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One of my gifts for Christmas was this book called “Oddball Texas”. I think the title is self explanatory however in case you are wondering it is just an entire book of strange places to visit in Texas. It was a good gift for a person such as myself.
So here we were driving to Wichita Falls having no idea what we were looking for when I remembered how I had grabbed this book on the way out the door. The only destination for Wichita Falls was the World’s Littlest Skyscraper – so that was where we were going!
So the story goes…
Back in 1918, J.D. McMahon made plans to build the skyscraper in Wichita Falls and paraded his idea around the wealthier folks in town looking for funds to make his plan happen. Blueprints were provided, clearly showing the building as being 480″ tall. No one noticed that it showed inches instead of feet. According to the blueprints, this building would only be 40 feet tall rather than 480 feet tall.
McMahon went thru with construction leaving the building to be four stories tall, each floor only 8’x12′. Only the first level was accessible as there were no stairs. The building was now dubbed the World’s Littlest Skyscraper. Shortly after, McMahon left town with the remaining investors balance in tow.
The building now includes stairs and you can really tell how small the space is inside the building.
During the depression, this building housed families.
Apparently, this location is more popular than we thought. The skyscraper receives tons of visits, we even ran into a couple that stopped to check it out while we were there!
Connected to the World’s Smallest Skyscraper is the Artifact Emporium.
This place was incredibly interesting and the manager who was working was gracious enough to tell us about the store, and the history of the building and the skyscraper.
Outside the building, you will find this plaque however if you search on the National Registry of Historic Places, this building is not listed.
This is what the shop looks like as soon as you enter the building.
I mean look at the stuff in this place. They have a little bit of everything. I really mean everything.
In this main room you will find jewelry, monkey’s, a dice clock, longhorns, toys, clocks and furniture. There was even a lounge chair in the men’s restroom. I couldn’t believe either.
In the room to the right, it’s more of a “man’s room” and the room to the left is more along the lines of a “ladies” taste (furniture, household and kitchen items). Most of the artifacts in this store is more mid-1900’s.
The owner of the shop, travels around checking out estate sales and anything he can find along the way really. Have you seen “American Pickers” on TV? This is pretty much the same thing. I would love it if I knew what I was looking for.
Some of the items in the main room.
The monkey’s kind of made me nervous but not as much as the Raggedy Ann dolls in the next room.
I wish I could fit into this little peddle cart. I would have Sy take me for rides! Wheee!
This is a kitchen set from the 1950’s I believe that is made by Lionel, the same company as the train sets.
Believe it or not, this little stove works just as perfect as a normal stove in our homes except it is for children. The oven will heat up to 500 degrees and the burners work. Quite the difference when it comes to children’s kitchen sets today. If you are interested, it is for sale for $1,600.00.
These are a few items from the “man’s room”.
Children’s toys, golf clubs / sets, old cameras, uniforms, war and sports memorabilia.
You name it, you could probably find it in this room.
If you happen to notice the jacket in the top row to the right, is German.
My souvenir for the day, the two broaches seen below.
If you are even in the Wichita Falls area, swing on over and check out the World’s Littlest Skyscraper and the Artifact Emporium. Hopefully, the same manager will be working and will be able to tell you all the details of the old building as well as some of the history of the items inside the store.
This place really just made the trip. Thank you!