Dallas County Historical Plaza
Bound by Elm, Market, Commerce, and Houston Streets, this area is actually divided into two separate parts: Founders Plaza and the Kennedy Memorial Plaza. Founders Plaza contains an open area with several historical monuments and a reconstruction of Dallas founder John Neely Bryan’s original log cabin. The Kennedy Memorial Plaza houses an unusual concrete structure surrounding a small JFK monument.
Dallas residents tend to have a love/hate relationship with the structure, and its meaning and value are interpreted differently by each viewer.
One of Dallas’s most beloved buildings stands on the western end of the Kennedy plaza: “Old Red,” the 70,580-square-foot 1892 Romanesque-style Dallas County Courthouse has undergone extensive restoration and reopened as the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture (www.oldred.org). The enormous and stately building served a variety of public functions throughout the 1900s, but efficiency concerns resulted in several remodelings. Old Red has been undergoing restoration for many years and reopened as the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture (9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $8 adults, $6 students/seniors, $5 children ages 3–16). Its mission is to “inspire and educate visitors about the rich and varied cultural, economic, political and social history of the Dallas County area.”
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition