Old building survived, I assume, behind a 1940s façade – Corpus Christi Caller-Occasions

I all the time thought that the Doddridge Financial institution Building on Chaparral was pulled down and a type of fashionable field-like constructions — sans architectural embellishment — was constructed as an alternative. Now I surprise.

I suspect some outdated downtown buildings have survived with a new façade, their underlying identification coated over and unrecognizable, previous and current mingled. Old buildings are fascinating for his or her distinctive options, their particular person types, which modernizing exteriors had been meant to destroy. The query is whether or not the Doddridge Building is a type of outdated survivors hidden by a fashionable entrance. I suspect that it's. One other is the Montgomery Ward building at Chaparral and Peoples, which I assume dates again to the 1880s.

The Doddridge Financial institution Building was erected in 1883. The financial institution was established by Perry Doddridge, a wool supplier, in 1871 within the outdated Edey & Kirsten Building on nook of Chaparral and Lawrence, throughout from the St. James Lodge. And that website is the place the Doddridge Building was constructed.

The building has a distinctive historical past. In 1885 a part of the second ground was used for the Myrtle Membership, a personal males’s membership, with a saloon, billiards, studying room, and tables for card video games. Many of the distinguished males on the town belonged to the Myrtle Membership.

The Doddridge Financial institution collapsed throughout a nationwide melancholy in 1893 and Perry Doddridge spent his personal fortune repaying depositors 60 cents on the greenback, which left him bankrupt. It was mentioned your complete city sympathized with Doddridge.

On Jan. 26, 1903, a assembly was held within the Doddridge Building with John Nance Garner, the newly elected congressman for the district. Garner stayed on the St. James Lodge the night time earlier than and walked throughout Chaparral for the assembly together with his constituents. On the assembly, he was advised that Corpus Christi needed, above all else, a channel dredged throughout the bay to present town entry to deep water. Garner’s work towards this finish put in movement the chain of occasions that ultimately led to the Port of Corpus Christi.

In 1908, the Dixie Theater, Dixie Café and Dixie Rooms occupied the Doddridge Building and that space of Chaparral was generally known as the Dixie nook. In February 1919, the Corpus Christi Caller moved from the Noessel building within the 300 block of Chaparral into the Doddridge Building within the 400 block. Later that yr, throughout the 1919 hurricane, the newspaper workplace was submerged within the storm surge. The press on the primary ground was swamped, although the editorial workplaces and composing room on the higher ground escaped injury. The Caller was printed in Kingsville till the press was repaired.

Within the mid-1920s, the Caller moved to Mesquite Avenue and the Doddridge Building was transformed to deal with J.E. Garrett’s Texas State Financial institution & Belief. The Doddridge Building turned generally known as the Garrett Building. The Doddridge/Garrett building housed a number of tenants within the late 1930s. Throughout the road, the St. James Lodge was pulled down and a new Lichtenstein retailer was constructed. It opened in December 1941.

It was about this time that the Doddridge Building was torn down or renovated to deal with Buttrey’s Women Put on, which opened in 1941. I assume it was renovated and might see how that will occur, within the 1940s, when the downtown retailers all needed their storefronts to look new and fashionable.

The building later housed Joos Footwear earlier than it was closed. It stands vacant at present, throughout from the brand new Cosmopolitan. The again of the construction is an outdated brick wall that will be in line with the Doddridge Building. With extra informal conjecture than strong proof, I suspect the 134-year-outdated building survived with a fashionable exterior that disguised its unique façade. Regardless of change, the previous remains to be there, generally actually.

Finish of the streetcar line

Daniel Hewitt from Tyler started the Corpus Christi and Interurban Railway in 1910. He had tracks laid on picket blocks on unpaved streets with copper wires strung above. The road had 4 automobiles and Hewitt purchased electrical energy to function them from the Peoples Mild Firm. The inaugural run was made on March 28, 1910.

A yr later, Hewitt offered out to the Heinley brothers of Denver. Vinton Candy Heinley ran the operation whereas his brother Earl was a co-proprietor. The Heinleys added three automobiles and constructed a energy plant that ran on oil from Mexico. They offered out in 1914 to a syndicate from Philadelphia.

The brand new house owners added eight new automobiles, modified the older automobiles, prolonged the strains, and adjusted the identify to the Corpus Christi Railway and Mild Firm. The automotive barn was north of the 1914 Courthouse. One line ran from the Metropolis Drug Retailer at Chaparral and Starr to North Seashore. One other line was the South Bluff run, which terminated at Third and Booty. One line ran to the Segrest space and one other was the Paul Court docket run, at Lipan and 13th. A fifth line ran to the Nueces Bay Heights.

When an Military coaching submit named Camp Scurry opened in 1916 south of city, the trolley enterprise took off. Between 1916 and 1917, the variety of riders exceeded a million. This was the golden age of streetcar transit in Corpus Christi.

However the trolleys started to face stiff competitors as extra folks had been shopping for their very own vehicles. An article in a 1917 subject of the Electrical Railway Journal bemoaned the truth that “neighborly feeling in Corpus Christi is so developed that even the stranger who's noticed ready for a streetcar is invited to step in and journey in a personal vehicle.”

The trolleys had one other two good years earlier than the 1919 storm struck. After the storm, the streetcar system was nearly destroyed, with broken automobiles and the ability plant knocked out. It was put again into operation on Nov. 19, 1919. However outdated occasions had been gone without end. The streetcar line quickly went into receivership and sporadic makes an attempt to revive it failed. On Jan. 31, 1931, the final trolley automotive reached the top of the road in Corpus Christi. The clang of the warning bell, the whine of the electrical motor, and clackety-clack of the wheels as they hit the rail junctures had been heard no extra.

(The derelict Montgomery Ward building, which can be 130 years outdated, would be the topic of subsequent week’s column.)

Murphy Givens is the retired Viewpoints Editor of the Caller-Occasions. E-mail him at givens.murphy@gmail.com.   

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Old building survived, I assume, behind a 1940s façade - Corpus Christi Caller-Occasions