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Dallas MKT Freight Depot

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Depot in Dallas
A rare photograph of the MKT freight depot in downtown Dallas before its unsavory demolition. I say "rare" because most freight depots were not well photographed due to their industrial nature (Dallas Morning News).

The location of this photograph, taken from the files of the Dallas Morning News, is easy to guess: downtown Dallas. It's a bad scan, though.

This is the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway (the MKT) freight depot in downtown Dallas, a massive structure that once occupied three narrow blocks in the city's West End District.

Sanborn Maps make it easy to discover where this depot once was, because it is no more. It was illegally demolished on a Sunday morning in 2006 by a real estate developer. The city and the Texas Historical Commission sued the land developer, and the court sided with the plaintiffs, but very little restitution had to be paid because preservation laws in Texas are dismal.

Today, the former freight depot is the site for the Dallas Holocaust Museum and an upscale apartment building.

Map of depot location
The 1922 Sanborn map of downtown Dallas, West End District (Volume Two) shows the depot along Jefferson Street. Today, this is Record Street. Note that the depot blocked Ross Avenue, Collin Street, and reached almost to Caruth Street. The rail lines ran alongside traffic on Houston Street and Pacific Avenue. What a jumble!
Aerial of same location
The MKT depot stood behind the Dal-Mart Tex building, where Abraham Zapruder owned the clothing manufacturing company, Jennifer Juniors. He's best known for filming the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, an act that occurred just to the southwest of this screen shot. The former MKT freight depot is now the site of the Holocaust Museum and the Ross Apartments. Also, check out the street names. Caruth has become Munger Avenue, and Collin changed to Corbin Street. There's also no more Broadway Street, and teh Trinity River has been replaced by a highway!

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