Dallas historical sites and museums

An article mentioning briefly several wonderful locations of historic buildings, sites and museums for Dallas, Texas.

John Neely Bryan first founded the area that is now Dallas Texas in 1841. His home was the first courthouse, as well as the trading post. The structure is preserved at the Dallas County Historical Plaza in downtown Dallas. Near this log house is a building called "Old Red" It was built in 1892 out of red sandstone. The architects who designed this building use the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which was popular for public buildings at this time. "Old Red" served as the fifth Dallas County Courthouse and today houses the Visitors Center. In 2004, a museum of Dallas County history was added.

Around the corner is located Dealey Plaza, which was built in the 1930's as part of the Works Progress Administration construction project. It is named for George Bannerman Dealey who owned and edited The Dallas Morning News. Dealey Plaza and the West End area became infamous in 1963 as the place where John F Kennedy was assassinated. The sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository was renovated into a memorial museum to JFK. The other buildings that are part of the historic West End are the Higginbotham Pearlstone building, the Howell building and the Fairbanks Morse building. The Higginbotham Pearlstone building was built in 1910 and used as a hardware warehouse. The Howell building was built and used by wholesale furniture dealers in 1912. Also built in 1912 was the Fairbanks Morse building, which was used as an electrical machinery warehouse. Today, they have been remodeled and turned into restaurants, bars and shops.

Another great historical site to visit is Old City Park, which is south of downtown Dallas. This village has 38 historical structures that portray life in this area from 1840 through 1910. The living farm is worked just as it was the Civil War. There are also Victorian homes, a traditional Jewish household and other village buildings.

In 1986, Fair Park was declared a national historic landmark. It is a public recreation area that was created in 1886. The annual State Fair of Texas has been held on these grounds for over 70 years. The majority of the buildings date from the remodeling performed for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. The architects, including George Dahl, for the remodeling used a heavy Art Deco style. A building that was built in 1910 and originally called the Coliseum, now houses the Womens' Museum. Near this building is the Centennial Building. It was started in 1905 and finished in 1936. The Centennial Building is over a thousand feet in length. There are many beautiful statues and murals surrounding the building to commemorate many points of Texas and Confederate history. Behind this area is the Age of Steam museum. This museum has one of the complete sets of passenger cars in the country. There are pre World War II train cars, many pieces of historic railroad equipments and steam and diesel engines. There is even a Union Pacific "Big Boy", It one of only four or five remaining examples of this engine.

There are two aquariums in Dallas, one at Fair Park, the other near downtown. Each has its own unique perspective. The Natural History museum has the largest exhibition of Texas wildlife, including the first mounted Texas dinosaur. Other museums include the Science Place with a planetarium, various art museums with a wide range of subjects and the Dallas Zoo.

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