Encore Park Presents

508 PARK

Unique. Legendary. Historical.

At 508 Park, a beautiful Art Deco building, in downtown Dallas, historic recordings were made in the 1930s. Now, Encore Park is making history as it renovates the building, reclaims its history, and creates innovative outreach programs.

 
 
 
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History

 

508 Park contains a multifaceted story of intersecting histories. Opening in 1929 as the Warner Brothers Exchange Building, this structure served as a distribution point for films and records. Brunswick Records was located on the 3rd floor and in 1937, producer Don Law organized a makeshift recording studio for sessions with legendary musician Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, and many other significant musicians of the time. In 2004, Eric Clapton recorded Johnson’s music at 508 Park, paying tribute to those special recordings and Johnson’s lasting impact on music.

 
 
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Vision

Our vision is to vibrantly restore 508 Park and to provide an opportunity for everyone to learn about its storied past, enjoy Encore Park’s innovative programming, and utilize our unique creative resources. We like to think of the Western Wind, depicted on the front of 508 Park, represented in Greek mythology by Zephyrus, as the guiding spirit for our vision.

 
 

Coming Soon

508 Park will be open to the public in the near future. We’re currently fundraising to continue our renovation efforts. Once the renovation is complete, 508 Park will not only be home to the following community resources but also a fantastic location for private events. Our rooftop event space will dazzle guests with its stellar views of downtown Dallas. Continue to visit this site and Encore Park for the latest information on how to book 508 Park for your special event. 

 

508 Amphitheater

Bringing the music back to 508 Park, the 508 Amphitheater is home to many of our performing arts events. Since its dedication on October 24, 2014, several exciting performances have taken place on its stage including the inaugural concert by blues artist Larry Lampkin and his band. To view upcoming 508 Amphitheater events, visit Encore Park.

 

The Sculpture Wall

The Encore Park Sculpture Wall is the first realized aspect of our commitment to our unique location at the crossroads of the past and present. In 2012, The Encore Park Project Committee commissioned Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin to create original artwork for the amphitheater walls that denote the former perimeter of the Columbia Film Exchange. Learn more about The Encore Park Sculpture wall.

 

Art Studio

Once the 508 Park renovation is complete, the 2nd floor will be home to the Art Studio – a permanent exhibition space for the artists that participate in the Stewpot Art Program. The Stewpot Art Program has been in existence since the 1990s and nurtures the artistic talents of homeless and at-risk individuals. Visit The Stewpot to learn more about this unique program.

Recording Studio

The 3rd floor of 508 Park will be dedicated to music recording and education. In the same location where the Light Crust Doughboys, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, the Crystal Spring Ramblers, Black Boy Shine, W. Lee O’Daniel and his Hillbilly Boys, Robert Johnson, and many others recorded, current musicians and students will be able to record.

 

The Museum of Street Culture

The Museum of Street Culture presents film, music and architectural history exhibitions and public programs. Exhibitions focus on the homeless and the art they create, as well as current directions in street culture, including performance, installation and emerging art forms. Learn more about The Museum of Street Culture and its upcoming events.
 

 

Coffee Bar & Gift Shop

The 1st floor of 508 Park will include a coffee bar and gift shop, as well as the Museum of Street Culture and the Art Studio. Stay tuned here for updates!

 
 

Architecture

As one of the few remaining Zig Zag Moderne buildings –and probably the best example of this design in Dallas, 508 Park has great architectural significance. Designed by the New Orleans firm, Weiss, Dreyfous, and Seiferth, 508 Park is both utilitarian and distinctive in its original design. The Art Deco facade includes custom cast-stone reliefs of Greek mythology figures and black Belgian marble. The original interior included elements that hinted at its Hollywood connection but was truly designed to meet the demands of the motion picture industry and local ordinances regarding the handling and storage of highly-combustible films. For 20 years, 508 Park was vacant and repeatedly vandalized. The Encore Park Project Committee is determined to restore 508 Park to how it appeared in 1930, when construction on the building was completed. 

 
 

The significance of any building is what we put into it. A building is just bricks and mortar. But 508 Park Avenue is one of two buildings that has a connection with and is part of the story of two of the most important recording sessions in American history.

Michael Taft
American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress