500 South Ervay 500 South Ervay 500 South Ervay 500 South Ervay 500 South Ervay

500 South Ervay

Address: 500 South Ervay
Architect: Mauran, Russell & Crowell of St. Louis, with Harre M. Bernet of Dallas
Year Built: 1910

Also known as: Butler Brothers Building
Merchandise Mart

Butler Brothers, a Chicago based wholesaler, built this building to serve as their warehouse for the Southwest. Initially, this warehouse serviced all Butler Brothers clients, but eventually, it served as the main warehouse for the Ben Franklin Stores, a five-and-dime franchise chain owned by Butler Brothers. The building expanded in 1917, and again in 1932 when Butler Brothers rearranged the interior and renamed the building the Merchandise Mart of the Southwest. In 1951, Lowich Interests bought the building and reopened it as the Dallas Merchandise Mart in 1953, including an addition and interior renovation. Butler Brothers continued to use the space until its new warehouse in Oak Cliff was completed in 1955. In 1960, the façade changed when ceramic tile and aluminum fins were added.

Mart began losing tenants with the building of Trammel Crow's Market Center complex in the late 1960s, and shifted to office space, including housing many city offices. It was remodeled again in 1982-83, and donated to the city in 1994.

In 2006, Bismo Development Co. announced plans to convert the building into 321 residential units and retail space, contingent on city tax subsidies. With initial work underway, Bisno Development Co. expanded the plans to include more than 400 condiminums within the building. The building is still vacant today, however, with initial stripping of the façade visible.

For More Information:

Resources at the Dallas Public Library, 7th Floor:
Vertical Files:
  • Buildings -- Butler Brothers
  • Buildings -- Five Hundred South Ervay
  • Business & Industry -- Butler Brothers
  • Dallas Morning News, 7 April 1910, p. 2.
  • Please contact department to view additional photographs.

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Last revised on August 8, 2007