It is not an uncommon occurrence for a residence to be converted into a church, but when the case is reversed, and a church is changed into a residence, it is a very unusual affair, in fact, even the old settlers of Dallas, when the matter is considered, will no doubt scratch their heads thoughtfully in mentally skimming over the past and finally admit that such an occurrence since their sojourn at the head of the Trinity navigation. However, such a case is now in active progress at the corner of Floyd and Cantegral streets, and the former place of worship of the congregation of the Floyd Street Methodist church has had its three tall spires removed and many other alterations made which have caused it to lose completely, its aspect as a place of worship, and to take on the appearance of a modern flat, or apartment house.
The Methodist Episcopal church building was erected about seven years ago at a cost of $800, and the building is unusually well constructed. For seven years, the congregation assembled upon the peaceful Sabbath to offer up thanks to the Almighty for His wondrous kindness to humanity. Affectionate hearts have been welded together within its walls by the pastor, while at other times, grief-burdened hearts have passed through the church portals following the bier of some loved one who had departed to the Great Beyond, from whence no traveler has ever returned; were it is written that the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. As time passed on in its rapid flight, the congregation increased in number, and the facilities of the old church were found inadequate to meet the requirements of the worshipers. Plans were finally perfected whereby a larger and more pretentious edifice should be erected. The new church, now in course of construction at a cost of many thousands of dollars, is to be known as Grace M. E. church, and is situated at the corner of Junius street and Haskell avenue.
When it was made known that the old church would be vacated, two enterprising speculators began negotiating with the church trustees for the purchase of the lumber in the old building, having in mind the idea of tearing the church down and using the lumber in the construction of other houses. A deal was closed and early in the winter, the property changed hands. The new owners, upon making a closer examination of the church prior to beginning the work of tearing it down, discovered its splendid construction and excellent sate of preservation, and after considerable discussion, decided to convert the place into a modern two-story flat. An able architect was set to work without delay to draw up plans for the change and several contractors, shortly afterwards, submitted bids on the job.
The change is now almost complete, and one would never suspect by glancing at the attractive colonial front, that the place had ever been utilized for any other purpose than that of an apartment house. The old Methodist building contains eight separate and distinct apartments of four rooms each; four apartments on the lower floor and the same number on the second story. The apartments are separated by large eight-foot halls, crossing in the center of the building. Each apartment is provided with modern sanitary arrangements, gas pipes for cooking purposes, and electric light wiring. All rooms have a south and east frontage, and the many windows provided, furnish perfect ventilation and light. The owners of the place, which is to be known as “Diamond Flat,” do not anticipate any difficulty in keeping it rented, as they argue that most rental houses are not provided with the modern conveniences; they also intend renting the apartments at a considerably less figure than the average four-room cottage rents for in Dallas.
In addition to the four rooms in each apartment, a small combination bath room and toilet is provided; the tubs are of the large porcelain variety. There are but two or three flats in the city at the present time, but the day is not far distant when hundreds of such buildings will be erected here. The Diamond Flat will have its main entrance on Cantegral street, and a second entrance on Floyd street. The Cantegral street front, both floors, are protected with vestibules 10×20 feet. A large gable, supported by two 18-inch Corinthian columns, nineteen feet in height, give the place a very attractive appearance, and the locality in which the flat is situated will be very greatly beautified by its presence.
Transcribed by Jim Wheat from: January 24, 1904 edition of the Dallas Daily Times Herald for his Dallas County Archives collection..
Photo: Personal collection, Haskell at Junius Street. Additional Grace Methodist Episcopal and early Dallas church information can be found here.