Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Fabled Dallas Pike: Where Is It Now? This Post Card Has a Story..

A little Fort Worth Bankhead Highway/Broadway of America/US-80 Tourist Court nostalgia:  

Harrow Court <click image to enlarge>
I recently picked up a linen PC showing the Harrow Tourist Court.  The PC shows an address of 5800 E. Dallas Pike and in the picture is what appears to be a late 1940's or maybe early 1950's car. For many years, East Lancaster Avenue was also known as The Dallas Pike

Court description <click image to enlarge>
The paragraph on the back tells use more about it..  Air cooled with ventilated heat and operated by Mr. & Mrs. L.E. Stubbs.

Curiosity grabbed me. I looked up the address on Google Earth, and it turns out that the place is still operating, now known as the Central Court.  

5800 E. Lancaster <click image to enlarge>

The property is on a more or less triangular plot in between E. Lancaster and Dallas Avenue. 

Recently, I went out there and took some pictures showing the sign and the main building and the backs of the courts facing south on Dallas Avenue. As you would expect from the area, the court is pretty well beaten down but still has customers.

Central (Harrow) Court - Office & Main Building <click image to enlarge>
This was a pretty substantial operation at one time.  I assume that there was probably a cafe or restaurant in the main building along with the Office and maybe someone lived upstairs.

The Old Courts.. Backing on Dallas Avenue <click to enlarge image>
Here are the little courts on the back row of the compound or enclosure which has security fence all around it..  They back on Dallas Avenue..

1945 Fort Worth Ashburn Map <click image to enlarge
Above is a clip from a 1945 Fort Worth map by J. Foster Ashburn that still shows the Dallas Pike picking up from Lancaster just on the east of the Meadowbrook area. The name was still used on some maps even later.. 

One of the most interesting things is the persistence that the name "Dallas Pike" has had historically.  In general, most old Fort Worth maps start showing the Dallas Pike as beginning after Front Street (Lancaster Avenue) hit the city limits, which of course changed several times as the city grew. However, it was also called Handley Road on some maps as well. 

By the early 1920's, the Pike became part of the Bankhead Highway, then part of the Broadway of America promotion and of course US-80. In Dallas, the same road predictably, was called The Fort Worth Pike as it headed west. A very busy road until the turnpike and the Interstate highways took over in the 1960's. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff. You can find a lot of these older motels along the old traffic routes like business 287 on the north side where you can tell they used to be very popular and busy until the interstate drained off the majority of traffic.