12 comments on “Ghosts of Dallas: Elm Street in Deep Ellum, 1959

  1. I see that they were still tearing up the street in 1959, probably for a “complete streets” update.

  2. Rubin “Honest Joe” Goldstein ran that pawn shop. “Honest Joe sometimes drew attention by driving downtown in a vehicle sporting a disabled machine gun, parking illegally, and staging shouting matches with the officers who wrote him tickets.” He ran the shop until he died in 1972.

    Foregoing is from “The Dallas Music Scene, 1920s – 1960s” (Arcadia Publishing), by Alan Govenar and Jay Brakefield, which was just published.

  3. Shouldn’t the “Show only before” and “Show only after” captions be switched? If I pull the slider towards “Show only after” it shows me only before and vice versa.

  4. Those aren’t directional captions. Click on either one to get the picture to show all-before or all-after.

  5. Honest Joe seems like a bit of a Renaissance man, considering the variety of signs.

  6. Let’s remember that part of Deep Ellum was destroyed for I-345 elevated freeway..

  7. Back in the December 1982 issue of D Magazine, Ruth Miller Fitzsgibbons penned an article about Deep Ellum titled “DALLAS’ SOHO.” It was an overview of the development prospects in the soon-to-burgeon area. Ruth wrote this: “Even without the threat of the big {developers}, the area has definite problems. Probably the least significant but the most talked about is the name. Hardly anyone likes Deep Ellum. ‘It suggests a rundown black shantytown,’ says one broker who works the Deep Ellum beat.” A preferred name at the time seemed to be “East Side.”

    The benignly racist quote by the unnamed broker went unchallenged in Ruth’s reportage, which so offended me that I fired off a letter that appeared in the February 1983 issue. Thirty years on, through its ups and downs, Deep Ellum is blessedly still known as Deep Ellum, as it has been for over a century.

  8. I’m glad you remember the “staged shouting matches.” Daddy was always proud of his friendships with the Dallas Police and Fire Departments. They loved him. So did I.

    Shari Goldstein Stern

  9. Daddy was clearly flamboyant! And my niece, Laurel Levin, was certainly creative when she created “Urban Paws” in the old building, right?

    Shari Goldstein Stern

  10. My dad, Mel Curts, painted all of the signs on Honest Joe’s building. My older brother remembers hanging out with Dad while he was working.

  11. Shari – Do you have any photos of the old Edsel with the machine gun on it you could share with me? I would be very grateful. Sam Martin, Horseshoe Bay, TX sam@horseshoebay.net