2012 Architecture at Risk List

Posted by    |    April 28th, 2012 at 5:10 am

OOCCL is very excited to be compiling our 3rd annual Architecture at Risk List for 2012.  If you know of a particular worthwhile or iconic property that you feel is at Risk due to neglect or aggressive zoning please write and tell us about it at risk@ooccl.org

We’ll unveil our list at our June General Meeting at Turner House on June 11 at 7:00.  We’ll also be awarding our 2012 neighborhood grants so you won’t want to miss this meeting.

Because this property may be demolished by the time we unveil our list, we wanted to share this preview with you today.



Humble Oil was founded in Texas in 1911. Their stations were once found throughout Texas. They later merged with Standard Oil and were rebranded as Exxon in 1972. It took the Humble Oil Company almost 6 months to gain permission to build their art deco service station at the corner of Zang and Beckley.


Plans to turn Beckley into State Hwy. 4 to Lancaster made the spot desirable for such an enterprise but residents residing within 300 feet of the corner were not having it.  Dallas Mayor R.E. Burt vetoed the Humble application on September 28th 1928. Humble filed an injunction and Judge Claude McCallum of the 101st District Court ordered a building permit issued on March 29, 1929. The Judge remarked, “I did it because it was the law and I could not help myself.”


Likewise it will be the law if the Humble Service Station’s new owner demolishes the property in the near future to make way for the Payless Beer and Wine Store on the same corner.  The station is not protected and an Oncor representative was on the property cutting the power lines on April 27th, 2012 and said it was only a matter of time. The Humble Station is not only unique in its architecture and style but also in its location, it rests directly across the street from the Oswald Rooming House in the Lake Cliff Historic District.


The Oak Cliff Gateway Committee said at a recent public meeting they were rezoning the Oswald House so that it might be a museum one day. That seems much less likely if this happens. The recent success of the Zang Triangle with Spiral Diner, Jonathon’s and Campo has the area on a very positive path but it is a fragile one.

Councilwoman Delia Jasso has promised a meeting with the developer and we will keep you posted as soon as we hear anything.

San Antonio claims their almost identical station is the last remaining Humble Service Station in the state of Texas and they may very soon be correct.