The man who would become Waco’s most famous photographer, Fred “Gildy” Gildersleeve, became a pioneer in the field of industrial photography in Texas and chronicled the history of Waco for 53 years. 

Fred Gildersleeve, sister-Dr. Ellen Gildersleeve, mother-Sarah Pew Gildersleeve

Examples include his commercial photography from the air in the mid-1910s. He made himself famous by photographing a pioneer flyer circling the Amicable building in 1911, along with capturing oil fields in Mexia and taking the first aerial photos known to exist of Baylor University. 

Gildy and his sister, Dr. Ellen Gildersleeve, resided in homes located on the 2200 block of Ethel Avenue. Over the years, the two homes became dilapidated beyond repair, so in 2003 Neighborhood Housing Services, the precursor to NeighborWorks Waco, obtained the homes and land and decided to rebuild the two homes to closely replicate the original structures, with updates, of course. 

The homes now pay homage to a Waco legend and keep a portion of Waco history alive.