Titche-Goettinger Building

Straying Off the Beaten Path in Downtown Dallas – Exploring the Titche-Goettinger Building

Exploring history first-hand and seeing places that are long forgotten is one of my favorite pastimes. This summer, I partnered up with Beth Schon from the lifestyle blog WiseMommies and set out to explore Downtown Dallas and the many notable buildings that make up the cityscape. One of the most notable places we checked out was the Titche-Goettinger building, located at the corner of Elm and St. Paul.  The former location of one of the most well-known department stores in Dallas, the name might sound completely foreign, or it just may bring back fond memories.

Titche-Goettinger Building

Founded in 1902 by Edward Titche and Max Goettinger, this department store sold everything from apparel to housewares to fine china. This building wasn’t their original location- it was actually their third!  The business started off on the corner of Elm and Murphy. In just two years time, they had outgrown their current location, and the store moved to their second location off Main Street. By 1928, Titche’s had outgrown that, so they moved into their flagship store. Eventually, Dillard’s took over the company in 1987. The building was not included in the sale and was closed not too long after. It sat abandoned until 1997, when developers renovated the inside and converted it into loft-style apartments.


Titche-Goettinger Building
The lobby of the Titche-Goettinger building.

Arriving, we met up with Stephanie Tutt, the assistant manager of the leasing office who offered to show us around. The first place Stephanie showed us was one of the apartments on the second floor.

Titche-Goettinger Building


One cool thing about here was that many historical aspects of the building have been preserved, even after the extensive renovation! In this particular unit, that cylinder-shaped thing is actually an old rolling door unit dating back to the days of the department store.

Titche-Goettinger Building

A vintage fire protection device of some kind hung from the wall. Maybe a fire pump?

Titche-Goettinger Building


Architectural features, such as the support beams and an exposed brick wall, were all original to the building and part of the design.

Titche-Goettinger Building

Stephanie explained that there are over 50 unique floor plans, all different in some way due to the historical nature of the building. At a 98% occupancy rate, the residents seem to like it here!

Just outside the apartment was a door that said “Fitting Room.” It piqued my curiosity, and we went in to take a look.

It turned out that room was the community gym. Not sure if back in the day of Titche’s it served as a fitting room, but nevertheless it seemed to have been repurposed well. Much like the unit we just toured, there was a lot of exposed brick and beams, all original to the building.


Back down on the first floor, Stephanie showed us probably one of the coolest things in the building: an antique Otis elevator that hadn’t be removed.


In those days, there wasn’t air conditioning, so there was a fan to keep the air inside (somewhat) circulated.


The listing of the many departments in the store was still on the wall.

Titche-Goettinger Building

On top of the elevator bank was the Titche-Goettinger crest. Just looking at it conveyed thoughts of a simpler time, when going to shop at a department store was an experience on its own.


The crest was one of many artifacts that remained in the building and are on display. A plaque marking this place as a World War II blood donor center was in the leasing office.


This was one of the original door handles, complete with the store’s initials.


In the lobby were various floor plans of the original store. Not sure if these were originals, but they were done pretty well(from an amateur’s perspective), and depicted the different rooms and departments of this huge store.


Something else Beth and I came across was one of the store account books. In a glass case close to the center of the lobby, it was cool to see what folks used to keep track of purchases and returns before the days of the computer.

Some of the books used to keep track of store finances.

What did customers who used to visit this elegant department store have to say about it? Click here to read a testimonial over at Beth’s blog WiseMommies, as well as learn about the importance of knowing the past and understanding one’s history!

In conclusion, although I had heard about Titche’s in the past, I never knew it had such an expansive storefront until now. Almost all of these buildings in the downtown area have an interesting past, and it was cool to learn about the history behind this otherwise unassuming old structure.

A Visit to Abilene Christian University

A few weeks ago, my friend Tom and I flew out to see a city in West Texas that I have only driven by but never explored – Abilene. Located off Highway 20 and home to 122,225 people, Abilene is one of the larger cities dotting the bland landscape of the region. It is located about midway between Dallas and Midland, and is a former frontier settlement. Today, this sleepy city is home to Dyess Air Force Base, numerous oil and gas operations, and also Abilene Christian University, which is where we went on this trip!

Founded in 1906 as the Childers Classical Institute, affiliated with the Churches of Christ, the school opened on a site just west of Abilene. In 1929, a new campus was built on the northeast side of town, which is the school’s present-day location. The university went thru two name changes in its history before becoming Abilene Christian University around the mid-70s. Today, close to 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students study here.

Upon arriving from the airport, it took us a few minutes to find parking. We ended up having to parallel park in one of the visitor spaces, which didn’t seem to be too numerous. Granted, that’s still better than many of the other colleges I’ve visited, where there is simply nowhere to park without the risk of your car getting towed.

One of the first buildings we checked out was the McGlothlin Campus Center, which serves as a student union of sorts. Inside, you can find a bookstore, dining facilities, and numerous offices.

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University

Nothing here seemed very fancy – it looked like just a typical college environment. Being that our visit was during the summer, there were barely any students to be seen here. However, I’m sure the McGlothlin is a popular congregation spot once the semester starts!

Speaking of places where students are known to hang out, another place that Tom and I saw was the Margaret and Herman Brown Library.

Abilene Christian University Library
The Margaret and Herman Brown Library.

Inside, there was nothing really special to see. Desks and computers were spread out in this learning commons for all to use. Although the building seemed quite dated, the interior looked well-maintained.

Abilene Christian University Library
Interior of the Brown Library. 

As we kept walking around campus, I noticed that much like the library, most of the buildings were pretty old, but kept in good condition. There wasn’t any real gorgeous architecture like that found at the University of Nebraska or Iowa State, but it wasn’t bad for a school nestled in a dusty West Texas town.

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University

We did come across one building that looked new – the Onstead Science Center. Upon checking ACU’s website though, it turned out that this building was actually 70 years old, and had just received a facelift. It looked pretty nice!

Abilene Christian University
The Onstead Science Center. 

Although there isn’t much about ACU that stood out to me, one thing I liked about here was the layout of everything. Being that this is a smaller campus, the center courtyard with different places surrounding it such as the library and student union provided for good ease of access. There were also ample amounts of green space, something I feel is important to any university grounds.

Abilene Christian University


I would have loved to explore this campus further and learn more about life at ACU, but we had to get going to allow time for lunch before heading back to the airport. This was a nice trip seeing a school I’ve heard of several times, as well as knocking out Taylor County off the to-be-seen list of Texas counties!