Wherein a Good Friend of Unfair Park Tours the Old Dallas Central Library on Commerce Street
The ground-floor reading room of the old central library on Commerce, next to the Statler
A few weeks ago, Leobardo Trevino -- the man who bought the Statler Hilton and the adjacent library -- led Sam and me on a tour of the Statler. I'd also wanted to see the library, which opened in '55 and shuttered in '83, never to be used again; at the time, it wasn't possible. Back when we officed on Commerce, long before its windows were papered over, I used to stare in and wonder what if and return to work and beg our then-publisher to move us into that building -- a George Dahl original. I still harbor that fantasy -- one day, if only.
Walking through the structure today feels like an exploration to the Titanic ... layers of rust, flaking paint and dirt cover the bones of a strong structure. Entire elevators have been corroded through, yet paper artifacts remain unmoved. As more of the building becomes accessible with cleaning and remediation, perhaps we'll appreciate this gem a little more and see it brought back to life.
Take the tour.