North Side Style: Corbelling

Corbelling—the masonry technique of laying bricks so that they project in steps vertically from a wall—was popular early in the twentieth century and can be seen in the cornices and parapets of buildings that were built on the North Side during the packing plant boom.

This is a corner of the old Stockyards post office building on West Exchange Avenue, built in 1909. The building later housed a grocery and hotels. The current occupant, Pearl’s Dancehall & Saloon, says the building once housed a bordello owned by Buffalo Bill Cody.

The Edelbrock Building (1908) on West Exchange has been a hotel, Masonic lodge hall, boardinghouse, furniture store. It is now Cadillac Cowboy Cantina.

The Thannisch Block Building on East Exchange has always been a hotel. The eastern part of the building was built in 1907. In 1913 the building was expanded to the west. For the addition architects Field and Clarkson matched the design of the eastern part. You have to look closely to see the “seam.”

The Googins Building (1911) on North Main has been a jack of all trades, housing a physician, milliner, seamstress, barber, tailor, and electrician. It now houses a restaurant and a crafts shop.

The McCarthy Building (1927) on North Main has housed a car dealership and furniture stores. Now its north wall serves as a billboard for Joe T. Garcia’s.

The middle building is the Pritchard Building (1906) on North Main, but all three buildings feature corbelling. The Pritchard Building has housed furnished rooms, bakery, restaurant, barbershop, and other retail outlets. It is now Byblos Lebanese Restaurant and Hookah Lounge. Belly dancing on weekends.

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3 Responses to North Side Style: Corbelling

  1. Hi Mike,

    It looks like at the top of the The McCarthy Building it says “Since 35”. Any idea who was there in 1935?

    • hometown says:

      Brian, Tarrant County Historical Resources Survey says the McCarthy Building dates to 1927 with a new façade in 1931. TAD dates the building at 1928. North Side Chevrolet (Cliff Magers, president and general manager) was there by at least 1929 and into 1932. Cliff Magers Chevrolet Company was there by at least 1933 until at least 1938. On the front of the building, above the north window at the south edge I think I can make out the faded letters “MAGE” as in “MAGERS.”

  2. Steve A says:

    Corbelling is still popular in home construction. My own house, built in the 80’s has some. It has been toned down from your great photos in recent years, however.

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