Dallas has changed significantly since the West End was founded in 1871. Back then, this was where the Houston & Central Texas Railroad arrived, making Dallas a major distribution center and attracting manufacturing companies whose warehouses now define the architecture of the area. Because the area was declared a historial district in 1975, many orginal buildings still stand, although they now serve different purposes. The Old Red Courthouse, for example, is now a bustling museum and live music venue. The West End is a popular dining spot, with traditional Texas cuisine options (Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse, Hoffbrau Steakhouse, Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse) as well as a number of nationally known chain restaurants. Shopping is geared toward tourists and limited to gift shops (Dallas World Aquarium, Sixth Floor Museum) and Wild Bill's Western Store. All four Dart Rail lines (red, blue, green, orange) stop at the West End.
The West End is also home to the CultureMap Dallas offices.