In 1946 nearly 8,000 cubic yards of earth and rock were moved to sculpt the hill site north of Oak Cliff to build the Belmont Hotel, allowing guests unparalleled views of the Dallas skyline. Charles Dilbeck, the famed, self-taught Dallas architect, designed the building, part of the new Art Moderne movement—smooth horizontal lines, soft rounded corners, and stucco facades. Very California, mucho Betty Grable.
Here’s what the hotel looked like in the 1950’s, and a lot of energy, time and money was put into the refurbishment of the hotel in 2005. There continues to be some crime in the nearby environs (most of it south, between I30 and I35)—which is why I went there tagging along after Detective Betty who was looking into a case—but the coolness factor, the rediscovery of vintage buildings and real estate, has brought money and prestige into the area. And the Hotel Belmont has risen from the ashes to be one of the coolest, boutique hotels, bar and restaurant in Dallas.