#FlashbackFriday: Fifty-Five Years Ago, HQ Moved to Dallas

Hardin with Col. Clayton A. Rust, director, engineering

In 1966, seeking a location in the central part of the country, Exchange leaders made the decision to relocate headquarters to Dallas after having been based in New York City since the late 1940s.

The move took place over several weeks in late 1967, beginning with the relocation of two computer units on Oct. 20. Transfer of six offices/divisions began after work hours on Oct. 27.

As associates began to move in, workers were still installing floor tile, ceiling fixtures and more on unoccupied floors. The initial move involved 700 associates occupying the third and fourth floors on Oct. 27. Occupancy of the first and second floors followed on Nov. 3 and 10; the fifth-floor move-in happened Nov. 17.

The sixth floor featured three seminar rooms and a reception area. It eventually became home to the Skyline Restaurant, a home for special events and after-hours camaraderie for more than 30 years before it closed on June 1, 2021, after months of inactivity during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brigadier Gen. Joseph Hardin (with engineering director Col. Clayton A. Rust, left) puts the finishing touch on a headquarters plaque. Joseph Hardin Drive, on the west side of the building, is named for the general, who led the Exchange at the time of headquarters move from New York to Dallas.

The late-1967 move-in was actually the second Dallas move that year—the official move from New York to Dallas was in January, as associates moved into temporary offices before the HQ building was complete. At times, various headquarters elements were in three separate facilities in the city.

The first headquarters for the Army Exchange Service (the forerunner of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service) opened in 1941 in the Munitions Building in Washington, D.C. Soon, the offices moved to the Pentagon, then to New York City by the late 1940s.

Dallas headquarters is on Walton Walker Boulevard, named for native Texan Lt. Gen. Walton Walker, Eighth Army commander during the Korean War. Walker, a Veteran of both World Wars, was killed in a jeep accident north of Seoul in December 1950. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 1951, the year that Walton Walker Boulevard was given its name. Camp Walker, home to the Korea Southern Exchange, is named for him.

Joseph Hardin Drive, on the west side of the building, is named after the brigadier general who led the Exchange at the time of the move from New York.

 

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3 Comments

  1. James McDonnell on November 18, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    I started working for AAFES in 1964 at the NY HQ location as a computer operator. I transferred to Dallas in 1966 to work at the bank building on 12th Street till the computer room was ready at the new HQ building. I retired in 1993 as a system analyst. AAFES IS A GREAT PLACE TO WORK.I returned to AAFES in 1998 as an intermittent employee in IT and stayed till 2008. I do miss seeing my fellow employees.

    • Robert Philpot on November 18, 2022 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks for your comment and your memories, James!

      Roebrt Philpot
      The Exchange Post

  2. Betty Dianna Winsett on November 18, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    AAFES actually moved in early 1966. Personel and others were at the Oak Cliff Bank Building. Purchasing and others were at 500 S. Ervay Building, downtown Dallas. I started working on 8 Dec 1966 for Dottie Heidel! Retired 38 yrs later. 20 yrs later I am thankful for AAFES Dianna Winsett

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