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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Dallas: 1942

Dallas: 1942

January 1942. "View of Dallas, Texas, going eastward on U.S. Highway 80." Medium-format acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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Re: Prominent Building on the Left

When I saw the post this morning my first thought was that, yes that was the Texas School Book Depository, but when comparing it to the attached photo I don't think it is.

This perspective should help

The building you can clearly see in the 1942 photo is the Dallas County Criminal Courts building. Here is a Street View from the X on Elm Street marking where President Kennedy was shot. The now-infamous School Book Depository is on the left. Lee Harvey Oswalt Oswald fired from the far corner window, one floor below the top. I believe you can see just a sliver of this building on the far left in the 1942 photo. On the right is the Criminal Courts building.

Prominent Building on the Left

Yep, that's the Texas School Book Depository.

[Nope, that's the Dallas County Criminal Courts building. - Dave]

Wikipedia identifies the Dallas County Administration building as formerly the Texas School Book Depository.

[Which is next door to the Criminal Courts building. - Dave]

Focus of conspiracy (theories)

The Triple Underpass, with the streets clearly labeled: Elm, Main, Commerce. Just beyond, the Grassy Knoll--yes, now capitalized--with some of its tree tops visible at far left.

I hate downtown Dallas

For such a relatively new city, downtown Dallas is surprisingly difficult to get into, navigate, and get out of. First, the whole downtown is shifted about 20 degrees off the grid of the rest of the city. I'm attaching a map. Notice no major streets run straight in and out of downtown. You have to navigate your way. Once you're there, there are only three streets that run end-to-end north and south. Those three streets are the three under the train tracks to the left in the 1942 photo. Commerce on the right is a one-way into downtown, then Main, then Elm is a one-way coming out of downtown. At both ends, those three streets funnel into one. Who thought of this?

Coming out on Elm, if you miss the exit to get on 35E (on the left in Google Street view), you're headed to the other side of the Trinity River. It can be very unforgiving. East and west are just as badly planned. That loop where you see International Center is usually a total pain to get through.

I've lived in old cities and cut them some slack. Dallas is way too new for the downtown to be this badly planned.

But it does show nice from a distance.

An infamous location on the left.

Dealey Plaza is just beyond the underpass.

Yes, THAT underpass

It's the first one on the left ... in fact the only one on the left (as goes the old joke).

The scene today is not dissimilar; well other than a whole new skyline being added -- but not much has been subtracted (the Romanesque building of Sanger Bros. being an exception): "Old Red", the Adolphus Hotel, Magnolia Petroleum and Santa Fe Buildings still grace us with their presence.

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