City as Text Destinations
Deep Ellum: As one of Dallas' first commercial districts for African-Americans and European immigrants, Deep Ellum is one of the most historically and culturally significant neighborhoods in the city. Established in 1873 as both a residential and commercial neighborhood, it was originally called Deep Elm as much of the activity centered around Elm Street just east of downtown. The neighborhood is known for its vibrant street murals, and quirky art galleries. It is considered the live music capital of North Texas and a hub for the performing arts. Heavily gentrified in recent years, this neighborhood remains one of Dallas’ popular destinations.
Lakewood: The Lakewood area of Dallas is located just northeast of downtown (between Garland, East Dallas, and Fair Park). Known for its rich diversity and history, it is one of the most interesting neighborhoods of the city–an area where a sense of community has not been lost. Lakewood is a collection of old-fashioned neighborhoods, generally developed from the early 1900s to the 1950s. Historic and conservation efforts in this part of the city are particularly strong as a great number of these historical style homes are being torn-down in favor of much larger contemporary styles. Lakewood boasts both the historic Lakewood Theater, which shows classic films and hosts many contemporary musical and comedy events, and the popular Botanical Gardens. Surrounding the Lakewood Theater is an entire neighborhood of trendy restaurants, shopping venues, and historical landmarks such as the Dixie House Cafe. The area in and around Lakewood is also popular with outdoor enthusiasts.
Old East Dallas: East Dallas has always had an independent spirit and rich history. The modern history of East Dallas can be traced back to the mid-19th century, when the Beeman family settled on a 40-acre tract of land east of what was then considered Dallas. In 1872, William Gaston started promoting development in the area. By 1873, two major railway lines ran through the area, spurring development. Eventually railroad workers started setting up houses on the land in the undeveloped area between Dallas and East Dallas. In 1882, “East Dallas” was incorporated as its own city. Less than a decade later, in 1890, Dallas annexed East Dallas, making it the largest city in Texas.
Bryan Place: Bryan Place is a unique neighborhood nestled in the shadow of downtown Dallas. This part of the city is known for its friendly atmosphere, overall design, convenient location, and a high level of community involvement. Named after Dallas founder John Neely Bryan (1810-1877), this neighborhood is defined by a 0.6 mile-by-0.3 mile rectangle, just east of downtown Dallas, within the boundaries of Ross Avenue, Live Oak and North Washington streets, and Central Expressway. In the early 1980s, developer Fox & Jacobs built a neighborly community in the heart of the inner city. It was the first of such in-town East Dallas neighborhoods in a half-century of mass suburbanization.
City Place: City Place is adjacent-to and north-of downtown Dallas, and is generally bordered by US 75 (Central Expressway) on the east, one block north of Blackburn Street on the northeast, Katy Trail on the northwest, Harry Hines Boulevard (and its derivatives) on the west, Spur 366 (Woodall Rodgers Freeway) on the south. Four decades ago the area was in severe decline but speculators saw potential and in the 1980s bought and cleared land, hoping for a new wave of development. Cityplace was Dallas’ second tax increment and financed (TIF) district and neighborhood in the city.
Oak Lawn: Oak Lawn was created in 1846 when William Grigsby, a veteran of the Texas Revolution, sold 320 acres of land to businessman John Cole who established a store and commercial area on the property. In the early 1870s people began moving into the rapidly developing residential developments outside of downtown Dallas in larger numbers. Progressive movements have been strong in Oak Lawn since around the mid-20th century. The neighborhood boasted the first gay bar in Texas when Club Reno opened in 1947, and hosted the first Gay Pride Parade in Texas in 1972. Since then, Oak Lawn has been considered the heart of the LGBTQ+ community. The intersection known as The Crossroads continues to be particularly significant as an epicenter for political activism and social services.
Knox/Henderson: At Highway 75 (North Central Expressway) you'll find that Knox Street to the west becomes Henderson Avenue to the east. Regardless of which direction you choose, this neighborhood is known as one of the most popular destinations for dining and nightlife. Considered one of Dallas’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods, it is north of the Uptown neighborhood and east and south of the enclave of Highland Park. It is centered on Knox Street, Henderson Avenue, McKinney Avenue, and Cole Avenue. The Knox Street side offers high-end shopping and dining experiences, but also boasts a high walkability rate and is minutes from Highland Park and the Katy Trail. The Henderson Avenue side has been the subject of much development over the past two decades. With its wide selection of boutiques and fine dining, Henderson Avenue has become a centralized hub for “in” Dallasites. Similar to Knox Street, Henderson Avenue scores high for its walkability and wide array of things to do in the city.
Bishop Arts District: Dallas' "Most Independent Neighborhood" is most often compared to Austin. In the 1930s, it was Dallas' busiest trolley stop and has since been revitalized. In the 70s and 80s, artists like The Oak Cliff Four enjoyed the cheap rent making it a place for creativity and local art. From independent boutiques and art galleries to fabulous food, find out why this area in North Oak Cliff is Dallas' most unique neighboorhood.
Trinity Groves: Trinity Groves, located at the west end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, has a spectacular view of the city of Dallas with restaurants and a family friendly atmosphere. Take a walk on the pedestrian bridge to see the skyline, then perhaps explore The New ArtPark that features the local art community, outdoor hang-out space and a colorful park for everyone to enjoy.
West End: From the site of the first trading post in 1842 to the birth of the innovation distict, the West End has gone through two major redevelopments and is currently in its third. West End Square is a new addition to the area and acts as a testing site for incorporating technology into a public space.
Dealy Plaza and JFK Memorial: The birthplace of the founder of Dallas, John Neely Bryan, it is called the "Front Door of Dallas", but in 1963 the site became better known as the site of President Kennedy's assassination. See how the city of Dallas has turned grief into a site to honor the late President in the form of a cenotaph just one block away from where he was murdered. Named after George Bannerman Dealy, who was a civic leader and had campaigned for the area's revitalization in the first quarter of the 20th century.
Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance: The Dallas Holocaust Museum was established in 1984 by a group of Dallas residents that were Holocaust survivors. The museum is "dedicated to teaching the history of the Holocaust and advancing human rights to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference". The museum is one of the few holocaust museums in the United States and serves a 4 state region. From programs on civil discourse to hosting over 34,000 school-aged children per year, the museum's dedicated to educating all people about the dangers of hatred in our society by bringing history and personal experience together in one place.
Arts District: The Dallas Arts District is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation, spanning 118 acres. Beginning in 1978, when the city of Dallas decided to coalesce the numerous art institutions throughout the city, this particular place aims to unify culture and commerce for both local residents and tourists.
Crow Museum of Asian Art: Beginning in the mid-1960's with their first piece of Asian Art, Trammell and Margaret Crow's art collection has grown to feature pieces from China, Japan, India and Korea. While there is a permanent collection to explore, there are also visiting artists and exhibits, Tai Chi classes, meditation sessions and other gems to explore in the “Jewel Box of Dallas”
Dallas Museum of Art: Established in 1903 in the nation’s largest arts district, the Dallas Museum of Art boasts over 24,000 pieces that span over 5,000 years in history. Come see where cultures and community collide.
Dallas Farmers Market: Beginning as a wholesale business in the late 1930s, the Dallas Farmers Market has now grown to be a hub for locals committed to health, nutrition and sustainability. Supporting over 200 small businesses and 50 local Texas farmers and ranchers, the Dallas Farmers Market is a place where you can get fresh local food, but also attend community events, like cooking classes or live music. Learn how Mama Ida Papert helped shape this area from a wholesale market to the community center it is today.
City Center: Downtown Dallas has adopted the Pegasus as their symbol, which is the original symbol of Magnolia oil. In 1934, the large red mythological creature was mounted on the Magnolia Oil building. In 2015, it was restored and proudly mounted on the Omni Dallas Convention Center. Explore the once-sparkling Theatre Row, and the remaining Majestic Theatre on Elm Street - the historical entertainment center of the city. Most of the commercial buildings in this part of the city were constructed before 1950. How have they impacted the look and feel of the city? Wander through Thanks-Giving square, Ashton Park and the Plaza of the Americas.
Reunion District: The Reunion District has an interesting origin story. It is named after La Reunion, a utopian socialist community formed in 1855 by European colonists that adopted the Fourerism movement. The Reunion Tower, an iconic Dallas symbol, along with the Hyatt Regency Dallas form the district which included the Reunion Arena until it was demolished in 2009. The Arena was intended to drive economic growth in the area, but the economic downturn in the 1980s prohibited that from happening. Now, the district is home to two parks - Reunion Arena Park and Ferris Park - as well as Union Station.
SOUTH DALLAS (misnomer because it is really east of downtown)
Fair Park: Home of the State Fair of Texas and the city’s oldest graveyard, Beeman Memorial Cemetery. In the 1990s, residents became older, properties passed to the next generation, and many homes fell into disrepair and sites of criminal activity. In the early 2000s, a group of community members banded together to form a neighborhood watch, which grew into a movement to improve the area, making it not only safer, but an area where people are now moving into.
Bonton: Bon Ton is a French expression meaning high society, fashionable or stylish. It’s a historically African American neighborhood that has ties to Deep Ellum as a direct road connected the two areas. From 1919 to 1940, the area was built up and former residents described it as a golden age where people respected one another and the community. In the 1940s, the area began to see more criminal activity, and white residents began a bombing campaign against their minority neighbors. After WWII ended, the South Dallas area was bombed once again, with no convictions being made. In the 1950s, the Turner Courts, a low-income housing project, were erected which reinforced segregation in South Dallas. Not only did the Turner Courts bring negative connotation, they also brought increased crime to the area. After failing to “clean up the area”, the Turner Cours were demolished in 2009, being replaced in 2012 with the Buckeye Trail Commons, which includes 25 homes and a community garden. Now, there are a few organizations looking to revitalize the area further.