Texas School Book Depository

Texas School Book Depository
Dallas County Admin Building.jpg
Dallas County Administration Building in 2015, formerly the Texas School Book Depository
Texas School Book Depository is located in Texas
Texas School Book Depository
Texas School Book Depository
Texas School Book Depository is located in the US
Texas School Book Depository
Texas School Book Depository
Former namesSouthern Rock Island Plow Company
Texas School Book Depository
Alternative namesDallas County Administration Building
The Sixth Floor Museum
General information
Architectural styleRomanesque Revival
Address411 Elm St.
Dallas, Texas
CountryUnited States
Coordinates32°46′47″N 96°48′30″W / 32°46′47″N 96°48′30″W / 32.77972; -96.80833
OwnerDallas County
Technical details
Structural systemB-Reinforced Concrete Frame Piers
Floor count8
Floor area80,000 feet (24,000 m)[1]
Design and construction
Main contractorRock Island Plow Company
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Texas School Book Depository
Part of
RTHL #6895
DLMKHD #H/2 (West End HD)
Significant dates
Designated NHLDCPApril 19, 1993
Designated CPNovember 14, 1978
Designated RTHL1981
Designated DLMKHDOctober 6, 1975[3]
Texas historical marker for the Texas School Book Depository

The Texas School Book Depository, now known as the Dallas County Administration Building, is a seven-floor building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, United States. The building is most notable as the vantage point of the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. An employee, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot and killed Kennedy from a sixth floor window on the building's southeastern corner. The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. It is located at 411 Elm Street on the northwest corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, at the western end of downtown Dallas.

Early history

The site of the building was originally owned by John Neely Bryan.[4] During the 1880s, Maxime Guillot operated a wagon shop on the property. In 1894, the Rock Island Plow Company bought the land, and four years later constructed a five-story building for its Texas division, the Southern Rock Island Plow Company.[4] In 1901, the building was hit by lightning and nearly burned to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1902 in the Commercial Romanesque Revival style, and expanded to seven stories. In 1937 the property was acquired by the Carraway Byrd Corporation, and after the company defaulted on the loan, it was bought at public auction July 4, 1939 by D. Harold Byrd.[4][5]

Under Byrd's ownership the building remained empty until 1940, when it was leased by a grocery wholesaler, the John Sexton & Co. Sexton Foods used this location as the branch office for sales, manufacturing and distribution warehouse for the south and southwest United States. In November 1961, Sexton Foods moved to a modern distribution facility located at 650 Regal Row Dallas; by then the building was known locally as the Sexton Building. Refurbishment after Sexton's departure saw the addition on the first four floors of partitions, carpeting, air conditioning and a new passenger elevator.[5]