DBF Homepage
Contact DBF
Dallas Bar Association



The first project of the Dallas Bar Foundation was to raise money for the purchase and restoration of an historic mansion on Ross Avenue as headquarters for the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Bar Foundation. Now considered a jewel of the Dallas Arts District, the Arts District Mansion has an interesting history. The mansion was built in the late 1890’s and was the first home in Dallas to have electricity and indoor plumbing. Ross Avenue was the first paved street in Dallas. The home was considered a city showplace due to the many civic and cultural activities held at the home.

In 1927 the mansion was leased to George Loudermilk and Will Sparkman, who operated it as a funeral home for fifty years. One of the most infamous events during that time was the 1934 funeral of Clyde Barrow of the Bonnie and Clyde gang.  

In 1977 when the 50 year lease expired, the grandaughter of the original owner, Helen Belo Morrison, agreed to sell the property to the Dallas Bar Association. Ms. Morrison had been born in the house in 1902 and believed the Dallas Bar’s plan to restore the home as the Dallas Legal Education Center was in accordance with the family’s principles and feelings.

The first capital campaign of the Dallas Bar raised $1,000,000 for the purchase and restoration of the historic mansion in 1977.

In 2001, the Dallas Bar initiated the Mansion Expansion capital campaign which was named, Raising the Bar, to raise funds for the expansion and renovation of the historic mansion. The Dallas Bar Foundation made the lead gift of $1.5 million dollars.

On August 28, 2003, a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the opening of the new Pavilion and the renovated historic mansion. This successful capital campaign raised $14 million from 1,000 donors.

In 2014-2015 the final phase of the mansion expansion campaign was introduced allowing additional donors to make a contribution for the purpose of retiring the remaining debt on the construction loan.

arrow up TO TOP