Friday, February 13, 2009

CityWalk@Akard, Part

The building at 511 N. Akard, which we’ve named CityWalk@Akard, has an interesting history. It was originally built by the Baptist Annuity Board, which explains the crosses in the center of some of the grid lines in the patterned brick on the south and north walls of the building. A few additional words on its history can be found here:, on an interesting site on Dallas architectural history. The main link is You can find all sorts of interesting tidbits on the site—like the fact that CityWalk is the 49th tallest building in the City of Dallas.

When we first acquired 511 N. Akard, you could still see all the electrical outlets for what must have been dozens of adding machines on the second floor. I don’t know whether it was what actually happened, or not, but I imagine dozens of bookkeepers opening envelopes from all the member churches in the Southern Baptist Convention and recording the retirement contributions for the pastors of each church. The building had at least two vaults, one of them was enormous, and I suppose that’s where the funds and records were kept.

I find it an amazing coincidence (and perhaps more than coincidental) that the most suitable building we could find downtown for affordable housing was built by one faith-based organization and is now owned by another faith-based organization.

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