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Old Dallas County Courthouse

Unlike current offices of the courthouse only visited by those who have business with the court itself, need the services of the county clerk or to find public records, the Old Dallas County Courthouse on Houston Street is worth a visit for entirely different reasons. From an architectural standpoint, the red sandstone building is an impressive and iconic feature of downtown Dallas, TX. It rises like a sunset-hued castle above the street and invites history buffs inside. It is now more accurately called the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture. You can also find the official visitor’s center for the city inside.

Constructed in 1890, this impressive building with rows of arched windows, turrets, and a clock tower and cupola on top, contains many interesting rooms, displays, and pieces of information important for residents of Texas and visitors from afar. One of the most visited spots is the open-roofed cenotaph room dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy. Also popular is the John Neely Bryan log cabin preserved outside on the plaza.

Although court proceedings will resume on this site in 2022, the main focus remains on education for members of the public, scout troops, school trips, and other organizations who visit the site. Permanent exhibits and galleries inside include prehistoric information, the early years of Western expansion, information about trade, modern popular culture references, and more. The exhibits offer a mixture of physical artifacts, signs, photographs, artwork, and additional resources. Everything focuses on Dallas and how the city was and continues to be important in the greater fabric of our country. Temporary exhibits rotate out based on availability and interest. When you visit Old Red, you have the opportunity to learn something new every time. If you want to book your next celebration or special event in a unique location, consider renting one of the large rooms on site for a memorable wedding, anniversary party, or even a corporate dinner.

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