Historic Oak Cliff Hotel
Being Razed for New Structure
||A landmark passes...The
Cliff Hotel was a Dallas showplace (top photo) during the Gay
Nineties. But now the fine old frame hotel, later known as Forest
Inn, is being torn down (lower picture) at Jefferson and Crawford.
landmark is coming down in Oak Cliff with the wrecking of the
old Forest Inn, fifty-five room hotel that has stood almost sixty
years at Jefferson and Crawford.
- September 10, 1945,
Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 2, col. 1-4.
Modern brick store buildings probably
will replace the sturdy frame building, John M. Stemmons, real
estate developer, said. It will take about ten weeks to tear
down the hotel that was fashionable in the Gay Nineties.
The destruction is a tough job,
Jack Haake, wrecking contractor, said. Despite its age, the building
is so well built, that much time is being required to take it
apart. The lumber is of the best grade and much of it still is
in good condition, Haake said. Scores of huge 2x6 planks, thirty-two
feet long, were used in the building, and that timber is in excellent
Built By Marsalis.
The hotel was picturesque as built
in 1889 by T. L. Marsalis, pioneer in Oak Cliff development.
It once was known as the Cliff Hotel, and for many years, was
a Dallas showplace. It contained one of the largest public dining
rooms in the Southwest during its heyday.
The hotel was the scene of fashionable
dinners and other gatherings in the Nineties. During this period,
the Opera House and old pavilion were located at what was known
as Forest Park, now Marsalis Park, and a narrow-gauge railroad
operated between Dallas and Oak Cliff. Soon, however, the hotel
became the home of the Oak Cliff Female Institute. The school
became widely known, and in 1900, the name was changed to Eminence
Again Becomes School.
In 1903, the school was abandoned
and the hotel, again, opened after a thorough modernization.
Forest Park became the scene of large gatherings in the summer,
and in the evenings, there were band concerts and often opera
performances. Show people stopped at the hotel.
In 1912, the hotel, again, became
a school, as the home of the Oak Cliff College. The college was
operated under direction of J. B. Dodson. The college was short
lived, and in 1915, the building, again, became a hotel. After
renovation, it was renamed Forest Inn. Another renovation came
in 1919 to make it a family hotel.
In recent years, Forest Inn was
the home of many teachers assigned to faculties of Oak Cliff
schools. Tenants started moving from the building last December,
when it was decided to destroy the landmark.
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