Dallas County Courthouse

Dallas, Texas | C.1892

Photo Credit: @justinterveen

Dallas county has had seven different court houses, most of which were devastated by fires. Of the courthouses that remain, the Dallas County Courthouse was built in 1892 and a recorded historical landmark and now operates as a museum that houses some of the cities most treasured artifacts.

Originally the site of a previous log courthouse that was burnt to the ground, the current building was designed by Architect M.A. Orlopp in a Romanesque Revival style. Large in the scale, the building is lovingly referred to as “Old Red” for the distinguishable red sandstone and rusticated marble accents that make up the façade. At one time the building featured more than one hundred vivid stained-glass windows or “lunettes” – French for “glasses” – originally hung in the upper windows.

In 1966 another courthouse was created in a modern style, and all work was moved to this location. A few offices remained in the building, but they all transferred once an addition was added to the newer courthouse. Once the building was cleared out, “Old Red” was placed on the National Registrar of Historic Places on December 12, 1976.

The building underwent extensive renovations in 2005-2007 restoring some of the beautiful features such as the Grand Staircase, the decorative serpent statues that adorn the roof and even a vault that was found behind a bookshelf which contained land deeds and other records labeled under the property of the Dallas County Treasurer.

Once the restorations were completed the Old Red Museum opened its doors as a local museum dedicated to displaying the Dallas county history and culture. It is a fitting location for storing the heritage and artifacts that have shaped the City Dallas has become today.

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