10 Unexpected Places Where Dallas History Was Made | Dallas Observer


10 Not-Obvious Addresses Where Dallas History Was Made

Dallas is full of history, and some of it's not all that obvious.
Dallas is full of history, and some of it's not all that obvious. Photo by Daniel Halseth on Unsplash
Compiling a list of history-making places in Dallas could be a task of the lazy — there are many well-known landmarks — but we chose a different path. Let’s assume we all know about Dealey Plaza, and the Old Red Courthouse, and the Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park. Instead, here's a list of locations that are slightly off the beaten path. Some rarely visited and others passed by thousands of commuters every day, a few designated as landmarks and others wiped off the map. 

1) 2557 Glenfield Avenue: SRV Learns Guitar  This unassuming 1955 bungalow tucked into a little street near Hampton Hills in Oak Cliff is where blues guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan lived when he was 7, the age he first began to play the guitar. He died in a helicopter crash in 1990 and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The house is still there, apparently occupied by fans of the Saints and the 49ers, if the curb paintings are any indicator. There’s no obvious sign that it’s a blues landmark.

2) 105 Herbert Street: Bonnie Meets Clyde The much-agreed-upon-but-never-fully-proven house where Clyde Barrow met Bonnie Parker in January 1930 is, by all accounts, gone. It belonged to a friend, and their meeting here sparked the crime duo’s legendary relationship. It’s a small street, with dilapidated houses on one side and a youth sports field on the other, next to the design district near the Trinity. The address doesn’t exist anymore – the block that is presumably the same is now numbered 3000.

3) 12th Street and Edgefield: Birth of 7-Eleven Stores The world’s first convenience store, which later turned into the 7-Eleven chain, opened here in 1927. Before houses had refrigeration, Southland Ice Company employee “Uncle Johnny” Jefferson Green recognized that staples like milk (56 cents per gallon) and eggs were often needed outside the normal grocery store hours. And so he began to sell them out of the back of the Southland ice house he ran. Years later, the building was replaced with another one in the back of the lot, which was eventually given to the League of United Latin Americans, its current occupants. And the building still looks like a 7-Eleven.

4) Colorado and Jefferson: Foundation of Dallas Sports Burnett Field is marked on maps but it was actually a vacant, abandoned lot in the shadow of I-35E until construction crews got hold of it. Built in 1925, it was the practice field for the first Dallas Cowboys team in 1960 (also the first NFL expansion team in the league). It was also the place where the city’s minor league baseball team, the Rangers (one of its many names), practiced and played. Both teams have, of course, moved on to bigger and shinier fields of green. And Dallas has moved on from Burnett Field.

5) 2551 Elm Street: African American Trailblazers  The Knights of the Pythias Temple in Deep Ellum was designed in 1915 by William Sidney Pittman, the first black architect to operate in Texas. The Beaux-Arts style building also housed black professionals such as doctors and lawyers who were able to bring those services to the underserved African-American community in the area. Last we all heard, the building will be incorporated in a new mixed-use development plan for Deep Ellum.

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