UnionBrands Eateries Texas LLC prides itself on retaining the history of the surrounding areas at each dining hall location. With each new addition to the UnionBrands Eateries Texas family comes a new historical image specific to the area that is on display for all to see! So what’s Union Hall’s mural all about?
Photographed by Waco’s most famous photographer, Fred A. Gildersleeve, the Prosperity Banquet of April 10, 1911 was essentially the biggest block party in the history of Waco, Texas. The event took place in downtown Waco spanning 3 blocks of 5th Street from Mary to Washington Ave. and was organized by the Young Men’s Business League of Waco to celebrate the growth of the city and advancements of the time period.
The streets of downtown Waco were covered with long wooden tables draped with cloth, decorative flags hanging from buildings, and hundreds of chairs for citizens to enjoy the community fellowship and feast. The Prosperity Banquet’s menu was composed of roast turkey, cakes, spiked Dr. Pepper, and smokes. Many of the dishes were aptly named for this celebration of progress including meals such as “celery a la Cotton-Belt”, “oyster cocktail a la Prosperity”, and more.
The photo in Union Hall is one of the aforementioned Fred A. Gildersleeve’s most celebrated pieces. He achieved this snapshot of one of Waco’s most historically significant events by rigging synchronized flash powder charges above numerous doorways from Austin Ave. to Franklin Ave. at the height of the celebration. For Union Hall, the Prosperity Banquet photo is now a symbol of community and togetherness that serves as a reminder of how far the city of Waco has come. Who better to dine and celebrate Waco with than the citizens who were there for one of its milestones?
Turner Brothers Real Estate’s Director of Development, Jonathan Garza, had this to say about the famous photo’s inclusion in the Union Hall project:
“I think the idea behind the Prosperity Dinner was it showed Waco coming together, citizens celebrating prosperity, and for us I felt like that photo was really a great way to bring everybody together again. Union Hall is a place where people gather, have conversations, make memories together, and eat together. Our mural is a nod to our history. There’s actually two photos at Union Hall, there’s the original photo and then there’s the ‘modernized’ version of the photo as an homage. We were taking a piece of history and creating something new while still retaining the spirit of that history.”