Kirby Building Kirby Building Kirby Building Kirby Building Kirby Building

Kirby Building

Address: 1509 Main Street
Architect: Barnett, Haynes & Barnett (St. Louis); Lang & Witchell
Year Built: 1913

Also known as: Busch Building
The Old Girl
A. Harris Department Store
Railroad Headquarters

Famed brewer Adolphus Busch built this seventeen-story Commercial Gothic building, with Gothic tower, as office and retail space to accompany the Adolphus Hotel. This was only the second US building in the Gothic style. It was originally called the Busch building, but was sold in 1918 to the Kirby Investment Group of Houston and renamed. Many Dallasites also called it by its nickname "the old girl." The A. Harris Department Store served as the building's anchor until 1965. Various companies had offices, including so many railroad companies that it was also called the "Railroad headquarters" by some. Other tenants through the years included the Dallas Citizens Council, United National Bank, and Corgan & Associates.

Dallas businessman Vince Carrozza bought the building in 1970 renovated much of the interior. It was renovated again in 1979 by the Pierce Group, winning an AIA award in 1980. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (1980 - as the Busch-Kirby Building), a Dallas City Landmark (1987), and a Registered Texas Landmark (1988). The building closed in 1992.

Hall Financial Group renovated the building in 1999, with Corgan & Associates as the architect. The Kirby Residences on Main created 156 loft apartments and was a joint venture with Hall Financial, the City of Dallas, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ken Hughes bought the building in 2006 with the intent of converting the residences into 130 condominiums.

For More Information:

The Kirby
Texas Historic Sites Atlas
Resources at the Dallas Public Library, 7th Floor:
Vertical Files:
  • Buildings -- Kirby
  • Business & Industry -- Harris, A. & Co.
  • Texas Monthly. July 1985, p. 5, 6.
Manuscript Collections:
  • MA 86.15 City of Dallas Landmark Records
  • MA 86.7 Dallas County Historical Commission Files; see Kirby Building folder
  • Please contact department to view additional photographs.

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Last revised on November 10, 2006