Then & Now: Jewish Owned Businesses in Downtown Dallas

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 1890 to about 1960, and “now” being mid-2020.

From dirt-lined streets and one-story buildings to a burgeoning metropolis, often under construction, Dallas is unrecognizable from many of the early photos, and the vast majority of businesses highlighted in the slides below have closed or relocated–though a few lynch-pins remain, tethering the legacy of Jewish Dallas to the Downtown Main Street District.

This is the first of many installments of “Then & Now,” an intern-driven project of DJHS. Downtown was completed by Kate Chalupa and includes images and information from the Dallas Jewish Historical Society Archive and from outside resources. Click the arrows on the left and right to move between slides. The second slide identifies a walking path followed by Archivist Jessica Schneider as she meandered through the concrete jungle on an early Sunday morning in June 2020 to capture the modern locations of these historic businesses. The subsequent slides are presented in the order in which they were identified during that outing.

Each of these businesses are also identified on our Virtual Tour of Historic Jewish Dallas, which can be found here: https://virtualtour.djhs.org/

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

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