History of The Cedars

The Cedars was developed in the late 1870s as an affluent residential area in the southern part of Dallas. It was so named because it was “covered by a magnificent forest of Oak and Red Cedar trees, rapidly giving way to houses, gardens, and orchards” [Dallas Rediscovered, p.105]. The addition of a streetcar line and City Park added to the value of property there. At first, homes built in this area were relatively modest, but as the Cedars grew in value and prestige, the houses built there grew larger and more ornate. The Cedars became home to elegant Victorian manors. It was also home to much of Dallas’ Jewish population, including Alex and Philip Sanger (founders of the well-known Sanger Brothers department store chain). This glorious period in the Cedars’ history lasted only briefly, from about 1880 until about 1890. After then, the Cedars entered a new phase of development. Parts of the area began to decline as population and industry swelled, effectively ending the neighborhood’s isolation from unwanted parts of the city. Apartment houses and businesses grew up around the Victorian mansions. Mills and factories sprouted nearby. As newer more prestigious areas developed, residents began leaving the Cedars. Eventually, in the early 1920’s, homes were demolished to make room for businesses. Most of the Cedar’s residents had moved out by this time.

“Belleview Place, c.1890. Dr.Frederick E. Hughes, shown here with his wife, children, servants, and the family cow, built Dallas’ first “apartment house” on Sullivan near the corner of Browder about 1890. The concept was just a little advanced for its time and in 1902 the immense structure was sold to the Keeley Institute for the Cure of “Inebriety, Morphine, Cocaine, and Tobacco Diseases and Neurathenia”. The clinic was demolished in 1927.” — excerpt from Dallas Rediscovered.

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