If there’s anything renters like more than exposed brick, high ceilings and original hardwood flooring, it’s a building rich with history and full of stories hiding in its stairways. From train stations and distribution plants to flour mills and convents, these five historical loft conversions, in Dallas and Fort Worth, mix the best of early 1900s aesthetics with amenities fit for kings.
South Side on Lamar (1409 South Lamar Street, Dallas)
Flash Back: Before the 1.5 million-square-foot building featured lofts, a coffee shop, wine bar and art gallery, South Side on Lamar was known as the first Sears warehouse outside of Chicago. According to its website, the original building was constructed in 1910 and its current standing parts were built during an expansion in 1913. The building continued to grow with the addition of a retail store in 1925 as well as new wings in 1929 and 1966.
Fast Forward: South Side on Lamar remains a focal point of the ever-growing Cedars Arts District. After three years of renovations and a National Historic Landmark title in 1999, the building reopened in 2000. Highlights include more than 100 floor plans ranging from 1,000-3,500 square feet and views of downtown Dallas, Fair Park and the Trinity River.
Learn more at www.southsideonlamar.com.
American Beauty Mill (2400 South Ervay Street, Dallas)
Flash Back: Built in 1912 and originally known as the Standard-Tilton Flour Mill, this South Dallas gem produced goods for more than 65 years before gaining its place on the list of National Historic Landmarks. According to a TxDOT report on Historical Agricultural Facilities in Texas, the Standard-Tilton Flour Mill was, “the largest flour milling operation in the community during its period of significance. The mill evolved from a gristmill founded in the 1850s. In 1912 the firm commissioned plans for this site, which provided direct access to the [rail lines], as well as the local road network. Construction coincided with a period of intense growth in Dallas fostered in part by an explosion in local industrial production.”
Fast Forward: Now, the silo-studded property includes 80 unique residential floor plans. In addition to boasting vaulted ceilings, top-notch amenities include a rooftop pool; bark park and a variety of organized community events.
Learn more at www.americanbeautymill.com.
(1500 Jackson Street, Dallas)
Flash Back: Built in 1916, the Interurban Building once served as a downtown Dallas train station. According to DallasNews.com the red brick building was first converted into lofts in 2005 and was acquired by an investor out of California for $11.5 million during a foreclosure auction in 2011.
Fast Forward: Unlike other historical loft conversions, these 134 units are less rustic and more luxury with amenities including granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The mid-rise apartments also stand out from other loft-like floor plans by offering one-, two- and three-bedroom options. Not to mention a Walk Score of 95, likely thanks to the food, nightlife and entertainment options in close proximity.
Learn more at www.interurbanbuilding.com.
Victory Arts Center
(801 West Shaw Street, Fort Worth)
Flash Back: In 1909, Our Lady of Victory Academy was designed by the Fort Worth firm Sanguinet and Staats. A year later the Gothic Revival style structure opened its doors as a day and boarding school for girls as well as a convent for the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur. A college was added in 1930s but was relocated by 1956 and new students stopped being accepted in the 1960s. Eventually upkeep became too much work for the elderly Sisters and they began to consider demolition. In 1992 the 65,000-square-foot building was bought by Historical Landmark, Inc. for $60,000. After fundraising efforts made renovations possible, the building opened in 2004 as a residential and studio space specifically-designed for the Fort Worth creative community.
Fast Forward: In addition to a grand hall available for weddings and events, Victory Arts Center now houses lofts ranging from 600 to 1,600 square feet. Choose from original hardwood or terrazzo floors.
Learn more at www.victoryartscenter.com.
Texas & Pacific Station
(201-221 West Lancaster Avenue, Fort Worth)
Flash Back: Chances are at some point you’ve noticed the towering 12-story Texas & Pacific building in downtown Fort Worth. According to www.fortwortharchitecture.com, this historical railway terminal (consisting of a railroad passenger terminal, an office building, and a separate warehouse facility) was built in 1931 by Architects Wyatt C. Hedrick and Herman P. Koeppe. The building remains an exemplary example of the Zigzag Moderne Style of Art Deco.
Fast Forward: In the summer of 2006, Texas & Pacific began leasing and selling off hundreds of square feet of its space as luxury loft homes. Large windows mean crystal-clear views of downtown Fort Worth and an onsite tavern and indoor pool means you have year-round reasons to never leave home.
Learn more at www.texaspacificlofts.com.