving are the rail lines and cuts into the limestone; Preston Road runs along the oldest known road (pre-Bryan) in the old Republic between Oak Lawn and around Celina.

    Examples of 1870s buildings are pretty much gone (or "inside" the foundations of buildings in the 1700 and 1800 blocks of downtown). 1880s buildings and residences are principally along/just off McKinney, and throughout near South Dallas. The Hughes Candy and Gulf Cone buildings are across from Old City Park on South Ervay; included now in OCP is the once-creepy (to my child's eyes) Gano Sisters house on its original street. The Queen City addition along Pine Street in South Dallas also has 1800-1895 homes all over it, many in disrepair or others with just the edges of their origins peeking through.

    And, indeed, TePheJez sits in the attractive and threatened Elm Street block. The Butler Building, once our Trade Mart, across from City Hall is skirting revitalization; in its day it held so much stock because it was mainly cement and brick, materials that'll give redevelopers pause. The truth is, each of us can find a building that has age, and reason for survival, but history rewrites entire blocks. Nice to see Scott Dorn in this thread, check out his photos.

  30. #30
    FKA Ninjatune Justin Terveen's Avatar
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    The Gulf Cone Building (1903). Be sure to check out the video!

    Not the oldest, but worth mentioning....and redeveloping. (wink-wink)

    Edit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas Rediscovered
    -Plate 103. Hughes Brothers Factory, 1892

    "When it began production of sweet ciders and candies from this factory about 1895, the Hughes Brothers Manufacturing Company was among the most respected industries in Dallas. Yet within twenty years, this plant and others like it had become contributors to the decline of the Cedars as people became increasingly enamored with industries in their back yards. Though the original building on S.Ervay at the corner of Sullivan was destroyed, one of its additions, built in 1903, today houses the ice cream cone production facilities of the Gulf Cone Company"




    Last edited by Justin Terveen; 05 January 2010 at 10:46 AM.

  31. #31
    FKA Ninjatune Justin Terveen's Avatar
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    Haretip has been helping me get the skinny on this little gem...
    The books say 1920, but we suspect more along the lines of 1880-90.
    It also says this is veneer on frame, but I don't buy it. That's structural brick.

    I've been told that THIS is the oldest standing brick home in the city.




  32. #32
    Uptown Member DallasMan's Avatar
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    Love these buildings. Never seen this thread before. Just got back from New Orleans though...talking about our oldest buildings highlights how young Dallas is compared to places like NOLA!

  33. #33
    Supertall Skyscraper Member TexasStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DallasMan
    Love these buildings. Never seen this thread before. Just got back from New Orleans though...talking about our oldest buildings highlights how young Dallas is compared to places like NOLA!
    The Big Easy will be celebrating its 300th birthday in 2018.

    WHO DAT!!??

  34. #34
    Skyscraper Member CasperITL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clipper
    Honest Joe's before it's latest redo. Tax man says built in 1930 but that's totally bogus.
    Ha. I knew Joe Berman.

  35. #35
    Skyscraper Member CasperITL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjatune™
    Haretip has been helping me get the skinny on this little gem...
    The books say 1920, but we suspect more along the lines of 1880-90.
    It also says this is veneer on frame, but I don't buy it. That's structural brick.

    I've been told that THIS is the oldest standing brick home in the city.
    Is that in The Cedars?

    The Caruth Plantation homestead(Caruth Haven and Central) must be the oldest standing structure on its original footprint. The first building built there around 1850 or so was a simple log cabin built from logs hauled up from White Rock Creek. That building is still there. It was added onto numerous times for another 100 years into its present form. The site is currently under construction again, to turn it into some kind of community center. I have not been there in some time to see what is going on. Never been inside either.

    There are some old out buildings and small sheds that are easily 120 years old behind the house.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DallasMan
    Love these buildings. Never seen this thread before. Just got back from New Orleans though...talking about our oldest buildings highlights how young Dallas is compared to places like NOLA!
    Most of the buildings in the quarter were built in the early 1800s due to the fires in 1788 and 1794. My home in the quarter was built in the 1830. The Ursuline Convent is the oldest building and was built in 1727.

  37. #37
    Member Bandito's Avatar
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    The Gilbert House at the Farmers Branch Historical Park is supposedly the oldest stone structure on its original foundation in Dallas County........not Dallas but still. (1856)

    Last edited by Bandito; 23 January 2010 at 07:03 PM.

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