Editor’s note: This is the final week focusing on historic buildings in the series exploring the arts and attractions of Historic Downtown Plano. Next week begins the exploration of dance downtown.
Department stores, antique shops, a printing shop, a photography studio – the building that is now known as Event 1013 has been occupied by at least one of these types of businesses since 1906. Through the years, the building has served a range of purposes, but one thing that remained constant for each owner was a desire to hold fast to the history.
Photos of the building’s reincarnations depict some of the same furniture that has been around since it was The Matthews Store, an early department store. The Matthews Store first inhabited the space in 1906.
Some of that furniture is still in the building today and is often used during events.
“When my husband and I bought the building, there were five pieces of furniture that came with the building, so we put wheels on them and we use them during events,” said Deborah Pierce, owner and director of Event 1013. “This furniture can be seen in a photo from 1908.”
With deep respect for the history of the building, Pierce worked to preserve the integrity of relics found during the move in 2009.
“As I was renovating the building, we had to pull a lot of stuff off the wall, and there was a lot of drywall,” she said. “We found all kinds of things hidden in the wall and under the floor from when it was previously a store or a print shop, and we saved what we could. When we have events in the city, we’ll put them on display. We also save things in the building that remind people of what it used to be.”
During the renovation, she found lots of handwritten receipts, which are now a lampshade.
Though the building only became an event space within the past six years, throughout its over 100-year history, it has been a gathering space.
In the early 1900s, downtown Plano was a business district. The Matthews Store was open late on Saturday nights after Trade Days because it had become the place for famers to socialize as they sold livestock and paid bills.
In the 1960s, children leaving school would head across Haggard Park and meet in the area for a soda at the fountain.
The goods that Plano residents bought in the building changed, but the quality time spent with family and friends remained the same, no matter the year.
“There are lots of older people from Plano who said they would walk there all the time as kids,” Pierce said. “I talked to a mom that says she got her first pair of shoes from the department store.”
For generations of Planoites, the building has been in their lives since the beginning.
And it’s still here, reincarnating more than it ever has in its history. This space has been an art gallery, a night club, a lecture hall, a concert venue and a chapel; it becomes something new in a matter of weeks. The space can be a dining hall, a museum, a meeting space and a learning center. It can be whatever Plano, Texas, the world, can dream it to be … as long as the attendees like the furniture.