INVESTMENT PROPERTY IN DALLAS - INVESTMENT PROPERTY
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Investment Property In Dallas
Corner of the Kirby Building aka Home Sweet Home. The Kirby Building faces Akard & Main Streets in Downtown Dallas. The architectural firm of Barnett, Hayes, & Barnett of St. Louis designed this 17 story Gothic Revival (original 17 story structure) and Art Deco (annex built in 1925) skyscraper. Lang & Witchell of Dallas were the associate architects. The facades of the Kirby were created with tera cotta. The terra cotta has many fine details, shapes, and images within its sculptural relief in friezes, panels, cornices, and finials. The Kirby was originally built in 1913 to supplement the Adolphus Hotel (corner of Commerce and Akard). In 1999, the Kirby Building was converted into 156 apartments by architects Corgan Associates of Dallas.
In a 1985 article on the building, Texas Monthly editor Gregory Curtis noted, "It's beautiful, the most beautiful office building of its era remaining in Dallas, perhaps in all Texas."
Adolphus Busch, for whom it was constructed, died in 1913, the same as year as the building was completed. His heirs sold the property five years later to the Kirby Investment Company of Houston, headed by lumber magnate John Henry Kirby (1860-1940), a major figure in Texas finance for half a century. The Kirby interests sold the property in 1941, but the Kirby name has continued to be used. Thus for over 75 years, the property has been known popularly in Dallas as the Kirby Building, the Busch connection known to a very few. Acknowledging the great prominence of both Adolphus Busch and John Henry Kirby, it was designated the Busch-Kirby Building in the National Register of Historic Places.
Cityplace proposal (half built)
Unveiled in 1983 by the Southland Corporation (they owned 7-11 stores, amongst other things) the Cityplace project was a forest of terra cotta towers sitting on 132 acres of prime property just northeast of downtown. The total investment in the mixed use project by Southland was estimated to be $3 billion. The city was wary of approving the project and negotiated with Southland for years. The company threatened, if not approved, to move all of Cityplace to the suburbs. Southland eventually agreed to build new housing units, pay $1 million for new landing equipment at Love Field, and improve dozens of streets and sidewalks. The city approved the plan January 1985. Construction of the first Cityplace tower began in February of 1985, but during construction the real estate market collapsed. The tower's exterior was completed in the fall of 1988, but the building was not officially opened until May 1989. The project completely bankrupted Southland and threatened the very existence of 7-11, which eventually was purchased by a Japanese Company.
A retired Southland executive owns a bookstore in McKinney and I learned from him that all of the red facing stone Southland and purchased for the second tower is sitting in a big pile in a field in Seagoville now.
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