David Kirkpatrick

October 21, 2009

Lookin’ for hookers

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:50 pm

Today has been something of blog stat anomaly because this post is getting some traffic. The reason it’s unusual is the linked post is an article I wrote years ago that went unpublished (I got a kill fee from the publication that contracted the piece) until I posted it this past January. The post is on Dallas’ “Frog Town,” a red light district in early 20th century Dallas given an official imprimatur of sanction by the city council in 1910.

Why today is an anomaly? With no other way to determine when the weekend arrives, I could check my blog stats and see that post getting plenty of hits. And judging by the search terms used to find the post it’s mostly people — I’m guessing men — searching for prostitutes in Dallas. Of course some legitimate historical searches figure into the mix as well. Here’s just a sample from the last week or so: “prostitution in dallas,” “red light district in dallas,” “prostitution boundaries 1910 dallas city,” and the most searched-for related term this year, “dallas prostitutes.”

From the link:

A 1910 city ordinance adopted by Dallas city commissioners designated new boundaries for the prostitutes in an area just north of the Old Red Courthouse. Three of the commissioners wrote a report rationalizing the ordinance and in “Big D” Payne quotes the report, “We find that under the existing conditions bawdy houses and bawds are promiscuously scattered throughout the City, greatly menacing the decent neighborhoods and offending decent and respectable communities and parts of the City … We feel that the measure hereby suggested by us will entirely eliminate such objectionable characters from the decent neighborhoods of the City.”

Payne writes about the location, “This was immediately east of Lamar Street, from Cochran Avenue on the south to the MK&T railroad tracks on the north, and bounded on the east by a small stream known as Dallas Branch.” Payne points out three areas of particular interest in the district, “The 2100 block of Wesley Avenue, the 1000 through 1300 blocks of Broom (recently changed from Audrey), and the 2100-2300 blocks of Griffin Street.” The designated area was known as “Frogtown,” likely because of the calls of frogs that came up the stream from the Trinity River. Once the area became a designated red light district it was also referred to as “the reservation.”

Frogtown’s location relative to the downtown Dallas of today is an area straddling Woodall Rogers Freeway, beginning just east of the West End historic district and running north toward the home of the Mavericks and Stars, the American Airlines Center. One feature of early 1900s Dallas faded away and was resurrected in 1989, the McKinney Avenue Trolley. Payne points out that streetcars would pass by Frogtown and passengers would rubberneck to look down the streets of the reservation with curiosity.

Frogtown, Dallas' red light district in 1013

Frogtown, Dallas' red light district in 1013

1 Comment »

  1. This is a good shot with the steam pipes in back ground early D.P.and L…site, the area was several block and thi sis a shot of a kid on a bike…so it is a random shot, while men on the corner are gathering….loitering, which is against the law….Vice was a way for men back then go burn time and waste time having a good time…..A/T

    Comment by alexandertroup — May 26, 2011 @ 1:37 pm


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