A year ago, Third Ward had no music-related official Texas historical markers. Soon, it will have two.
Last month, the Texas Historical Commission approved a marker application filed by Project Row Houses for the Eldorado Ballroom, the historic music venue near Elgin and Dowling. Project Row's board of directors raised the money to pay for the marker, said Eric Davis, who spearheaded the campaign for the Lightnin' Hopkins marker on the Project Row grounds and now director of the Texas Blues Project.
Erected in 1939, the Eldorado was the centerpiece of its neighborhood and hosted top names in blues, jazz and R&B - Count Basie, B.B. King, Ike & Tina Turner, Guitar Slim, Etta James, Jimmy Reed - from the 1940s to the 1970s. Although many local bluesmen also played there, owner Anna Dupree intended the Eldorado to have a more upscale clientele than the many nearby juke joints.
Dupree died in 1977, a few years after the Eldorado shut down. Project Row Houses bought the building in 1999 and reopened it in 2003 after a $75,000, four-year renovation. Today it again hosts community events and concerts such as the recent Ethnic Heritage Ensemble show and Soul Nite.
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No word on when the marker will be installed. Rocks Off has a call out to Project Row director Linda Shearer, and will update with more information.