Top O the Terrace - Arlington Texas
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Geojeepsters
N 32° 44.298 W 097° 09.477
14S E 672595 N 3623776
Quick Description: The Top O the Terrace is now Arlington Baptist College, however it holds many secrets and a dark rich history as a Tea Garden a Casino, and former brothel.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 10/7/2009 11:55:11 PM
Waymark Code: WM7D64
Views: 26

Long Description:
From the website :
(visit link)

Long before Las Vegas came into its prime as a premiere gaming center, Top O’Hill Terrace was considered the most luxurious “gambling establishment” in the U.S. The property itself was located on land outside of any city limits, in unincorporated Tarrant County. The first structure was originally built on the property by Beulah Marshall in the early 1920s as a fine dining establishment for wealthy patrons, offering dinner and afternoon tea in its lovely tea garden which offered a fantastic view from its 1,000 foot high vantage point. The property had an excellent business location with easy access to the rich who could drive from either Fort Worth or Dallas on the Bankhead Highway.

In 1926, Fred Browning of Fort Worth purchased the property and quickly began unusual renovations, moving the tearoom structure from its foundations to excavate for a basement double the size of the tearoom to serve as an underground gambling casino, and then returned the structure to its original spot. Patrons turned off the highway down a 900 foot driveway to a large parking lot behind the building. At the peak of its popularity, customers collectively exhausted a quarter million dollars on a weekend of gaming in the slot machines, crap and blackjack tables, and roulette wheels. A brothel was also operated on the grounds along with the casino.

In 1933, Jack Poe began working at Top O’Hill when he was just 13 years old, first in the horse stables on the property and later in the casino. He took a second job at a dog track just down the road from Top O’Hill Terrace. He actually met Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, when they sought admission to Top O’Hill in hopes of garnering some gambling profits on their stolen loot. Owner Browning allowed the two admission to the casino, so long as they didn’t bring their guns.

When Browning built his underground casino, his plans included ways to thwart potential raids by law enforcement. He created a hidden room in which to stash the gambling equipment and an underground tunnel through which his gambling patrons could escape into the nearby woods or reappear topside in the tea garden, sipping tea. The operation continued to feature a legitimate restaurant and tearoom as a cover, and the successful gambling operation continued at Top O’Hill Terrace until 1947, when Texas Ranger Captain M. T. Gonzuallas led a raid which finally caught the casino running full force. Benny Binion, a partner in Top O’Hill Terrace, reportedly left with his profits in 1949 to build his Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where gambling had been legalized in 1931.

The property now is a part of Arlington Baptist College, bought in 1956 by the Bible Baptist Seminary. Top O’Hill Terrace was graced with a Texas Historic Landmark marker in 1984

To Verify this waymark you must find the room where the entrance to the secret tunnel is located. This will only be located during the tour.
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Photo Required: yes

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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The Snowdog visited Top O the Terrace - Arlington Texas 5/22/2019 The Snowdog visited it
WalksfarTX visited Top O the Terrace - Arlington Texas 12/6/2014 WalksfarTX visited it
Benchmark Blasterz visited Top O the Terrace - Arlington Texas 9/28/2012 Benchmark Blasterz visited it
Geezer_Veazey visited Top O the Terrace - Arlington Texas 4/8/2011 Geezer_Veazey visited it
Geojeepsters visited Top O the Terrace - Arlington Texas 10/28/2009 Geojeepsters visited it

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