The Junius Heights streetcar located in the former Spaghetti Warehouse is about to come home after nearly 50 years, a Junius Heights Historic District board member said.

The streetcar has been located in the eatery since 1972, but when it closed in October 2019, the neighborhood artifact faced an uncertain future.

Robert Lavie, manager of West End Capital Management, acquired Spaghetti Warehouse in March 2020 and is negotiating terms of ownership with the Junius Heights Historic District board. Lavie will donate the car if the board can move it from the building, said Matt Wood, vice president of the board.

Board members are working with the design firm Corgan, tasked with renovating Spaghetti Warehouse, on the retrieval process. Most of the car will be disassembled into moveable pieces, loaded onto a trailer and taken to a storage facility. The metal frame will be moved in one piece, but to do so, construction crews will have to knock down part of a wall, slide it out and refill the wall, Wood said.

The board is searching for neighborhood volunteers who will help relocate the smaller pieces on moving day. A temporary space is also needed to store the trolley while a more permanent home is prepared. The space must measure 45 feet by 20 feet. The goal is to remove the trolley within four to six months. During that time, board members will launch a capital campaign to raise money for a platform and shelter. Contact juniusheightshd@gmail.com if you can help.

John Landrum, vice president of operations for the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, assessed the trolley and confirmed that it is from Junius Heights. He has overseen the rebuilding and relocation of several streetcars and has agreed to help bring this one back to the neighborhood.

A permanent home for the streetcar has not yet been announced, but Wood said its location will be publicly accessible.

“We want the community to be able to sit in it and take pictures,” Wood said. “Junius Heights exists because of the streetcar, so bringing it back to the neighborhood is an exciting thing.”


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.