A few years ago I came across an article that said the old Sanger-Harris building at Valley View Mall is set for demolition and their permits gives them 180 days to demo the building. To confirm this, I drove by the old building two weeks before the original article was written and I was able to see demolition equipment in the parking lots and contractors hauling out debris to the dumpsters. The mosaics are to be demoed along with the building. Sadly the mural at Collin Creek was recently demolished as well.
My Memories of the Sanger-Harris Building at Sanger-Harris Building
I remember when I was young visiting the Sanger-Harris Building at Valley View Mall and visiting other stores in the mall. Although I mostly remember the building as Foley’s, I do remember that it was another department store that we shopped at during the malls’ early days. I remember we would go several times a month and make a day out of it. We use to dress up to go shopping or go after church and eat lunch at the El Fenix (left the mall over a decade ago) then hit up our favorite stores.
In the 2000’s I worked in the mall but left in the mid 2000’s as the stores started closing. After that, I think I was in there in 2009 to purchase something. I then visited the mall only to see a movie or hit an anchor store closing. Around then I decided to avoid going to that mall and I am surprised that the mall is still open. There isn’t much left there.
The History of the Sanger-Harris Building at Valley View Mall
The Sanger-Harris company has an interesting history much like many of the old departments stores of the past. But I’m not going into detail about their history, that’s been told and so has the history of the location at Valley View. So I will give you a brief history of the Sanger-Harris Building at Valley View Mall.
The Valley View Mall is one of the of oldest retail locations in the North Dallas Corridor. During the 1980s the mall was a popular shopping location and there weren’t that many malls in the area. Today its a different story. The mall doesn’t get that much traffic. There are still shops there but I think the theater keeps those shops open.
The Sanger-Harris building at Valley View Mall opened its doors in 1973 when Valley View Mall opened. The building was designed by Harold A. Berry & Associates and has the largest remaining Sanger-Harris mosaic that was created by Brenda J. Stubel. At the time it was considered the largest glass mural with a single surface installed in the country, it measures 600 ft by 360 ft.
Sanger-Harris remained an anchor store until they merged with Foley’s in 1987 and the building changed names. Then in 1988 the company was sold to to May Department Stores but kept its name. In 2006 Foley’s changed their name to Macy’s. But with the decline in customer traffic to the mall, Macy’s closed this location 2008.
Why Not Save The Mural
The Sanger-Harris Murals are considered Iconic and anyone in Dallas that has been in the area for more than a few years will recognize them even if they do not know much about them. Its sad to see them go, but that area is in need of revitalization.
I am impressed that the owners and the Office of Cultural Affairs (keeper of Dallas’ public art) tried to have the murals saved. But in the end it would cost to much to remove. Dallas News says it would cost between 4 million and 5 million dollars to save them and storage would run at least another $300,000. For more details on why it would cost more, check out the Dallas News article.
Author’s Note: This article was originally written for VanishingTexas.com on January 6th 2017. That site is no longer affiliated with us. All content from that site is slowly being migrated and updated to this site. All photos featured on this article were taken just before the building and the murals were demolished.
About the Images
The images were taken around 11 am and was cloudy. The images were shot by hand with a Sony a6000 and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 prime lens. Next, I post processed them with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten, and bring out the details in the images. Then I removed the dust spots. Finally, I used Google Nik Collection to remove the noise from the images.