Cotton, petroleum and banking drove Dallas to become a business powerhouse, and the real estate market is so fast paced that the city rarely slowed down to consider the historic, cultural and architectural value of its buildings. Take the time now to appreciate some of the ones that were spared the wrecking ball and say “cheers” to historic preservation.
St. Ann Restaurant and Bar
St. Ann Restaurant and Bar is one of the last remnants of Little Mexico, the Dallas neighborhood bulldozed by gentrification and rebranded Uptown. It was built in 1927 and was the city’s first school for Hispanic children. Alumni fought against a proposal to demolish it in the late ’90s, and the oldest part of the school — where the restaurant is now — was incorporated into a 27-story office high rise in 2009. The developer also preserved a mosaic mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Order a wine flight or a sangria cocktail.
The Texas Theatre
Catch a classic or art-house movie and order a cocktail inspired by that movie in one of Dallas’ most notorious historic buildings.
Highland Park Village
This glamorous vintage shopping destination, built in 1931 and inspired by plaza designs in Spain, Mexico and California, was ahead of its time and influenced shopping center design for years to come. There are several places to grab a cold one, including Perfect Union Pizza Co. But the swank of Lounge 31 is hard to resist, paying homage to the past while still feeling current.
It looks like a bowling alley and bar could be in the works for the Lakewood Theater, which was built in 1938 and has been vacant since 2012. In the meantime, have a drink at the romantic Balcony Club, which recently signed a 10-year lease.
The Warwick Melrose Hotel was built in 1924 and has attracted celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Tom Hanks. Go for happy hour specials at The Library from 4-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday.