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Thannisch-Vandergriff Building

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1928; 2003 rehabilitated. 255 N. Center St.

By 1950 Arlington had expanded little more than ten blocks beyond the intersection of Center Street and the Texas and Pacific Railway track. Downtown consisted of retail blocks lining Center Street two blocks on each side of the railroad’s east–west right-of-way. The last remnant of Arlington’s historic center north of the tracks is this building and the Gothic Revival First United Methodist Church (1956; 313 N. Center). The two-story Thannisch-Vandergriff Building housed Arlington’s Chevrolet dealership from 1928 to 1966. Built for J. C. Thannisch, the second owners in 1938 were W. T. Vandergriff and his son Tom Vandergriff. The buff tapestry-brick-faced and cast-stone-detailed building faces First United Methodist’s Vandergriff Chapel (1965) across Division Street. The conservative architectural continuity evident in this pair of buildings shows the persistence of a distinct Arlington identity in between the rival cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. Tom Vandergriff was the leader of Arlington’s transformation from small town to suburban metropolis.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Thannisch-Vandergriff Building", [Arlington, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 225-225.

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