Downtown Rowlett, Texas

Rowlett, Texas is a suburb of Dallas on the far eastern edge of the DFW Metroplex. It’s about as far out as you can go and still be in the surburbs. Once you travel into Rockwall County, the landscape becomes more exurban. Last year, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority (DART) extended its light rail system to Rowlett. The Blue Line now goes from Ledbetter Station in South Dallas, through the canyons of Downtown Dallas, past White Rock Lake to Downtown Rowlett station. This got me to thinking, what and where is Downtown Rowlett?

Before Suburban Sprawl

For the most part, Rowlett is a town without a center, a suburb full of big box stores and tract housing. But long before the suburban sprawl, long before the commuter rail, the turnpike or even the lake, there was a little village with a Main Street. I drove out there to see what remained of Downtown Rowlett.

Around Downtown

Rowlett Water Tower

The old Rowlett water tower.

Rowlett City Flag

Rowlett City Flag

Grassy Meadow

Grassy Meadow

Rowlett Clock Tower

Rowlett Clock Tower

Sinister Mark Twain

Sinister Mark Twain

Main Street

Downtown Rowlett Shops

Downtown Rowlett Shops

1909-1918 Placard

1909-1918 Placard

Historical Society Sign

Historical Society Sign

Old Cotton Gin

Old Cotton Gin

Cotton Gin and DART Rail

The DART Rail viewed through the old Cotton Gin.

Into the Lake

End of Main Street

End of Main Street

Submerged Main Street Bridge

Submerged Main Street Bridge

For the most part, I think it’s a little too generous to call this stretch of buildings “Downtown Rowlett”. “Old Rowlett” might be a better term for it, since there is no real downtown to speak of. Then again, perhaps I have the cause and effect reversed. Maybe they’re calling it Downtown Rowlett because they want it to be a proper downtown. Maybe with the DART station and some new mixed-use development, they could make it a cool little area. Even if most of the buildings were new construction, it could feel like an old-fashioned hamlet with with right mix of buildings. Downtown Rowlett is nothing now, but let’s give it a few years and see what happens.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer, photographer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://steve-lovelace.com.

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2 Responses

  1. Wendi Sarlo says:

    Love the Photos this is Wendi Velázquez as everyone knew me there great photos love my town everything still looks the same as we left it but my train finally got there to I see talk to you later thanks for Sharing

  1. April 26, 2013

    […] jut out of the rolling prairie. And while Downtown Dallas looks impressive as you drive in from the suburbs, it looks pretty good when you’re standing in the downtown canyons as well. I wanted to see […]

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