Then & Now: Jewish Owned Businesses in Deep Ellum

Dallas has changed substantially since it became a mercantile hub in the late 1800s, growing steadily and frequently changing with what seems to be the blink of an eye. This exhibit aims to highlight the juxtaposition of Dallas “then” and Dallas “now,” with “then” represented by businesses and landmarks established from around 1900 thru the 1930s, and “now” being mid-2021. From dirt-lined streets and one-story buildings to a burgeoning metropolis, often under construction, Dallas is unrecognizable from many of the early photos.

Although virtually all of the businesses highlighted in the slides below have closed, the legacy of Deep Ellum remains. “Ellum” is both a nod to Elm Street – still a center-piece of retail and nightlife – and the historic impact of the African American community responsible for establishing the long-standing music scene in the neighborhood. Jewish business influence predated and coincided with the influx of other demographics, which undoubtedly contributed in shaping the eclectic roots Deep Ellum retains today. 

This is the second of many installments of “Then & Now,” an intern-driven project of DJHS. Deep Ellum was completed by Kate Chalupa and includes images and information from the Dallas Jewish Historical Society Archive, as well as outside resources. Click the arrows on the left and right to move between slides. 

Each of these businesses are also identified on our Virtual Tour of Historic Jewish Dallas, which can be found here:

If you know of a historic Jewish-owned business in Deep Ellum (or elsewhere!) that we should add to the virtual tour, please contact our office or leave a comment below!