Texas School Book Depository

Texas School Book Depository

Texas School Book Depository
Dallas County Administration Building in 2005, formerly the Texas School Book Depository
Texas School Book Depository is located in Texas
Texas School Book Depository
Location within Texas
Former names Southern Rock Island Plow Company
Texas School Book Depository
Alternative names Dallas County Administration Building
The Sixth Floor Museum
General information
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
Location West End Historic District
Town or city Dallas, Texas
Elevation 139 m (455 ft.)
Groundbreaking 1898 (1898)
Construction started 1903 (1903)
Renovated 1981 (1981)
Cost $3,040,510
Owner Dallas County
Technical details
Structural system B-Reinforced Concrete Frame Piers
Floor count 8
Floor area 10,000 sq. ft. (929 m2)
Design and construction
Main contractor Rock Island Plow Company
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

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. It is located 411 Elm Street on the northwest corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, at the western end of downtown Dallas. The building is notable for its connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. An employee, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot the president from a sixth floor window on the southeast corner. The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.


  • Early history 1
  • Assassination of John F. Kennedy 2
    • Second building 2.1
  • Later years 3
  • Gallery 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early history

The site of the building was originally owned by [2][1]

Under Byrd's ownership the building remained empty until 1940, when it was leased by a grocery wholesaler, the [2]

Assassination of John F. Kennedy

In 1963, the building was in use as a multi-floor [2]

On November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine who was working as a temporary employee at the building, fired the shots from the sixth floor that killed the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. Oswald was murdered in police custody before he could stand on trial.

Second building

In addition to its building at Elm and Houston, the Texas School Book Depository Company maintained a second warehouse at 1917 Houston. Several blocks north of the main building, the short four-story structure was well removed from the parade route, half-hidden on an unpaved section of Houston. Oswald's supervisor, Roy Truly, told the Warren Commission that he had had the option to assign Oswald to either building on his first day at work. "I might have sent Oswald to work [there]... Oswald and another fellow reported for work on the same day [October 15] and I needed one of them for the depository building. I picked Oswald."[3] This second building was eventually destroyed to make way for the Woodall Rodgers Freeway.[3]

Later years

The Texas School Book Depository Company moved out in 1970 and the building was sold at auction to Aubrey Mayhew, a Nashville, Tennessee music producer and collector of Kennedy memorabilia, by the owner D. H. Byrd. In 1972, ownership reverted to Byrd, and the building was purchased in 1977 by the government of Dallas County. After renovating the lower five floors of the building for use as county government offices, the Dallas County Administration Building was dedicated on March 29, 1981. On President's Day 1989, the sixth floor opened to the public (for an admission charge) as the Sixth Floor Museum of assassination-related exhibits. On President's Day 2002, the seventh floor gallery opened.

On May 4, 2010 burglars attempted to steal a safe from the Sixth Floor Museum, but fled when "they were confronted by a security guard", leaving the unopened safe suspended from a winch on the back of a truck.[4]


See also


  1. ^ a b c  
  2. ^ a b c d e Jerry Organ, mcadams.posc.mu.edu, Murder Perch to Museum
  3. ^ a b  
  4. ^ Trahan, Jason (May 5, 2010). "Theft of safe at Sixth Floor Museum visitors center thwarted". The Dallas Morning News. 

External links

  • Murder Perch to Museum: A History of the Texas School Book Depository
  • Dealey Plaza live cam
  • Official property ownership record from the Dallas Central Appraisal District
  • "Southern Rock Island Building (Texas School Book Depository)". Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Texas Historical Commission. 1901.