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Ferris Plaza

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1920, George E. Kessler. S. Houston St. between Wood and Young sts.

Along with Union Station, the only element of Kessler’s City Beautiful civic center to be executed was Ferris Plaza. The plaza’s central area, which contains the city’s first public fountain, is slightly lower than bosques of live oaks at each corner and the surrounding streets, giving it a sense of containment and reinforcing the expected vistas to neighboring never-realized public buildings.

To the south of the plaza, the modernist Dallas Morning News Building (1949, George Dahl; 508 Young Street) is known as the “Rock of Truth” building for the monumental inscription on its limestone facade. The newspaper was established in 1885 as a branch of A. H. Belo’s Galveston News, then the largest newspaper in the state. English-born George Bannerman Dealey immigrated with his family to Galveston in 1870, taking an office boy job at the News in 1874 and quickly gaining responsibility. He opened the paper’s branch office in Dallas. Dealey was an energetic city booster, became president of A. H. Belo Corporation in 1920, and in 1926 bought the expanded and diversified business. He took a stand in the 1920s against the influence of the Ku Klux Klan.

The eastern vista from Ferris Plaza is to the irregular octagonal shape of the seventeen-story, granite-clad Belo Corporation Building (1985, OMNIPLAN; 2017, Gensler), now known as 400 Record Street at 400 S. Record.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Ferris Plaza", [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, 145-145.

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