History of The Cedars

Posted by    |    July 6th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I have lived in Dallas my whole life and still had no idea what ‘the Cedars’ was, until yesterday.

I explored this historical Dallas landmark and realized that it is more than just South Dallas. This cool little area has many hidden gems including Off the Bone BBQ, Catfish Blues, Opening Bell Coffee and the Dallas Police Department Head Quarters.

The best part about the Cedars was the history, but in an ironic manner. I spotted a sign labeled “Dallas Landmark Sears Café,” and I was determined to go there for lunch. Even in the thick, 100-degree weather, I dragged my reluctant (and sweaty) friends around the building to find the entrance. I walked straight through the double doors where a nice lady sitting at a desk, greeted me, asking how she could help. This didn’t seem quite right for a restaurant – turns out it’s an office building and the café was there years ago (whoops). I should have figured that out considering there were no signs anywhere saying “Sears Café” besides the small landmark sign. Save yourself the embarrassment; the Sears Café is no more.

The Cedars, this now almost forgotten area, used to be one of the most prestigious places to live in Dallas. The historical landmark was first developed in the 1870s and received ‘the Cedars’ as its name because the area was covered with Red Cedar trees.

The first apartment house in Dallas was the Belleview Place, right in the heart of the Cedars, built in 1890. In the late 1800s, the Cedars was filled with gorgeous Victorian Manors and very wealthy Dallasites. Soon there after, people began to move out and it became home to factories and businesses.

Although many of the elegant mansions were demolished in the early 1900s, a recent transformation is giving another rise to South Dallas. The South Side on Lamar building is home to residents and businesses – unusual (but really cool) to have both in one building. People are beginning to move in and business is beginning to boom in the area.

If not for a home or a business, solely the history of the Cedars is why it must –and will – survive.

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