Most of Dallas’ business section burned to the ground in 1860, and even after the coming of the railroad 12 years later, wary investors shied away from building projects for fear the boom would not last. The first sizable building to serve as a lookout post on the North Texas prairie did not cast its shadow until the 1890s. Here is a chronological record of the buildings that have worn the crown of Dallas’ tallest:
NORTH TEXAS BUILDING
6 stories Main at Lamar The home of North Texas National Bank was later convened to a hotel, but had become a flophouse by the time it was torn down in 1967.
Main at Martin
The home of Linz Brothers Jewelers was our finest facade before the turn of the century. It was leveled in 1963 to make way for a parking lot.
Main and Ervay
The finest office building in the South when it opened, the building is one of the few remaining historical gems in the downtown area.
15 stories 1607 Main The tallest building west of the Mississippi, originally the home of the Praetorian National Fraternal Insurance Order, has since been disguised by renovation.
Following a merger, this became
the First National Bank, and
was later home for Metropolitan
Savings and Loan. Now known
as the Davis Building.
SOUTHWESTERN LIFE BUILDING
16 stories Main and Akard Southwestern Life Insurance Company built its home office without incurring a penny of debt. The building was torn down in 1972 to make room for another parking lot, which was transformed into Pegasus Plaza.
Commerce and Akard
The Magnolia Oil Company headquarters was the tallest building south of Washington, D.C. Pegasus, the flying red horse, was added in 1934 to welcome delegates to an oil industry convention.
Main at Ervay
Though construaion starred before die attack on Pearl Harbor, the bank drew criticism for spending money that could have been used to launch a battleship.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDING
Elm at Akard
A continuation of the one-upmanship between Republic and First National; now the 1401 Elm building.
REPUBLIC BANK TOWER
Pacific at St. Paul
Republics return to the top was short-lived, lasting less than a year.
REPUBLIC BANK BUILDING
Bryan at Ervay
The proud new home of the Republic National Bank epitomized the boundless optimism of the Dallas business community in the postwar years.
Olive and Bryan
“I his was the last “non-bank” to
look down on its neighbors. Now
the site of the Harvey Hotel.
72 stories Main and Griffin
Later First RepublicBank Plaza, then NCNB Plaza, now NationsBank Plaza, the “green building.” Oddly enough, this is the very site of the North Texas Building, which at six stories was the tallest building in Dallas-in 1895.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL BUILDING
56 stories Elm at Field
This was the tallest building in Texas until the construction of the 75-story Texas Commerce Tower in Houston in 1981.