Tax Credit Program Highlight: Old Dallas Municipal Building

Dallas, Dallas County



Listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Downtown Dallas Historic District; State Antiquities Landmark

Historic Use

City hall

Current Use

University law school

Total Rehabilitation Cost


Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses


Date Certified

January 16, 2020


Certified for state historic tax credits only.

Project Contact

University of North Texas, Stantec Inc., Architexas, Turner Construction Company


The former Dallas Municipal Building was designed by Charles D. Hill, who designed many significant buildings in Dallas. The Beaux Arts style building replaced an earlier, smaller city hall on what became the site of the Adolphus Hotel. The building’s interior was heavily modified in the 1950s, removing much of the early architectural elements, including extensive marble columns, stairs, and wainscot, along with ornate plasterwork. The building became nationally significant in November 1963, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, as it then housed the Dallas Police Department. The city of Dallas vacated the building in 1978 when their new building was opened.

Rehabilitation Project

After years of abandonment, the building was identified as the future home of the newly founded law school at the University of North Texas. The university was able to utilize the state historic tax credit under legislation passed in 2017. Major public areas were restored to their 1914 appearance, including reconstruction of marble elements and replication of historic plaster. Portions of later alterations that are important to the Kennedy assassination were retained and are marked with interpretative signage. These include the section of jail cells where Lee Harvey Oswald, and later Jack Ruby, were held; the homicide captain’s office; and the mug shot wall. Other elements, like the booking area, that were previously removed have been meticulously restored and will be part of a future museum.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The building had been altered on the interior, over time, though significant features still remained, such as these entrance doors.