Details for Eldorado Ballroom (Atlas Number 5507017020)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507017020

Data

Marker Number 17020
Atlas Number 5507017020
Marker Title Eldorado Ballroom
Index Entry Eldorado Ballroom
Address 2310 Elgin Street
City Houston
County Harris
UTM Zone 15
UTM Easting 271190
UTM Northing 3291736
Subject Codes African American topics; commerical buildings; clubs/organizations; performing arts
Marker Year 2011
Designations
Marker Location corner of Elgin Street and Dowling Street
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text BETWEEN 1900 AND 1920, A RESIDENTIAL BUILDING BOOM FUELED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMERCIAL DISTRICT ON DOWLING STREET, THE THIRD WARD’S MAIN ARTERY. THE BUSTLING DISTRICT INCLUDED RESTAURANTS, SHOPS, CHURCHES, STORES, PROFESSIONAL OFFICES, MOVIE THEATERS AND NIGHTCLUBS. LOCATED AT THE CORNER OF ELGIN AND DOWLING STREETS, THE ELDORADO BALLROOM WAS DESIGNED BY ARCHITECT LENARD GEBART FOR THE PROMINENT PHILANTHROPISTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS CLARENCE ARNOLD DUPREE AND HIS WIFE ANNA JOHNSON DUPREE. THE BALLROOM OPENED IN 1939 AND WAS NAMED FOR ONE OF THE SOCIAL CLUBS TO WHICH THE BLACK COMMUNITY’S MOST PROMINENT PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE BELONGED. THE ELDORADO BALLROOM PROVIDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEMBERS OF THE BLACK MIDDLE AND UPPER CLASSES TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR WEALTH AND SOPHISTICATION. THE BALLROOM LAUNCHED THE CAREERS OF MUSICIANS AND BAND LEADERS SUCH AS MILTON LARKIN, ILLINOIS JACQUET AND ARNETT COBB. IN THE LATE 1950s, THE ELDORADO BALLROOM HOSTED POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT ACTS FROM NATIONALLY-KNOWN BLACK ARTISTS IN THE BLUES AND R&B GENRES. BY THE 1960s, MIGRATION OUT OF THE INNER CITY RESULTED IN THE RELOCATION OR CLOSURE OF MANY BUSINESSES IN THE AREA. IN ADDITION, THE DECLINING IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL CLUBS, INADEQUATE PARKING, AND COMPETITION FROM OTHER VENUES CUMULATIVELY LED TO THE BALLROOM’S CLOSURE IN THE 1970s. FOLLOWING THE DEATHS OF THE DUPREES, OILMAN HUBERT FINKELSTEIN PURCHASED THE PROPERTY IN 1984 AND 15 YEARS LATER DONATED IT TO PROJECT ROW HOUSES, A COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION. THE ELDORADO BALLROOM IS ONE OF THE FEW HISTORIC BUILDINGS REMAINING IN THE THIRD WARD’S FORMER COMMERCIAL DISTRICT.