Dallas' Dealey Plaza is best known as the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. But Thursday it became a construction site as workers began a restoration project. Downtown dignitaries helped with the first pour of concrete for new sidewalks.
History at Dealey Plaza goes back well before 1963. The plaza first opened in 1941 to celebrate the city's 100th birthday. It is the location of the first Dallas buildings on a bluff of the Trinity River where the city was founded by John Neely Bryan.
The plaza is named for George Bannerman Dealey, long time publisher of the Dallas Morning News.
Since 1963 it has been the number one tourist destination in North Texas. People can be found there at almost any hour of every day. The Sixth Floor Museum in the old Texas School Book Depository building on the plaza deals with the assassination. Another museum covering other Dallas County history recently opened in the "Old Red" courthouse, also on the plaza.
The renovation project is designed to return the plaza to original 1941 appearance. Many layers of old paint are being scraped away from concrete walls and reflecting pools.
The $843,000 project is due to be completed in 2 months.