The Olla Podrida Purchasing Heart, a beloved, barn-like bazaar in North Dallas


Rewind to 1972 and head south of Interstate 635 on Coit Street in North Dallas, and also you’ll spot the newly opened shopping center with the rainbow signal: Olla Podrida, the buying middle that embraced its title.

Workers {photograph} taken in 1982 of the busy inside of Olla Podrida.(The Dallas Morning Information)

Loosely translated to “a bit of little bit of the whole lot” in Spanish, Olla Podrida exemplified the phrase “eclectic” by means of its architectural construction and its sundry retailers. Its purpose was to host “small, non-commercial craftsmen in an artist’s paradise of galleries and materials, weaving, pottery, brass and greenery, leather-based, jewellery, high quality eating places, and whatever-you-will … a buyers’ honest that brings the weird, hard-to-find retailers collectively in a colourful collage of strings and slips and sealing wax.”

Revisit the labyrinthine retailers of Olla Podrida by means of the archives of The Dallas Morning Information.

The bones of the pot

Map published in The Dallas Morning News on July 22, 1994.
Map printed in The Dallas Morning Information on July 22, 1994.(The Dallas Morning Information)

The area the place Olla Podrida stood was beforehand an deserted warehouse and a hangar from the non-public Highland Park Airport at Benefit Drive and Coit Street earlier than Trammell Crow and James Coker of Crow-Coker Realty Co. introduced their imaginative and prescient of an artisanal buying middle to life.

Staff photograph of Jim Coker of Crow-Coker Realty Co. Inc. and Max Holderby, Olla Podrida's leasing agent, published in The Dallas Morning News on Aug. 20, 1972.
Workers {photograph} of Jim Coker of Crow-Coker Realty Co. Inc. and Max Holderby, Olla Podrida’s leasing agent, printed in The Dallas Morning Information on Aug. 20, 1972.(John Younger)

Information author Karen Jones highlighted the upcycling that architectural agency Pratt, Field, Henderson and Companions of Dallas engaged in throughout the building of the mall’s constructing, together with recycled constructing supplies in addition to native architectural antiques like stained-glass home windows from the outdated Dallas County Courthouse and the outdated Temple Emanu-El Synagogue in South Dallas.

The constructing’s inside adopted a five-level design with retailers and walkways on all ranges and a draped canvas ceiling. Pockets of stay crops and open areas blended seamlessly with the cloistered retailers bordered by weathered timber from Waco. Fixtures like ornamental iron and bars, railroad ties, English railroad station benches, brass door pulls and handles and cell doorways from an outdated Abilene jail adorned the mall.

Trinkets and tenants

Forward of its time, Olla Pod, because it was generally referred to as, contained greater than 60 specialty and craft retailers, eating places, artist galleries, vintage and artwork retailers and school rooms.

The mall’s foot visitors got here from vacationers and locals alike. Repeat prospects had been widespread as a result of there was an excessive amount of to expertise in a single go to, corresponding to taking part in with the miniature practice set, attending artwork lessons and watching craftspeople as they made jewellery and stained-glass home windows.

Retailers over time

  • Granny’s Dinner Theatre, which hosted entertainers corresponding to Ray Charles, John Goodman and the Kingston Trio
  • Higher Crust Restaurant, well-known for its buttermilk pie
  • The Apple Tree for snacks
  • By the Keyhole dollhouse store
  • The Studio, an artwork studio that provided sculpting and determine lessons
  • The Olla Podrida Gallery, which featured rural artwork and early American prints
  • The Entrance Porch, a sand candle store
  • Karat High high quality vintage jewellery
  • Los Manos Inc., a enterprise providing all issues weaving, stitchery and macramé
  • Issues Issues Issues, which bought nautical artwork and collectibles like wood ships, scrimshaw sculptures, and whale’s tooth and walrus tusks
  • The Remaining Contact: image framing, dried flower preparations and presents
  • Fiddlesticks, a present store
  • Treasures of Nature
  • DeFalco Wine Makers

Mysterious enterprise

Past its crafts and commerce, Olla Podrida was rumored to have some paranormal sights, particularly phantoms.

In 1996, reporter Larry Powell interviewed a few store house owners earlier than the mall’s closing.

Roger of The Entrance Porch was quoted saying: “All I ever see are out of the nook of my eye — the three women.”

Vickie, one other store proprietor, continued: “We’ve got three women that stroll by means of the mall wearing lengthy skirts and white blouses with their hair up. You may hear them murmuring however you’ll be able to’t perceive what they’re saying. … There’s a person who smokes a cigar, and a bit of baby.”

Misplaced instruments, flying merchandise and dinging alarm doorways had been attributed to the ghost baby, and Vickie claimed to catch whiffs right here and there of cigar smoke: “You scent it, and it immediately goes away. That’s how you recognize it’s a ghost. Actual cigar smoke would linger.”

Some theorized that the ghosts got here from a forgotten graveyard beneath Olla Podrida’s basis. Others believed the spirits got here together with the vintage components of the constructing.

Native historical past and folklore writer Mitchel Whitington additionally wrote about “The Phantom Consumers of Olla Podrida” in his 2003 e book The Ghosts of Dallas.

Closing

Headline published on July 22, 1994, in The Dallas Morning News.
Headline printed on July 22, 1994, in The Dallas Morning Information.(The Dallas Morning Information)

In 1994, The Information reported that the North Texas buying landmark was set for demolition.

The constructing’s age was cited amongst one of many fundamental causes for its closure, significantly the $900,000 it could’ve taken to restore the constructing’s roof, heating and air con in addition to the reworking to deliver the constructing as much as People With Disabilities Act requirements.

Information reporter Jeffrey Weiss later reported that public outcry and the shortage of a purchaser for the property purchased the mall a reprieve. It was short-lived: The buying middle closed July 31, 1996, and was demolished in 2003.

What’s there now: Akiba Yavneh Academy, a Fashionable Orthodox Okay-12 coed college that opened in 2005.



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