In July 1872, the Houston & Texas Central Railroad arrived in downtown, attracting manufacturing companies whose warehouses defined the architecture of the West End; that architecture is still intact for locals and tourists to enjoy today.
When you walk the streets of the West End in its cavernous avenues buzzing with laughter and spirited conversation from cafe patios, and foot traffic of well-heeled young professionals, it’s hard to imagine that it was once a home to Caddo Indians in the early 1800s.
Fifty-plus years later in the mid 1800s, a fearless Tennessee lawyer named John Neely Bryan bought their land and opened the first trading post. Now dwarfed by shiny urban skyscrapers, a replica of his humble cabin stands at Market and Elm.
In July 1872 the railroad came steamrolling into town with the arrival of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, which created a major crossroads in the Southwest, bringing industry and breathing life into the area now populated by Dallas’ top movers and shakers.
After the railroad established a foothold, manufacturing companies sprung up, which would later become the defining landscape and architecture of downtown Dallas. Those very buildings are now home to a cross section of the best and brightest business minds in the city.
This flurry and groundswell of activity was followed in 1892 by the construction of “Old Red”, the first county courthouse – now home to chic, elegant receptions. Not too far away, the first Dallas County jail was constructed in 1906, the original bars of which can still be seen on the windows at 703 Ross Avenue.
The vibrant, electrically alive West End now extends across Woodall Rogers to include the Perot Museum, Dallas’ premiere scientific epicenter, along with Klyde Warren Park, the hottest, food-truck lined outdoor hub in town.
This is just a brief window into the long, rich history of Dallas. Look for an interactive page coming soon that will lead you through all the epic ups and downs of the dynamic history of Big D.
The West End offers a collection of businesses, restaurants, attractions, and shops. Explore our directory and plan your visit.
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