Former Dallas city employee Gene Belk and his wife, Frances, opened Oak Cliff Floral Co. on East Colorado Boulevard in 1938.
The Belks convinced the landowner, an undertaker, to build the original 200-square-foot mission-style structure on credit, repaying him $15 a month. Their business did so well that they bought the land in 1941 for $4,500. By 1948, they had poured $50,000 into the property, adding greenhouses, showrooms and living quarters. The Belks retired in 1975, and their daughter, Iris Smith, ran it until she moved the business to Rockwall in 2008.
Heritage Oak Cliff listed the building in its Oak Cliff At Risk list in 2014, and it’s still standing but has been vacant for 10 years.