Dallas Municipal Building, Former Dallas Police Headquarters

Lee Harvey Oswald's cell taken on iPhone
Lee Harvey Oswald's cell taken on iPhone

Dallas Municipal Building
2014 Main Street, Dallas, Texas

I did a walk through of the Dallas Municipal Building (DMB) to check out the basement where Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. I want to see if the location is really worth photographing.

In order to film at the DMB, I need to submit an application with $50 fee, have proof of insurance and pay $35 per hour for a security escort. The fee and the security are easily handled, but the insurance will cost $300 plus for a year policy. This is going to be one expensive photo.

I met Lt. K. Houston after passing through the metal detector and my wallet was x-rayed.

I boarded the elevator with Lt. Houston and he immediately starts talking about the ghost of Oswald still in the building. He mentions that Oswald took the very elevator we were standing in.

The basement isn’t much to see. There are the glass doors that lead out onto the parking area. Directly past the doors are two ramps on either side of the building for garage access. Passed the ramp driveway there is another ramp for parking places, where the press was set-up that day to see Oswald transferred to the county jail.

This would be a great picture if I can get Det. Leavelle to pose for a few shots.

We took the elevator back up to the third or forth floor. The elevator does not go all the way up to the fifth floor any more. The DMB is in dire need of a wrecking ball. The whole place is falling apart.

We get to Oswald’s cell. There is layer after layer of mint green paint on the bars and bunk beds. The cell had four beds and one toilet / sink. Yes, a toilet and sink, all-in-one, made out of chrome.

I stood in Oswald’s cell for a minute with my hand still in the cell door way. Not that the doors could move any more, but I wasn’t going to be locked in.

There is a wonderful large window allowing natural light to poor across the cell bay. Having a sunny day for filming will be important.

Lt. Houston gave me the 25 cent tour. He told me there were drunk tanks, long-term prison cells, Texas and OU cells, and cells for women. The area did not look that big, but there were a lot of cells. And this was just the fifth floor. There were more cells on the forth.

This building is begging to be photographed. Looks like I need to get some insurance.

I called my brother to start setting up the photo shoot. I am going to need help with this one, especially if I get Det. Leavelle to pose.

Later I explained it all to my wife and then again to my mother when she called. My mother, an avid stock photographer, wishes she could join in the action.