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Dallas: 1954

Dallas: 1954

"Dallas 1954." The latest Kodachrome from that peregrinating hotrodder Don Cox. The view here is of Ervay Street; at left is the brand-new Republic National Bank building. View full size.

 

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Dave, quit teasing us with "hotrodder"

Let's see some time trials action! How about a nice drop-tank lakester with a hopped-up flathead in the back?

[Don's racing photos, which were used to illustrate his book "The Birth of Hot Rodding," are not part of the collection donated to Shorpy by co-author Robert Genat. - Dave]

Liquor and loans

Plus a few diamonds and watches. I have been to Dallas once, in 1982. It was too hot.

The spotlight

That picture takes me back to my childhood. I was 8 years old living on our farm in Irving, Texas when the Republic Bank opened and they turned on the lights on the tower. The colored lights forecasted the weather if you knew the code. Everyone in Dallas and surrounding area was familiar with what the arrangement of the red, white, and blue colors signified.

The most striking thing was the giant rotating spotlight on the top. A 500,000 candlepower beam could be seen over 100 miles and rotated at about 12 times a minute.

Spiritual or Financial

If I'm reading the maps correctly, that row of buildings across the street was demolished and that spot is now Thanks-Giving Square, which includes an architecturally unusual non-denominational chapel in the midst of a small park. A bit of a switch from the small-time lenders, but both places someone down on their luck might go when in need of some sort of help.

The building with the clock off in the distance seems to be still standing on South Ervay between Main and Commerce, though it is no longer visible from this spot.

Sometimes the times are slow in changing

The Arcadia Liquor sign reminded me that you still cannot buy any liquor you choose just anywhere in Dallas county. This D magazine article from 2010 explains it better than I can. D is for Dallas.

A few businesses are still around

As a resident of greater Dallas, it's fun to see some names of businesses in this picture that survive to this day: Adelstein Jewelers has moved to the far north end of town, but it's been in business since 1905, and Hardie Seeds, founded in 1899, is now Nicholson-Hardie Garden & Nursery and has also moved a little north of downtown.

(Also, take note of the sharp diagonal curve of the street at the top of the photo. Local legend has is that the city officials platting the downtown area would occasionally run into a farmer who didn't want the new street running through his land. Since said farmer had a gun, the street ended up veering off a bit to the side.)

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