Top: Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library. Above: Photo by Danny Fulgencio


Most Oak Cliffers remember Dallas County Schools, whose headquarters were at the northeast corner of West Davis at Zang for decades.

But who remembers when it was Fred Oakley Motors?

The auto dealership opened with a brand-new building, constructed for $130,000 in 1948, and originally was the city’s second Studebaker dealership, later adding Packard and Chrysler. In 1952, they expanded to include a lot on North Beckley behind the original dealership.

Now-defunct Dallas County Schools later owned all of that land. They sold it to Crescent Communities in 2014, and their mixed-use development, Novel Bishop Arts, currently is under construction there. Crescent later sold the Beckley parcel to Central Market, which has not yet announced any plans for it.

Oakley, who lived on Kessler Parkway and worked in some of Dallas’ earliest car dealerships in the 1930s, died in 1976. The dealership moved to Irving in the late ’70s and was acquired by AutoNation USA in 1999.