The Stories Behind 6 Dallas Buildings
Your hip condo used to be a hat factory
New construction is fine and all--yes, stainless steel, we still love you--but there’s something downright awesome about old buildings that are rich in history. And Dallas has them.
Check out these six historical locations to see what we mean.
Adam Hats Building
Tucked into the Deep Ellum area, the Adam Hats Building--now known as Adam Hats Lofts--is rich in industrial history. Originally built in 1914 by Henry Ford as a production plant for the Model T, the property then became a hat factory from 1955 to 1986 and was eventually left empty for ten years before being converted into a 90-unit loft space in 1997. You can now rent a 676-square-foot studio for $1,200 a month.
Adam Hats Lofts, 2700 Canton St.; deepellum-lofts.com
Continental Gin Building
Construction of this massive four-building complex began in 1888 and didn’t finish until 1914. The Continental Gin Company was once the leading cotton gin manufacturing company in the country. These days, the wonderfully maintained property (you can still walk on original wooden planks) serves as an artist community for the likes of photographers Leonard Volk and Heather Helen Ray.
Continental Gin Building, 3309 Elm St.; continentalginbuilding.com
Dallas Coffin Company Building
Built in 1911, this classic structure once made everything to do with the funeral business--coffins, caskets, hearses and mortuary supplies. Since it was open 24 hours a day, funeral-home directors could contact the Dallas Coffin Company by phone or telegraph and have their supplies shipped to them almost immediately. Nowadays, the building is the site of the chic NYLO Dallas South Side hotel, which boasts a rooftop pool, craft cocktails and amazing views.
Dallas Coffin Company Building, 1325 S. Lamar St.; http://www.nylohotels.com/dallassouthside
The building was erected in 1905 by the first African-American surgeon in Texas and acted as the only hospital in the area for blacks during the time of segregation. These days, it’s an office building.
Bluitt Sanitarium, 2036 Commerce St.
Turtle Creek Pump Station
Now known as the Sammons Center for the Arts, the pump house (which was completed in 1909) was once the sole source of water for the city of Dallas. The building was abandoned for more than 30 years, until a joint effort by the city and philanthropists turned it into an artist collective for both commercial and nonprofit arts organizations.
Turtle Creek Pump Station, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd.; sammonsartcenter.org
These days you can rent Arlington Hall for your wedding or charity event. But it’s important to know this mansion was erected in honor of Robert E. Lee and dedicated by FDR in 1936. FDR unveiled a monumental statue at the corner of the park to the South's most famous soldier, which was constructed for $50,000 back then.
Lee Park, 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd.; leeparkconservancy.org