Thursday, August 29, 2013

El Rancho-Tel

"Texas' Finest Motor Court"
U.S. 77 North   -   6131 Harry Hines Blvd.
Phone D4-4818, Dallas Texas

Not just your average motor court, this 16-unit motel built in 1942 was designed by Dallas architect Charles Dilbeck, known for his Art Moderne and Early Texas Modern styles in Dallas neighborhoods. At the time of its opening the motel was "three miles north of Dallas" and must've made for a pretty pastoral setting for the weary traveler. The exterior used brick salvaged from the wrecking of the Worth Hotel (I don't think this was related the Worth Hotel located in Carrollton. There was a Worth Hotel in Fort Worth at one time.) The interior was furnished in a western motif, and the property was enclosed by an old time rail fence and decorated with cattle brands and old wagon wheels. 

Harry Hines wasn't so pastoral in the 1960s and in 1970 a group of doctors purchased the site and several adjoining tracts in order to build a 120,000 square foot medical office building. The site today is part of the Southwestern Medical Center.

To get an idea of what may have been lost here's a 1930's home in Dallas designed by Dilbeck,  listed for sale in February 2013 for $1,600,000 and this article talks a bit more about Dilbeck's work.

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