Meet the Instagram king of Dallas architecture

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Armchair historians of Dallas architecture have a new favorite pastime: scrolling through Sidewalks of Dallas, which pairs new and archival images with capsule biographies of the city’s notable buildings

The Instagram account is the work of Alberto Garza, a long-distance runner and data analytics officer for the Treasury Department. “A lot of the pictures I take are of buildings I pass on my morning runs,” he says.

Klein Brothers stamp from July 1924 at the intersection of Edmondson and Douglas avenues in Highland Park.(Alberto Garza / Alberto Garza)

The project was sparked by Garza’s curiosity about the often overlooked stamps imprinted by contractors on the city’s sidewalks, which tell their own history of the city’s growth and development.

He began posting to the account, a “passion project,” in 2021, and it now has more than 6,500 followers. “I use it as an opportunity to educate the public about the architecture around them, but I’m also learning myself,” he says.

Garza has no background in architecture — he studied socio-cultural anthropology as an undergraduate — but has recruited a team of expert advisors to assist with stylistic attributions. “I like to present an accurate and objective description of a home,” he says.

In that he carries on the legacy of Virginia McAlester, the late queen of Dallas preservation and author of A Field Guide to American Houses, the bible of sidewalk architectural historians everywhere.

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