I pass by this building almost every time I go into Deep Ellum, but I have never really thought about it’s history or why it was there. So, last night when I was at the House of Heroes show I decided to take a picture of it, and do a little research about the Old Union Bankers Building.
Then I found this on the Deep Ellum Foundation website…
Union Bankers Trust Building, located at 2551 Elm Street, is one of the better known Landmarks in Deep Ellum. Constructed in 1916 as the Grand Temple of the Knights of Pythias, the building was designed by African-American architect William Sydney Pittman, the state’s first black architect and the son-in-law of Booker T. Washington. In addition to serving as the state headquarters for the Knights,the temple housed some of the city’s earliest offices for black doctors, dentists and lawyers and served as the social and cultural center for the African- American community until the late 1930s. The building was Pittman’s largest built work. Other Dallas Landmarks within Deep Ellum include The Palace Shop at 2814 Main Street (ca. 1913) and Parks Brothers Warehouse at 2639 Elm Street (ca. 1923).
I decided to put the building in black and white because its been vacant for years for as long as I can remember. Would anyone take that building and restore it? Or will it eventually be left there to rot and fade away.
The way it stands is pretty interesting, but I can’t imagine what it would be like inside. If it’s possible to even get inside. Anyways I thought the picture in black and white represented the building pretty good.
Here is a recount about what happened last night.
I just got my camera back from the shop earlier that week and my friend Andy was telling me we need to go take some pictures. It’s been a bit, so I was down and figured we’d go to Deep Ellum and get in some night shots and swing by The Prophet Bar to see the Say Anything show. Well damn… we didn’t make the show and at about 11:30 we were walking by the huge Robot Man off Good Latimer near the Deep Ellum Dart Station. I was about 15 feet ahead of Andy, my wife, her friend, and her baby when all of a sudden we heard 6 rapid shots fire off in succession. It happened so fast that none of us had time to react, but I heard Andy yell “get down!”
Out of the corner of my eye I saw sparks fly off the concrete from where the bullet ricocheted. I looked back at my wife and they we’re just standing there while Andy was ducked behind them. The sparks couldn’t of been more than 20 feet from where we were standing. Andy also mentioned that he saw sparks from another bullet hit on the opposite side of the tracks from where we were standing. It happened so fast that it was over before we knew what happened. We looked around and saw a few cars, some motorcycles and that was it. After that we took off and left, luckily we weren’t too far from where we parked.
It was insane and scary.
My wife’s friend says they were firecrackers, but then again how does it explain the sparks?
The sparks I saw were about 20 to 50 feet in the opposite direction then the ones Andy saw. The sound was much louder than fire crackers.
I have been down to Deep Ellum hundreds of times and have never encountered more than the occasionally homeless guy… so bizarre.
This past Sunday Kevin Hail organized a last minute photowalk in Deep Ellum. I was pretty pumped about the opportunity because I had such a great time at the last one. This time we chose Deep Ellum as the destination and spent a few hours setting up and taking pictures of his wife and other things we saw. After the recent ice storm it was great to get out and enjoy the weather. This time we worked with some reflectors and strobes to try out a few different lightening techniques. Overall I was really pleased with the outcome of the pics that everyone took. It was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and if you are reading this and want to join I think the plan is do some sort of meet up once a month. I will keep you posted on the next and as always follow on twitter to get the latest updates.
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