508 Park is a building that erupts with history.
Since acquiring the building in 2011, we’ve been researching 508’s history in archives that stretch from California to Louisiana to New York.
This architecturally- significant Art Deco building contains a multifaceted story of intersecting histories. At a time when Warner Brothers was adding sound to its films, the record business was on the lookout for new talent. Some of that new talent was recorded during the 1930s on the third floor of 508.
One of the exciting items turned up at the University of Southern California is this picture from a file with a date of 1946. We could tell that the former film screening room (at the top of the building), had lettering on it, but it was hard, in the twenty-first century to read what that had been. The photograph answered our question.
The great blues player Robert Johnson had two recording sessions in Texas.
One at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio on November 23, 1936, and one that spanned two different days in June 1937 of recording at 508 Park, Dallas. Elijah Wald, author of Escaping the Delta, discusses the second recordings.
Download the full list of artists who recorded in 1937.
After working with forensic paint specialists, we were able to restore the original Warner Bros signage on the side of 508.