Dallas Hall

Dallas Hall

Don’t reinvent the wheel, er, rotunda.

Dallas Hall is the architectural “face” of Southern Methodist University (SMU), with its rotunda featured in the school’s logo and practically every official video. But what many may not realize is that the 1915 building is modeled after the library at the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson and inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. Dallas Hall was so-named in honor of the city’s financial contribution, and has housed everything from the expected offices and classrooms to a soda fountain, bookstore, and even a “secret” apartment rumored to have been for the university’s first football coach. The first and oldest building on SMU’s campus, Dallas Hall continues to be used for both student’s convocations and graduations.


For more information, visit: https://www.smu.edu/Dedman/About/Facilities

Hyatt Regency Dallas

Hyatt Regency Dallas

Clouds can make – or break – a picture.

Don’t let Reunion Tower distract you from the beauty that is Hyatt Regency Dallas. Built in 1979, the varied-level glass exterior (30 stories at its tallest point) has been described by architecture enthusiasts as “futuristic” and “glittery.” A 2013 hotel renovation included updates to the over 1,000 guest rooms and also incorporated nods to the city’s (and property’s) history. Like other properties I’ve featured, the Hyatt Regency was once a pop culture icon, featured in the opening credits of television series Dallas.


For more information, visit: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/texas/hyatt-regency-dallas/dfwrd

Old Red Courthouse

Old Red Courthouse

If at first you don’t get it right, try again. (And again.)

The 19th century wasn’t very nice to courthouses. The wood timbers that made up the frames were already susceptible to fires; add oil lamps and arson, and you’ve got yourself a combustible situation. Many historical courthouses have been at least partially (if not entirely) rebuilt, including Texas’ Dallas County Courthouse. Affectionately known as “Old Red,” the red sandstone building pictured was completed in 1892 in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. It was the fifth courthouse constructed on the site, with both the 1872 and 1881 structures succumbing to fire. A larger, more modern courthouse was built on an adjacent lot in 1966, and in 2007, Old Red was repurposed as a museum showcasing Dallas’ political and socioeconomic history.


For more information, visit: https://www.oldred.org/

Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery

I love stumbling across history in my own backyard.

Did you know that there’s a centuries-old cemetery in the middle of downtown Dallas? (Yeah, me neither.) Directly adjacent to City Hall and the Convention Center, what is now known as Pioneer Cemetery is actually the combination of four burial grounds dating back as early as 1849. I literally stumbled across this piece of forgotten history when wandering around the city one Saturday at dusk. As you can see from the photo, Dallas’ modern skyscrapers loom over the final resting places of many of Dallas early leaders, war heroes, lodge members, and unassuming settlers alike.


For more information, visit: https://dallascityhall.com/departments/sustainabledevelopment/historicpreservation/Pages/Pioneer-Cemetery.aspx