The Old Red Museum
The Old Red Museum is located in the Dallas County Courthouse and takes its name from the huge blocks of red sandstone that make up the second floor and clock tower of the structure. The Richardson Romanesque style, along with the sandstone and granite materials, capped with a whimsical slate tile roof, allow this massive structure to portray an almost fairy-tale castle look.
Old Red’s first floor houses the museum which summarizes Dallas County’s history and documents the courthouse’s construction and restoration. Exhibits change throughout the year on this level. Impossible to miss is the huge, winged Pegasus (a symbol of Dallas) near the grand staircase. This glowing, neon-red horse was built as a sign for the Magnolia Petroleum Company’s exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
A second floor Children’s Learning Center allows kids to play with vintage clothing, old-fashioned games, and explore history and culture in books and at computer stations. The second floor also houses four former courtrooms transformed into galleries depicting; Early Years (prehistory-1873), Trading Center (1874-1917), Big “D” (1918-1945), and World Crossroads (1946-present). Vintage photographs and artifacts describe how settlers survived the frontier; how railroads and airlines transformed Dallas into a world-renowned commercial hub; and how oil, banking, and technology made Dallas an economic powerhouse.
Try to plan your visit to include the daily 2 p.m. tour which covers all four floors. Note the excesses of the Victorian Age in the vast variety of colors and patterns throughout the building