Old Red Courthouse
Today, Dallas' “Old Red” Courthouse Clock Tower looks (for the first time since 1919) as it did originally. The reconstructed tower adds almost 90 ft to the building. The clock’s dials are 10 ft in diameter and the bell weighs two tons.
The renovation of the clock tower was the final stage of the three-phase, $23 million process that began in 2001. The granite and sandstone building had been abandoned and had suffered severe water damage. Today, the building includes restored, paneled offices, two-story courtrooms painted in 35 colors, brass fixtures, marble wainscoting and a four-story iron staircase.
James Pratt, architect for the restoration, first worked on Old Red almost 30 years earlier, accomplishing an initial renovation. At that time, the original clock tower was a distant memory, removed decades before, leaving a hole in the roof, pooled water in the attic, and resident pigeons.
"For me, the project was a continual set of discoveries,” James Pratt told The Dallas Morning News. "We had no photographs, we had no drawings. It was only when we stripped off Sheetrock that we found the arches."