Then and Now.

Explore our past.

Sam Houston never lived here…indeed no one famous ever did. But much of Texas’ petroleum legend and many national corporations’ history significantly touched Magnolia Station. Many names you may recognize in the news, both historical and contemporary either stem from, or are connected to Magnolia Station, Dallas’ early stake into the oil business.

In 1911 Magnolia Station was the Magnolia Petroleum Distribution Center for North Texas and surrounding states. The company was formed after a federally enforced break up of John D. Rockefeller’s monopoly on America’s petroleum production called Standard Oil of Ohio. Texans bought the state-wide assets including producing wells, a refinery, and tank cars at auction. Purchase of this site and construction of the buildings in 1911 was an early move. Over the next 75 years of oil business wheeling and dealing Magnolia was diced and sliced and some recognizable names emerged…like:: ESSO, Exxon. Mobil, Socony, Pennzoil, Citco, Chevron, Texaco, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), Amoco, and BP.

Besides fuel and motor oil, the original company produced paraffin (wax) for candles, waxed paper, kerosene, crayons, mineral oil, toiletries, and indeed invented Vaseline (now part of Unilever). Early owners of these oil companies were also involved in early 20th Century start-ups like US Steel, Lone Star Gas (now ATMOS), Amalgamated Copper, Corn Products makers of Mazola Oil and Argo Starch, among others.

Your loft in a historical industrial structure is full of early 20th Century designed no-nonsense character. The bricks were made from Texas clay and hauled from kilns by mules. The solid concrete floors, ceilings, and columns were set in wooden forms (look up to see the wood grain). Many of the original windows operate with weights and pulleys and indeed are actually wooden hand covered with sheet metal. The huge 11,000 gallon tank concrete cradles surrounding the swimming pool look like giant tombstones, and are about as deep underground as above to support full tanks. All vestiges of tanks both above and below ground were removed and inspected by the state environmental commission. The Katy Trail (formerly Kansas, Texas & Missouri: KATY) Railroad track spurs were laid alongside two of the current structures so that some windows have been fashioned from large rail car loading doors. Concrete flooring occasionally bear scars from unloading barrels.

Plaques signifying Magnolia Station’s place of the National Register of Historic Places and City of Dallas Landmark can be found at the corner of Lyte and South Houston Streets.

Magnolia Station’s seventy lofts are in seven buildings, each with a work-designated names: The warehouse, the Coopers (barrel makers) Building, the blending shed, the Pump House, the Garage, the Machine Shop, and the Office. The site belonged to first Magnolia Petroleum, then Mobil Oil & Gas, until the company moved during the 1940s. After that Neuhoff Packing Company purchased and used the facility for meat processing and storage. The next owner was the Kaymac Paper Company which stored and shipped paper products. The current owners purchased and renovated the property to residential use in the 1990s.

 

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