City of Dallas and DART officials celebrated the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Monroe Shops last Friday, July 25. The Monroe Shops is a former rail warehouse that is now the headquarters of the DART Police Department. The building is located at Illinois Station along the Blue Line in South Oak Cliff.
Speakers included DART Deputy Executive Director Jesse Oliver, Police Chief James Spiller and Deputy Chief Edward Addison, Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway and Dr. Robert Haynes, Consulting Curator for the Plano Interurban Railway Museum.
Dr. Haynes spoke of the role of Monroe Shops from 1914-48 as the maintenance hub of the vast interurban railway system and helped shape the growth of the North Texas region, as well as electricity as both the catalyst for the rail system’s growth and the key to its eventual demise as the key to mass production and proliferation of the automobile.
The Monroe Shops were built in 1914 to serve the Southern Traction Company and the Texas Traction Company, which merged to form the Texas Electric Railway. DART acquired the building in 1994 and construction began in 2009. The new headquarters opened for business in 2011. See historical photos and a video from the 2011 opening below.