Downtown Dallas/Dealey Plaza WayTour -- Dallas TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 32° 46.592 W 096° 47.814
14S E 706342 N 3628661
Quick Description: This WayTour will take you on a journey starting from a Dallas original, through some Dallas TX history (including its darkest day), before ending at another Dallas original.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 2/12/2013 6:41:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMGC3P
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 55

Long Description:
There are literally HUNDREDS of waymarks in downtown Dallas. A WayTour to collect them all would take all day and require lots of use of public transportation as you criss-cross the large central business district of this major American city.

This is not that WayTour.

This is a family-friendly WayTour that will take you on a nice walk from Dallas City Hall to the West End entertainment district, with stops at Union Station, Old Red, and Dealey Plaza. This WayTour can be done in an hour (without stops) or most of a day (with extended stops). It is heavy on history and places to stop for breaks.

We have provided the waymark codes for the many waymarks along the way. We encourage you to read the write-ups on those WMs that interest you as you follow along the route we have created.

Start at Dallas' iconic City Hall, designed by I. M. Pei. Find it at N 32 46.592 W 96 47.814. Associated WMs: WM3XG4, WM45X3, WM45WK, WN5X6F, WM45X6. City Hall may be a tough place to do business in, but it is a great place to hit the head before setting off.

After leaving City Hall, head west to the Dallas Police Officer's Memorial. It is not waymarked yet, but may be by the time you take this tour! Look for badge No. 848, which belonged to Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit. Officer Tippit was murdered on 22 Nov 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald after Oswald had killed President Kennedy. More on Tippit is here: (visit link)

After visiting the memorial, look southwesterly toward the Convention Center. If you see the Peace Pole (WM665J) you are heading in the right direction!

Keep heading toward the next stop, the tall Confederate memorial (WM3HZV) in Pioneer Cemetery (WM3C4N) at N 32 46.53 W 96 47.978. Every historic marker you see in the cemetery is a waymark: WM3XGF, WM3WWH, WM62R0, WM3TE8, WM3783, WM3V87, WM3VC7, WM3V26, WM3T4E, WM3VJ2.

From here, take a quick look the Dallas Convention Center (WM666Q). A Dallas secret: part of it is built on what the Dallas Historic Society suspects was the African-American section of this then-segregated city cemetery.

See the Longhorns? Giddyap on over to Pioneer Plaza, a perennial tourist favorite photo-op just downhill from the cemetery (WM9JF6 and WM5X6A).

Mama Blaster is always amused about Pioneer Plaza, since Dallas has as much to do with Texas cattle drive trail history as goldfish have to do with high-heeled shoes. 19th century Dallas was about railroads, banking, and commerce. If you want real Old West history, you will find it 30 miles west in Fort Worth. Enjoy the irony and beauty here -- kids love having their pictures with the cowboys and cattle. Just be careful touching the sculptures in the summer time!

Head down to the corner of Young and S Griffin Street. Across the street is the Aloft Hotel, one of four historic Santa Fe RR buildings that were connected by a now-abandoned railroad tunnel. Santa Fe #1 and #2 are on the National Register (WMGT1F)

OPTIONAL DETOUR: Directly behind the Aloft Hotel are the SoCo lofts at 1122 Jackson Street -- this was formerly Santa Fe. Complex Bldg. #2. On the north and south walls of the parking garage you can see the remnants of those old RR tunnels (WMGC7X). If you take this detour, go back to the Aloft Hotel before restarting the WayTour.

Turn L onto Young Street and walk down 2 blocks past the brand-new Omni Convention Center hotel. Stop in for a cold drink, or keep walking downhill to the Belo Garden, one of Downtown Dallas's new urban parks (WM74EJ).

Continue past Belo corporate HQ (WM3XFX), WFAA-TV, and The Dallas Morning News (WM3XG6). On your left is Ferris Park, a great place for little legs to run around for a minute. Got crackers? Feed the pigeons!

The third stop on this WayTour is ahead of you -- Dallas' historic Union Station (WM3XGN and WM6ZVG) at N 32 46.567 W 96 48.436. Union Station is a great place to cool down and take a load off for a minute. The bathrooms are clean, the sodas cold, and you can see LOTS of trains go by -- Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail and Union Pacific, Amtrak, and The Trinity Railway Express heavy rail trains all pass by Union Station. Explore the upper floors of Union Station, which are frequently open for events.

Now you have a decision to make: We are offering you an OPTIONAL side trip: Head down the tunnel that connects Union Station to the Hyatt Regency on the other side of the tracks. Enjoy the walk past murals of Dallas during the glory days of railroad travel. You will emerge in a small lobby that serves the elevators that will take you to the top of Reunion Tower. Buy a ticket and head into the sky for a unique rotating view of Dallas and, on clear days, most of the Metroplex.

After the trip aloft, come back to earth. Go back through the tunnel to return to Union Station.

RESUME TOUR ROUTE: Emerge on S Houston Street and head north. Look to your right at the antique dog-friendly Hotel Lawrence (WM700G and WM700H). Are y’all hungry for lunch? Blasterz recommend Cindi's NY Deli -- get the Texas cheeseburger with an ice-cold Dr Pepper and sweet potato fries.

On the right, you will see one of the crown jewels of Dallas, the Old Red Courthouse. Once the seat of justice in Dallas County, Old Red is now a wonderful kid-friendly museum (WM7QYR, WM78NY, WM5PN8). Even if you don't go into the Museum, walk around to the other side of the courthouse and visit the historic markers. Associated WMs: WM3XGM, WMDW55, WM77Z1, WM82RC, WM4KG0, WMGR7G.

Walk across the wide sidewalk and spend a few moments of reflection at Philip Johnson's memorial cenotaph to President John Kennedy, slain in Dallas on 22 Nov 1963 (WM5N8B, WM4KTV). Do not be distracted by the cute little log cabin to the north -- you will get there a little later in the tour. For now, head back to the front of Old Red along Houston Street.

Cross Houston Street to the west and take a moment to survey the wide expanse of the green lawn of the fourth stop on the tour, Dealey Plaza. Originally designed to be Dallas' elegant front door, Dealey Plaza was named for Dallas Morning News founder and publisher George Bannerman Dealey in 1940. Now it is synonymous with Dallas' darkest day, 22 Nov 1963.

Mama Blaster's Dad Frank Perkins of WBAP-TV Channel 5 (now KXAS-TV)was an eyewitness to the assassination of President Kennedy. The coordinates N 32 46.723 W 96 48.521 will take you to the spot where Dad was standing on that dreadful day. Ahead of you is the Grassy Knoll. Until the day he died, Dad always said there was a shooter there. Associated waymarks: WMEPRJ, WMEXE, WM4KGH, WM4KGB, WMEWB, WM3XGB, WM82WN, WM82WT, WM82WP.

Before you leave, go back across Houston Street to the beautiful red brick Dallas County Courts Building. This is where Jack Ruby stood trial for shooting Lee Harvey Oswald as Oswald was being transferred to a stronger jail after he was captured. Mama Blaster's Dad was there for that, too. (WM3XGQ)

From here, you can look north and see the Former Texas Schoolbook Depository, now the Dallas County Administration Building. The sixth floor corner window of this building served as Lee Harvey Oswald's sniper's perch on 22 Nov 1963.

After the assassination, the state quietly moved out and gave the building to the county. It sat vacant and undisturbed for decades. Once the initial criminal investigation was finished, the sixth floor remained untouched for decades even after after the county moved in below, as Dallas struggled with its place in history and what should happen to this space. Ultimately, the sixth floor was preserved and renovated into the nationally-acclaimed Sixth Floor Museum. We recommend a visit, depending on the age of any young waymarkers who might be tagging along. Associated WMs: WM2WVW, WM5PF7, WMEW5, WM82WK, WM82WM.

You are now at the corner of Elm and Houston Streets. Head east on Elm Street.

NOW it is time to stop at the little log cabin you saw earlier. This re-creation of Dallas' founder John Neely Bryan's cabin (WMDW58) was created in 1936 for the Centennial Exposition in Dallas. After the Exposition ended, it was moved downtown to this park. Don't forget to check out the Dallas County Records Building (WM3XG5) beihind the cabin -- the historic marker there is a waymark.

Keep moving east to the corner of Elm and N Market. Turn L onto N Market Street. Head under the arches and enter the Dallas' Historic West End. Straight ahead is the end of our tour: Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse, located at the corner of N Market and Pearl Street at N 32 46.850 W 96 48.387.

Sonny Bryan has been serving up delicious smoked barbecue in Dallas since 1958. The patio at this restaurant is a great place to watch people and the bustle of this busy, cosmopolitan Texas city. There are many places to eat in the West End if BBQ is not your thing, and many MANY more waymarks.

So that's the end of the tour. We hope you have had a nice walk, a good time (despite some dark history), and got a few more waymarks for your grid. Happy and safe waymarking to you always!
Recommended Time for this WayTour: From: 8:00 AM To: 4:00 PM

Stop Coordinates:
City Hall N 32 46.592 W 96 47.814 CSA Memorial N 32 46.534 W 96 47.978 Union Station N 32 46.567 W 96 48.436 Old Red N 32 46.705 W 96 48.454 Dealey Plaza N 32 46.723 W 96 48.521 Sonny Bryan’s N 32 46.850 W 96 48.387

Starting Address for this WayTour:
1500 Marilla
Dallas , TX

Number of Stops: 6

Website of stops: [Web Link]

Stop Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
You must include an original photo showing one of the stops along the tour route.
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