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Best Historic Locations in Dallas

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Dallas' historic trolley system transports locals and visitors along its everyday route from downtown to uptown McKinney Avenue, all year round. Workers discovered the original trolley tracks under layers of asphalt and concrete in 1983, and today five authentic streetcars use those restored lines, preserving a piece of Dallas history. Rides are free (except charters). In the future, the city plans to extend the tracks to run farther south into the West End Historic District. Current stops include the Dallas Museum of Art and Hard Rock Cafe. The trolleys can be chartered for private events, including birthday parties and wedding receptions.

This 22-block area is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the homes represent several architectural styles, including Mediterranean, Spanish, Georgian, Prairie School and English Tudor. Approximately 200 carefully preserved and restored homes line Swiss Avenue. As modern amenities became necessities, water, sewage and telephone lines were installed in alleys to preserve the authentic architecture of the area. The district includes portions of Bryan Street, La Vista Avenue, Live Oak Street, Swiss Avenue and Bryan Parkway.

Virtually unchanged from the time of the then President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, this historic site is a reminder of one of the most astonishing and despondent times in American American history. The landmark West End District, which includes the Dealey Plaza as well as the Texas School Book Depository, is one of Dallas's most important historical landmarks. The soaring skyscrapers form a modern backdrop against the park which chronicles the years gone past. Residing on the urbane landscape of downtown Dallas, Dealey Plaza is a stunning marker of the legacy left behind by the former president and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy. Dubbed as the Birthplace of Dallas, the plaza is home to the Sixth Floor Museum, which poignantly illustrates the incidents of the assassination, with the help of historic displays, artifacts and exhibits.

This historic landmark, built from 1898 to 1902 by an architect whose identity remains a mystery, is the sentinel to not only the Catholic Church, but also the essence of a bygone era. This Gothic Revival church has survived monumental changes in the landscape of downtown Dallas. It is built of locally produced brick, and renovations over the decades have retained the integrity and dignity of the original structure. Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe has served as the base for Dallas' Roman Catholic Bishop since its completion in 1902.

The Old Red Courthouse is an outstanding feature of the Dallas County Historic Plaza. It was built in 1892 in Romanesque Revival style. It is constructed of rough-cut, Pecos Red Sandstone and trimmed in Arkansas blue granite. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a City of Dallas Landmark and a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark. Four prior courthouses have graced the same location. The Old Red Courthouse contains the Old Red Museum.

This is a permanent exhibition of the tragic events leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza opened in 1989 and is located in the Dallas County Administration Building (initially named Texas School Book Depository), the site from where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot the President. Displays include a moving overview of the time period and the life and accomplishments of the 35th President of the United States. Enlarged police photographs, news footage and audio tools allow visitors to learn about the tragic events of November 22, 1963.

Dallas chose to honor the memory of President Kennedy by erecting this stately monument. This 30-foot-high, 50-foot-square monument was built in 1970. The open-air structure in the historic West End resembles an ancient tomb. It is the first memorial by famed American architect and Kennedy family friend, Philip Johnson. The monument, built with the help of private donations from the citizens of Dallas, is open 24 hours daily and is lighted at night.

Step into West End and you are instantly taken back in time. Beautifully restored and renovated old buildings among tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks, testify to the historical importance of this district that was established in 1872. Apart from the ancient buildings whose architecture never ceases to marvel, the district also has museums, amazing stores and delicious restaurants. Host to various events throughout the year, West End is definitely a hit amongst visitors and has something to offer for every individual!

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