Friend of Unfair Park PeterK once more finds on eBay a grainy remnant of Dallas past -- this one looks like it was taken shortly after the completion of the Municipal Building. Says the Fort Worth-based seller, who wants $99.99 or best offer, the eight-by-10 is marked "Workers at Dallas City Hall, year unknown but after 1915."
I asked Brian Collins in the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division in the downtown library if maybe there was something in the photo that could help us pinpoint a more precise date -- like, say, is that man in the front and center Mayor Sawnie Aldredge? Or good ol' Henry D. Lindsley? Doubtful. He writes:
After discussing this with my manager Carol Roark, we've determined the photo was taken some time between 1915 (when municipal bldg was finished) and 1925 (based on the board backing the photo). As best we can tell, the man standing center (with bowtie) does not resemble any of the mayors during this time period. The workers are very likely employees of the Streets and Public Property Department OR Water Works and Sewerage Department (rhe names of these departments were in existence from 1906-1936. Public Works Department comes around 1930). The man standing in center is possibly the commissioner (heads of city departments were called commissioners at the time) of one of these City of Dallas departments. Looking in The Dallas Morning News and a 1921-1923 "Park and Playground System for Dallas, Texas" booklet did not lead us to find the identity of the man standing in the center of the photo.
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Brian Collins and Carol Roark love their jobs. And they're really good at 'em. Keep this in mind when you hear about budget-cutting proposals that will offer "limited access to subject floors" downtown.