Cow Pate de Foie Gras

Here are three didya-knows about the White Elephant Saloon on Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards district.

Some folks may think that the shootout of 1887 between White Elephant gambling manager Luke Short and former City Marshal Jim Courtright took place outside this Exchange Avenue saloon because that is where the shootout is reenacted each February 8.

But didya know (1) that the shootout actually took place downtown? The original White Elephant Saloon opened in 1884 and was located at 308 Main St. The Morris Building (built in 1906 but rebuilt in 1981) occupies the site of the original saloon, which was torn down in 1899 after a fire.

An 1893 Sanborn map shows that among amenities of the original saloon was a cock-fighting pit upstairs.

And didya know (2) that the Woodhouse Building—the Exchange Avenue building that houses the current White Elephant Saloon—dates only to 1931? Early in its life the building housed C. Homberg & Son Jewelers. The rustic wooden shutters and store front were added in 1958. The Exchange Avenue saloon opened about 1976.

Now look above those additions at the original brick detailing of today’s White Elephant. See that telltale geometric pattern? No—don’t avert your gaze. Stand and face it, Pard. Didya know (3) that you are squinting at . . . art deco—the architectural style popularized during the 1920s in Paris, France?

Sacre bleu, y’all.

You want a quiche with that Corona?

This entry was posted in Art Decow, Crime, Downtown, Life in the Past Lane, North Side, Public Buildings. Bookmark the permalink.

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