The Dallas County Commissioners’ Court is holding a “Rededication” of the “White Only” water fountain sign, discovered in the building almost 20 years ago. The historical ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 18th in the 1st floor lobby of the newly renovated Dallas County Recorde Building, 500 Elm Street, Dallas, 75202 situated at the corner of Elm and Houston Street.
The Records Building, a gray stone building, opened in 1927 across the street from what is now known as the “Old Red Courthouse”, and adjacent to the Old Criminal Courts Building, which opened in 1915. Over the years, the building under-went renovations and modifications. Visible messages of segregation were hidden over time, and resurfaced decades later. Among those relics was a metal plate above the water fountain in the Records Building, which was faded but still held the original intent of the message.
The “White Only” sign on the marble wall is a reminder of the unjust laws that guarded and protected some and humiliated others in the segregated South.
In 2013, Commissioner John Wiley Price demanded that the sign be kept for the sake of posterity and preservation. Artist Lauren Woods was hired and unveiled her video artwork in the Dallas County Records Building.
“This artifact proves again that in America, race is critical and that’s not theory it’s factual and ongoing” said Commissioner Price.
Dallas County Commissioners’ Court is inviting the public to witness the rededication. Call Commissioner Price’s office at 204.653.6671 for questions or additional information.