Built in 1892, it has served as both a courthouse and jail for over 100 years. It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dallas and home to various exhibits about its history.
The Old Red Courthouse was designed by architect Max A. Orlopp Jr., who also designed other notable buildings such as the Adolphus Hotel and City Hall Plaza, both located in downtown Dallas. The building itself is constructed from red sandstone quarried near Austin, Texas, hence its name “Old Red” Courthouse.
When first built, the Old Red Courthouse housed all county offices including courts, jails, and records rooms on four floors plus an attic space with a cupola on top – giving it a unique look that sets it apart from other courthouses of similar design at that time. In addition to being used as a courthouse during this period, it also served as an important venue for public gatherings, including political rallies and speeches given by prominent figures such as President Theodore Roosevelt when he visited Dallas in 1905.
Today visitors can explore several areas within the Old Red Courthouse which include: the courtroom where trials were held; original cells where inmates were kept; permanent museum galleries showcasing artefacts related to early life in Dallas County; temporary exhibitions highlighting topics like crime & punishment or civil rights issues; interactive displays featuring audio recordings of former inmates telling their stories; and much more. There are also guided tours available, so visitors can learn even more about this historic building’s past while they explore its halls today.
In recent years, Old Red has become an iconic symbol of justice throughout North Texas – not only because it stands tall among modern skyscrapers, but because of what happened inside those walls many decades ago when justice was still evolving here in America’s Lone Star State.