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Did you know that almost everything important in Richardson's early history happened in Old Downtown? This is where our city was "born" in 1873 and also where it was incorporated in 1925. This is where the first city hall, still standing today, was located. These are just some of the reasons why the RHGS is committed to the following Proposals for the Improvement and Preservation of Old Downtown Richardson.

Downtown Richardson TX January 2022
DOWNTOWN RICHARDSON, 2022. Photo by Steven Butler. Used with permission.

Main Street Richardson TX about 1909
DOWNTOWN RICHARDSON, c. 1909. This and all other historic photographs on this page courtesy Richardson Public Library.

Houston and Texas Central train 1873
From an 1873 H.&T.C. Bond. Courtesy Steven Butler.

Richardson was "born" in 1873, when the Houston & Texas Central Railway built a depot 2 miles northwest of old Breckinridge and on either side of the tracks, laid out a town called "Richardson" in honor of H.&T.C. Secretary Alfred Stephen Richardson.

The first commercial buildings in Richardson were constructed on what became known as Central Street (now Texas Street), facing the railroad tracks.

Central Street, Richardson, TX, about 1892

In 1892, a fire destroyed or damaged most of these early structures. Although they were soon rebuilt, newer buildings on Smith Street (now E. Main) soon after became the primary focal point of the town's business district.

Main Street, Richardson, TX about 1910

Until the 1960s, the 100 block of East Main Street, between present-day Texas Street and McKinney Street, was the principal business district of Richardson. This was the place where everyone went to buy groceries, try on and buy new clothes, see a doctor, pick up a prescription, hear a band concert, watch a free silent motion picture, get their horses shod or automobiles repaired, to get their cotton ginned, attend the community fair, or board an H.&T.C. train or Texas Electric Railway Interurban car to travel south to Dallas or north to Denison and beyond. In short, this was the heart of Richardson.

Here is a list of the oldest structures and most important historic sites in Old Downtown Richardson.

Historic Sites

  1. Site of first H.&T.C. Depot (on east side of DART tracks, opposite Collision Masters auto repair shop)
  2. Site of second H.&T.C./Southern Pacific Depot (on west side of DART tracks, alongside Interurban Street between Main Street and Polk)
  3. Site of Central Street businesses (about half of the length of east side of S. Texas Street)
  4. Site of Mrs. Allen's Post Office (now a parking lot off S. Texas Street)
  5. Site of Interurban Depot (SW corner W. Main and Interurban Street)
  6. Site of Farrell's Livery Stable (NW corner W. Main and Interurban Street)

Oldest Buildings Still Standing

    North Side of E. Main Street
  1. 101-103 E. Main, Thompson's Dry Goods Store, built c. 1898 (present-day Collision Masters auto repair)
  2. 105 E. Main, Crosby Building, built 1909 (present-day Shaddock & Caldwell, Builders and Developers)
  3. 107 E. Main, Brick Garage or Swinson Bldg., built 1916 (present-day Jasmine Café)


  1. 111 E. Main, Odd Fellows Building, built 1898 (present-day Jasmine Hookah Lounge)
  2. 115 E. Main, Harben's Drugstore, built 1911 (present-day Main Street Tavern)
  3. 117 E. Main, Harben-Spotts Printing Company Building, built 1924 (present-day Main Street Tavern
    South Side of E. Main Street
  1. 100-106 E. Main, Reddick Double Brick, built c. 1918 (present-day A-Z Printers, Hair by Né)
  2. 110 E. Main, Brack Lotheridge soft drink stand, built c. 1895 and also Mayor Tom Jackson's office. (present-day Free COVID-19 Testing)
  3. 112-114 E. Main, Newt Harris Brick, built 1954 on site of 1906 frame (present-day Main Street Barber and Madina Mediterranean Grill)
  4. 116 E. Main, U.S. Post Office, built 1939 (present-day Star Pipes & Hookah)
    West of Greenville Avenue
  1. 306 E. Main, Morris' Ice House, built 1947 (currently vacant)

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