The Old Red Courthouse, the fifth seat of county government, was begun in 1890 and completed in 1892. Designed by Architect M. A. Orlopp, it exemplifies the Romanesque Revival style with its massive scale and rounded arches.
The restoration and rehabilitation of the 1892 Dallas County Courthouse embodied several phases of work over a number of years. The phases included an exterior restoration and interior renovations to expand and improve the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture.
In 2001, Dallas County received a planning grant in Round II, which was followed up in Round IV in 2004 with a construction grant for the replication of the original clock tower removed early in the 20th century.
In addition to the reconstructed clock tower, notable features of the project include the restoration of one of the original courtrooms and the spacious fourth floor library, as well as the grand, cast-iron staircase, reconstructed using elements of the original, in an open, four-story high space that visually dominates the historic lobby of the building. Walls and ceilings of the large and impressive historic courtrooms have being restored in their original colors. These spaces now house new and improved museum exhibits.
This project was completed, and the courthouse was rededicated on May 15, 2007. It has been the home of the Old Red Museum since 2007, however, the 1892 Dallas County Courthouse, lovingly known as Old Red, is scheduled to return to is original civic use. It will become the new home of the Texas Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.