Dallas County “Old Red” Courthouse Rehabilitation

Dallas County Facilities Management
Architectural Design, Planning, Programming
Historic Preservation
Dallas, TX
Project type
JQ Infrastructure, Silman, Nova, Datacom, Jensen Hughes

A landmark reused for its original purpose

The historic Dallas County Courthouse, known as Old Red, is one of Dallas’ most beloved landmarks. The 1893 building is the fifth courthouse to stand on its site. After nearly 30 years of serving various county uses and housing the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture, the building will once again serve as a courthouse.

During a series of projects, we assisted Dallas County Facilities Management with a feasibility study for reusing Old Red to house the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals. We are working with Facilities Management to design interior rehabilitation of the historic courthouse.

Balancing contemporary functions with historic features

While the courthouse was restored in the early 2000s in the Texas Courthouse Renovation program for use as a museum and event space, additional work is required to prepare the building for a modern court function. The project will sensitively renovate the building to include a courtroom and private offices for the justices and attorneys while installing a fire protection system and upgrading MEP, telecom, AV, and security systems.

Security considerations have drastically changed since Old Red was first constructed. Multiple public entrances and free access through the entire structure are no longer considered safe. Work will include creating a secured entrance for the justices and a tunnel connecting Old Red to secured parking. A new elevator will be installed.

Exterior repairs prepare Old Red for interior rehabilitation

Before the interior rehabilitation, we completed work on the building’s slate roof and exterior. In 2019, we completed construction administration for the roof replacement as the preservation consultant. While scaffolding was on the building during the roof construction, we assessed the wood windows and prepared the window restoration design. The County restored the windows during the roof replacement construction.

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