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Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture (Dallas County Courthouse, “Old Red”)

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1892, Orlopp and Kusener. 502 Main St.

Old Red is the sixth county courthouse to occupy the site donated by John Neely Bryan (the first, in 1848, was a 10 x 10–foot log cabin). Maximillian A. Orlopp Jr. of Little Rock designed a Romanesque Revival courthouse in rock-faced red Pecos sandstone and gray Arkansas granite, with a traditional biaxial, symmetrical plan. Each corner of the three-story central block has an engaged round tower with a conical roof. The long facade has additional towers bracketing the entrance loggia, and large dormers animate the roofline between the towers. The central tower, rising 205 feet, had an open cupola with a freestanding aedicule at each corner. The tower became structurally unsound and was removed in 1919 and reconstructed by James Pratt in 2007, with the incorporation of a period-appropriate E. Howard clock mechanism from Massachusetts.

The previous courthouse (1881–1890) was designed by Dallas’s “first architect,” James Edward Flanders (1849–1928), who arrived in Dallas in 1877. He built more than three hundred projects, including commercial buildings, schools, courthouses, residences, and churches throughout the north central region of Texas.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture (Dallas County Courthouse, “Old Red”)", [Dallas, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 142-142.

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