History of the Dallas West End District

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The Dallas West End District or also known as West End Historic District of Dallas, Texas, is a 67.5 historic district located on the north of Commerce, west of Lamar, east of Interstate 35E, and south of Woodall Rodgers Freeway. A part of the district is included in the United States National Register of Historic Places, and the smaller part of it is included in the Dallas Landmark District. In this article, we will know more about the history of the Dallas West End District and the places you should see while you’re there.

Dallas West End Historic Disctrict

History

The area where the West End is located was originally a simple trading post that was established by a man named John Neely Bryan. When the Houston & Texas Central Railroad arrived in July 1872 downtown, it attracted several manufacturing companies whose warehouses eventually defined the architecture of West End that we see today.

In the 1960s, the district suddenly became famous all across the country when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while he was in a Presidential motorcade that was traveling through Dealey Plaza. However, even if the assassination caught the whole country’s attention to the West End, its economy still struggled, and several businesses were still leaving the city center and moving to suburban locations.

As the older buildings were demolished and changed downtown Dallas, a local developer named Preston Carter Jr. decided to begin the West End’s revitalization in June 1976 and be said that he also wants to preserve its history. As a part of his development plan, old warehouses and other brick buildings were converted to shops and restaurants. In 1978, the National Register of Historic Places added the West End Historic District on their list.

As the years passed, the West End District slowly developed and became the thriving district today. An estimate of seven million people visits the West End every year, making it one of the city’s top tourist attractions. However, in 2006, the district has suffered a decline when the West End Marketplace, which is a huge mall and entertainment complex, closed its doors. The main marketplace was redeveloped, and it is now an apartment and business complex.

Dallas West End Market Place

Places to Go in Dallas West End District

Old Red Museum – Also known as the Dallas County Courthouse or the Old Red Courthouse, was built in 1892 as a courthouse. Today, it is a local history museum where you can find out all about Dallas’s rich history. Besides that, you can also take in the beauty of the Richardsonian Romanesque style architecture of the place, witness some excellent exhibits, and learn more about Dallas. The Old Red Museum is located at 100 South Houston Street, Dallas, Texas.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial – Here, you will see a monument that is dedicated to United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This place was designed by an architect named Philip Johnson, and it was opened on June 24, 1970. The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial is a simple concrete memorial where you can see a simple cenotaph that symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy’s spirit.

Dallas World Aquarium – The Dallas World Aquarium is a for-profit zoo and aquarium. It is home to several animals that are endangered and threatened. You can see several animals such as three-toed sloths, toucans, poison dart frogs, vampire bats, and Orinoco crocodiles. The zoo’s lower level is the aquaria, where you can see several jellyfish, sea anemones, corals, and other sea creatures from all across the globe.

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum – This is a history education museum that aims to teach the history of the Holocaust and human rights. They aim to help people to fight and be aware of hatred, indifference, and prejudice. The museum has climate-controlled archives and a research library for people who want to expand their research.

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