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What Dallas looked like in the 1950s Through these Fascinating Historical Photos

Dallas entered a period of spectacular growth after WWII. The population of the city in 1950 was 434,462. Several large aircraft factories were established in the area, making the city one of the world’s largest technological centers. In 1957, two developers, Trammell Crow and John M. Stemmons opened the Dallas Market Center. It is one of the world’s largest wholesale trade complexes.

In 1959, the Dallas Theater Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was opened. The same year, the Southland Center, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, was dedicated.

Here are some fascinating historical photos that will take you back to the 1950s in Dallas

#1 A passenger points to one of the segregation signs removed from all Dallas Transit Company buses, following a Supreme Court ruling banning segregation on all public transportation within a state, 25th April 1956.

#3 State Fair of Texas Midway show “Sally Rand Texas Lil’ Darlin'”, Dallas, 1950

#5 A mother washes clothes in the presence of her children in Dallas, Texas, 1950

#6 Texas Bank and Trust Company building, downtown Dallas, 1952

#7 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#8 Arlington Heights vs Sunset Football, 1950

Arlington Heights vs Sunset Football, 1950

Jerry Rose of Sunset fights his way across the goal line to score the Bison's second touchdown against Arlington Heights at Dallas. Reaching for him is Ronald Clinkscale. Daivd McNair (77) is at left. The play started on the Jacket 11-yard line and was a pass from Joe Boring to Rose.

#9 Aerial view of Dallas Love Field Administration Building featuring parking area, 1950s

#10 Gone But Not forgotten, 1953

Gone But Not forgotten, 1953

A color guard from Carswell Air Force Base and civilian participants stand at attention in Greenwood cemetery as silver taps send out a tribute to 11 Canadian fliers of World War I who died while in training here.

#11 State Fair of Texas Midway ride “Roloplane”, 1950

#12 Hanger Row Love Field on the Lemmon Ave side, Dallas, 1950s

#13 State Fair of Texas show “The Flying Saucer”, 1950

#18 Offices of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1950s

#20 Offices of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, downtown Dallas, Texas, 950

#21 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 958

#23 Aerial view of the Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#24 Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#26 Skyline view of downtown Dallas, Texas looking north from the southside, showing a railroad yard in the foreground, 1955

#27 Aerial view of fraternity and sorority houses, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 1952

#28 Dallas Love Field,1950. There are airplanes parked on the parking lot. There are a lot of buildings on the background.

#29 Building under construction, downtown Dallas, 1950

Building under construction, downtown Dallas, 1950

There is a man in a crane and three men standing outside the crane. All of them are wearing a safety helmet. Buildings can be seen far in the background.

#32 Building under construction, downtown Dallas, 1950 There are four men standing next to each other. Each of them are wearing a safety helmet.

#34 Building under construction, downtown Dallas, 1950

#39 Central Expressway (Highway 75) with cloverleaf near Northwest highway, Dallas, 1954

#40 The industrial area near downtown Dallas, Texas, 1951

#41 Mercantile National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

#42 Mercantile National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1951

#43 Construction on the Adolphus Hotel, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1951

#44 Construction on the Adolphus Hotel, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1951

#48 Central Expressway and Lover’s Lane, Dallas, Texas, 1955

#49 Parade at All State Shriners meeting in Dallas, 1954

#50 Fair Park Esplanade with fireworks in sky at night during Texas State Fair, Dallas, Texas, 1950

#51 Parade at All State Shriners meeting in Dallas, 1954

#54 Parade at All State Shriners meeting in Dallas, 1954

#56 Central Expressway, south leg, Martin Luther King Boulevard, 1957

#57 Night street scene, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

Night street scene, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

Looking east on Elm Street at Ervay Street and Live Oak Street with Walgreen Drugs, Mayflower Coffeeshop and the Mexico City Café.

#58 John “Preacher” Hays and an Unidentified Woman, 1954

#59 Parade at All State Shriners meeting in Dallas, 1954

#60 Parade at All State Shriners meeting in Dallas, 1954

#61 Fair Park Midway entrance at night, Dallas, Texas, 1950

#62 Parade at All State Shriners meeting in Dallas, 1954

#63 Southland Center under construction, Dallas, 1957

#64 Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#65 Melba Theatre, later named Capri Theatre, 1311 Elm Street, downtown Dallas, 1951

#67 Juilette Fowler Homes, 1234 Abrams Rd., Dallas, 1957

#68 Parade at All State Shriners meeting in Dallas, 1954

#69 Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#70 Southland Life and Sheraton Hotel buildings under construction, downtown Dallas, 1958

#71 Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#72 Southland Life and Sheraton Hotel buildings under construction, downtown Dallas, 1958

#75 Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#83 First National Bank building drive thru, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1954

#84 Dallas downtown skyline from Commerce Street bridge with Studebaker truck in foreground, 1951

#85 Reserve Life Insurance building under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1950

#87 Aerial view of the Meadows building, Dallas, 1956

#88 Aerial view of the Meadows building in downtown Dallas, 1956

#91 First National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#93 Dormitory, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#94 Republic Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1954

#95 Underpass from Industrial Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 1952

#96 Russell Stover Candies shop, interior, located at Main and Akard streets, Dallas, Texas, 1954

#98 Republic Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1954

#99 Southland Life and Sheraton Hotel buildings, downtown Dallas, 1954

#102 Southland Life and Sheraton Hotel Buildings, 1950

#103 Aerial view of Dallas Airmotive, Incorporated factory and its parking lot, 1956

#106 Delta ticket counters at Dallas Love Field, Texas, 1958

#107 Sanger’s Department Store, downtown Dallas, 1950

#108 Two bridges over flooded Trinity River into downtown Dallas, 1957

#110 Southland Building Annex, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

#114 Whittle Music Company retail building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1952

#117 Dallas Times Herald building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#121 Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#125 Southland Center under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1957

#130 Gibralter Life building ground floor, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

#131 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1959

#132 Wynnewood Village, Oak Cliff area, Dallas, Texas, 1954

#134 First National Bank building drive thru, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1954

#135 Power plant, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953. The picture shows a view from outside the power plant in downtown Dallas. There is a railroad next to the plant.

#137 First National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

First National Bank building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

The picture shows the building from the outside. There are cars parked in front of the building. A sign says "timepay."

#138 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1959

#141 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#142 Love Field, aerial view, Dallas, Texas, 1952

Love Field, aerial view, Dallas, Texas, 1952

Southwest Airmotive repair shop can be seen to the right, a several aircraft's parked along the track.

#144 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#148 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#150 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#153 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1959

#156 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1959

#158 Exterior Of Decorative Center, Dallas, Texas, 1957

#159 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1959

#162 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1959

#164 Gibralter Life building under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

#165 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1959

#166 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, addition construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#167 Multiple office buildings under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1952

#168 Ranch style homes, residential street, possibly Wynnewood subdivision, Oak Cliff area, Dallas, Texas, 1954

Ranch style homes, residential street, possibly Wynnewood subdivision, Oak Cliff area, Dallas, Texas, 1954

There is a winding road with houses on either side. Sidewalks and driveways lead from the street to the houses.

#170 Restaurant interior, 1958

Restaurant interior, 1958

Restaurant interior, the arranged tables with white table cloth can be seen. There are lamps hanging from the ceiling.

#171 Shed building, Industrial Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 1958

Shed building, Industrial Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 1958

The picture shows a building next to some awnings, which are meant to protect things from the weather.

#172 Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Parkway, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#173 Mercantile building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#174 Love Field, Dallas, 1950

Love Field, Dallas, 1950

Air view of the airport From above we can observe there are buildings, airplanes parked, automobiles on the road and trees

#175 Otis Elevator Company building interior, Dallas, Texas, 1953

#176 Mercantile Securities Building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

#177 Shed building, Industrial Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#178 Shed building, Industrial Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#179 Otis Elevator Company building interior, Dallas, Texas, 1953

#180 Mercantile Securities Building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

#181 Entrance to westbound Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike from Industrial Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#182 Otis Elevator Company building, Dallas, Texas, 1953

#183 Aerial of Southwest Airmotive at Dallas Love Field, 1950

Aerial of Southwest Airmotive at Dallas Love Field, 1950

There are airplanes parked. There are automobiles parked. There is a highway on the right side of the image

#184 Praetorian Building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#185 Otis Elevator Company building, Dallas, Texas, 1953

#186 Mercantile building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1958

#187 Dallas Love Field at night, 1950. There are lampposts with the lights on. There are automobiles parked on the parking lot.

#188 Praetorian Building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1953

#189 Black & Decker building, Oak Lawn industrial area, Dallas, Texas, 1954

#192 Neiman Marcus’ store at night, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1952

#193 Employers Casualty Building in Downtown Dallas, Texas, 1950

#194 Neiman Marcus building under construction, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1952

#195 Great National Life building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1950s

#197 Dallas Love Field at night, 1950. There are lampposts with the lights on, on the side of the street

#199 National Biscuit Company building, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#200 National Biscuit Company building, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#201 Great National Life building, downtown Dallas, Texas, 1950

#203 Dallas Love Field at night, 1950

Dallas Love Field at night, 1950

There are lampposts with the lights on. There are automobiles parked on a a parking lot.

#205 Melba Theatre, later named Capri Theatre, 1311 Elm Street, downtown Dallas, 1951

#206 Praetorian Building, downtown Dallas, Texas,1953

Praetorian Building, downtown Dallas, Texas,1953

Praetorian Building, downtown Dallas, Texas

#207 Muntz TV building, Dallas. New site of Southland Life Insurance Company, 1954

#208 Aerial photograph of trapeze artists performing at Fair Park, Dallas, Texas, 1950

#209 Park Cities Baptist Church, 3933 Northwest Parkway, Dallas, Texas, 1958

#210 Aerial photograph of trapeze artists performing at Fair Park, Dallas, Texas, 1950

#211 Runway at Love Field, Dallas, 1950

Runway at Love Field, Dallas, 1950

There is a landing track. There are also airplanes parked and buildings. There is also a road the runs along the bottom half of the image, there are automobiles on the road.

#212 Braniff Airways and Exchange Bank buildings with Dallas Love Field, 1950

Braniff Airways and Exchange Bank buildings with Dallas Love Field, 1950

Air view of buildings .There are parking lots around the buildings and cars parked in the parking lots. On the distance more buildings and trees can be seen.

#214 Braniff Airways and Exchange Bank buildings with Dallas Love Field, 1950

#217 Building under construction, downtown Dallas, 1950

#219 An aerial photograph featuring the Dallas Love Field in Dallas, Texas, 1950

#220 Dallas Love Field under construction, Dallas, 1950

#221 Building under construction, downtown Dallas, 1950

#222 Downtown Dallas, preparing building site for construction, 1950

#224 Downtown Dallas, preparing building site for construction, 1950

#225 Downtown Dallas, preparing building site for construction, 1950

#230 The Mercantile Building in downtown Dallas, 1950

#240 Maryland Terrapins v Texas A&M Aggies, 1957

Maryland Terrapins v Texas A&M Aggies, 1957

General view of players from the #2 ranked Texas A&M Aggies and the Maryland Terrapins stretch on the field as the band enters the stadium before an NCAA game on September 21, 1957 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

#242 The Train “Sam Houston Zephyr” in Dallas, 1956

#243 General view as fans walk outside of the stadium before the Red River Rivalry Game between the #3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns on October 8, 1955 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

#244 General view as fans look on during the Red River Rivalry between the #3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns on October 8, 1955 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

#245 James Dean And Liz Taylor During The Filming of “Giant”, 1955

#246 View up through the uncompleted steel framework of a bridge or road flyover, raised on reinforced concrete pillars, under construction in Dallas, Texas, 1955.

#248 Skyline of downtown Dallas, Texas from the backyards of tenement houses, 1950

Skyline of downtown Dallas, Texas from the backyards of tenement houses, 1950

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#249 Aerial view of White Rock Airport, Dallas, 1954

Aerial view of White Rock Airport, Dallas, 1954

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#250 T.L. Marsalis School building under construction. Dallas, Texas, 1958

T.L. Marsalis School building under construction. Dallas, Texas, 1958

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Written by Aung Budhh

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5 Comments

    • Putting aside the racism, segregation, misogyny, homophobia, and other harmful aspects of the 1950s, it was during this time that many of our cities began to fully embrace the automobile. The 40s and 50s were a time when several of our people-oriented cities transformed into car-centric cities. This transformation brought about a loss of community, as people don’t have as many spontaneous interactions with others on the streets. Hence, it’s understandable to feel nostalgic for some of the positive aspects. That said, nostalgia without acknowledging all the negatives of the era is dangerous