Mrs. Baird’s Bread Co. building in Old East Dallas. Photo by Michael Cagle

A 91-year-old bread factory made the list of Dallas’ “Most Endangered Historic Places” from Preservation Dallas.

The Mrs. Baird’s Bread Co. plant at 1401 N. Carroll Ave. opened in 1929 and was the 102-year-old company’s first location outside of Fort Worth.

“The famed Dallas architect George Dahl built the two-story building at Bryan Street and Carroll Avenue in 1928,” the Advocate reported last year. “It housed Mrs. Baird’s Breads, once the largest independent bakery in the country, until the 1950s.”

The site was close enough to the railways while also easily accessible to a large workforce population in growing East Dallas, according to the list.

Now the building is at the nucleus of a neighborhood that was once a Dallas police crime hotspot, where a ring of gentrification has not yet reached.

Builder Perry Guest Cos. and investor Ray Washburne revealed plans in October 2019 to redevelop the 44,000-square-foot building for apartments.

The list also includes Dallas ISD schools that are at risk because of a district plan to demolish and replace 17 schools.

The ones in our neighborhood are Geneva Heights Elementary, Hexter Elementary and Martha Turner Reilly Elementary, as well as Kiest Elementary in the Casa View area.

Other locations on the list include Deep Ellum, the Longhorn Ballroom, El Fenix in Oak Cliff and a 1929 industrial complex in West Dallas.

Photo by Michael Cagle

Deep Ellum is one of Dallas’ historically Black neighborhoods, established by the formerly enslaved following the end of the Civil War.

Black and Jewish residents of Dallas set up the first businesses there and turned it into a thriving commercial district. In the 1920s, it became a hotbed for musical talent, including T-Bone Walker, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly.

Here’s why Preservation Dallas put it on the list:

The success of the redevelopment efforts has brought new development pressure to the historic area. In the late 2010s, large-scale, high-rise apartment projects began transforming each end of Deep Ellum, and now mid-rise and high-rise apartments are starting to develop toward the center of the district. As the district continues to be successful there will be more pressure on the historic one- and two-story buildings to be demolished for large-scale development projects. There is nothing to stop a developer from coming in and purchasing large swaths of commercial blocks on Main, Elm, Commerce and Canton streets for out of scale mid- to high-rise development, thereby erasing an essential segment of Dallas’ Black history. Preservation of this district should be of paramount importance to ensure all Dallas citizens can witness and celebrate their ties to the development of our city.

Photo by Michael Cagle

Most people are familiar with the bovine sign out front, but the Longhorn Ballroom, which Texas Monthly once called “Texas’ most historic music venue” comprises more than 40,000 square feet. An entrepreneur bought it a few years back, reportedly sinking a grip into the thing and later filing bankruptcy. It is now for sale, and the property includes seven commercial lots on 4.4 acres.

According to Preservation Dallas: “The building is not protected by landmark status, and anyone who purchases it could demolish this incredible piece of Dallas’ musical history.”


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