1933 Main Street Dallas TX United States 75201
Behind the stately limestone porticos, glimmering shop windows and twinkling marquees that line Main Street, you’ll find the neighborhood’s original foundation matches its opulent façade. Downtown Dallas isn’t just a trendy modern hub—these streets are deeply rooted in sophisticated style and theatrical entertainment. Back in the day, theatre and fashion not only went hand in hand here, but gave the neighborhood a glow that rivaled the glamour of Broadway.
Streamlined railways and streetcars ushered in legendary performers, silver screen stars and the audiences who came to see them. Magnificent theatres sat alongside opulent opera houses. Tailoring all of it to the stylish tastes of the times was the landmark Titche-Goettinger department store. By setting up shop in the middle of the social hub of the city, Edward Titche and Max Goettinger quickly made a name for themselves while keeping pace with the budding Vaudeville acts that stole the headlines. Built on the former site of the Dallas Opera House, their new flagship store was perfectly situated for eager fashionistas flocking to downtown from surrounding suburbs to shop the rousing scene.
With a three-ton neon sign on Elm Street, an imaginative refrigerated fur coat vault and an unheard-of price tag of $2.5 million, Titche-Goettinger’s seven-story spectacle spared no expense on state-of-the-art technology. The store was a showpiece of modern design and Art Deco decor, with fixtures of brass and white milk glass, terrazzo floors and diagonal corner windows that caught the eyes of all who strolled by. Inside, shoppers were met with an impressive six floors of merchandise tailored to fit almost any need, from wigs and furs on the second floor to an after-shopping snack in the Tea Room. So, whether guests were looking for a head-to-toe look for the opera that night or wanted an updated ‘do from the in-store beauty salon, Titche-Goettinger had it all…
Right down to the finishing touches. Above each display window on the exterior are symbols representing various retail trades. At its St. Paul entrance, inlaid medallions of cotton and wheat signify the two core crops of Texas. At its Elm Street entrance, timber and manufacturing; and, at the Main Street entrance, cattle and oil. Color-changing nightlight sconces added a “big city” feel to the town’s growing skyline—that nowadays fits right in with downtown’s glowing landscape.
A few blocks down, flickering marquee lights and the sounds of Wurlitzers used to fill the streets as The Melba, Tower, Palace, Rialto Capitol, Fox and Strand overflowed with audiences in their latest Nardis fashions each night. Although grandest of all on Theatre Row was the Majestic—the only one standing today. Its baroque Corinthian columns, egg-and-dart molding, crystal chandeliers, marble fountain, black and white marble floors and twin marble staircases complete what is a lasting and illustrious monument to Vaudeville.
So, you see, between the marvelous shopping meccas and distinguished downtown stages, the groundwork was paved long ago for Dallas to shine as a fashion capital and grand statement of style, one still standing tall in a spotlight all its own.