The History of the Vandergriff Building

At the center of the redevelopment of Arlington's downtown, The Historic V is also located at the center of the city's original boundaries, which includes the land within North, East, South, and West Streets. From the V's windows, one could wave to Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Sam Rayburn when their motorcades came to Arlington. The Historic V is important to the history of Arlington, Texas and will play a role in the city's future.

The building that stands today at the corner of Division and Center Streets was built in 1927 and is the oldest commercial structure in Arlington. In the 1920s and 30s, the practice in Arlington was to demolish and then replace commercial buildings that were no longer suited for their original purposes. Such was the case with 100 East Division Street, The Historic V's oringinal address. When its doors first opened in 1928, 100 E. Division was home to the Thannishch Chevrolet company, a full service car dealership. 100 E. Division took its central position in Arlington history beginning 1937, when W.T. "Hooker" Vandergriff moved his GM dealership to the building and his family to the city.

Earning his nickname from his schoolmates in a history class--Thomas Hooker was a founder of Connecticut--Hooker Vandergriff had long been associated with General Motors. His father, John Thomas Vandergriff, had founded a car dealership in Carrollton in 1927, by coincidence the same year that work on 100 E. Division finsihed. When deciding where to establish his own dealership, Hooker Vandergriff weighed the benefits of Arlington against those of Longview, at the time a growing city on account of the East Texas oil boom. Hooker anticipated that Dallas and Fort Worth, separated though they were, would grow together, and an Arlington location would place amid the future megacity.

...History Part-Two