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Guide to the

Jim Johnson City of Irving Police and Court Building Construction File

2.5 inches

Accession Number: 87-06

Collection Number: 47

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
January 2006

CITATION: The Jim Johnson City of Irving Police and Court Building Construction File, 1963-1965, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Historical Sketch

     In the early 1960s, City of Irving officials began planning for a new police and court building, which had been approved by voters in a 1956 bond election.  By 1963, an architectural firm, Grogan & Scoggins, had been chosen, and plans for a new building were under development.

     Irving’s first municipal building was constructed in 1932.  At that time, Irving had no police department, and volunteers manned the fire department; it was not until 1939 that the first full-time city employee was hired. 

     During the 1950s, Irving underwent tremendous population growth.  In 1950, the city’s population was just over 2,000; by 1960, it was approximately 45,000.  A 1963 estimate put the city’s population at 62,136.  The city administration remained in the 1932 building until a new city hall opened in 1956. 

     Irving hired its first police officer in 1940. An auxiliary force of volunteers rounded out the force until the early 1950s, when full-time officers were added to the staff.  The force grew to 38 officers by 1963.  The police and fire departments remained together in the original 1932 city building.

     In 1964, construction began on a new police and court building.  Plans called for the building to accommodate a work force of approximately 200 for a projected population of 200,000 in 1985.

     The work order was issued on March 11, 1964.  The general contractor was Southwest Construction Company of Dallas, Texas.  The city took possession of the building on January 15, 1965.

     This building remained the home of the police department and municipal court until a new police and court building opened in 1992.  In 2006, the 1964 police and court building is the home of the Irving Fire Department.


Collection 47: The Jim Johnson City of Irving Police and Court Building Construction File, 1963-1965
Irving A Texas Odyssey, by Joseph Rice, Windsor Publications Inc., Chatsworth, California, 1989
Louise Henderson Collection, accession number 0102-105, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library

Scope and Content Note

     The Jim Johnson City of Irving Police and Court Building Construction File, 1963-1965, is arranged in one series and housed in a one half-size manuscript box.

     The material was compiled by Irving Police Department Assistant Police Chief Jim Johnson from 1963 to 1965.  The file consists of documents relating to the design and construction of the Irving Police and Court Building.  Included among the documents are: cost estimates for various designs; floor plans, site plans and elevations for two different designs; a blueprint of the building as built; a survey of police facilities and future expectations; construction inspection reports; correspondence with the general contractor; handwritten notes from meetings; and a construction schedule.
     The original order of the file was maintained.  The material was received in a file folder in reverse chronological order.  Due to the thickness of the file, it was broken down into five separate file folders, but the order was not disturbed.  Therefore, folder number one deals with the city making final payment to the contractor in 1965, and folder four contains material about the development and design of the building in 1963.  Folder five contains mylar sheets of the floor plans, site plans, and elevations of two design proposals and paper copies of the same material. 

     Of particular interest is a survey conducted of the existing police facilities prior to the construction of the 1964-65 building, and a master plan for the development of a police and court building in which the architects make projections about future growth of the city and the police department and the requirements for the building.  Also of interest is a fact sheet about Irving used to promote the city in the early 1960s.    

     The material is in good condition. There is one photo in the collection.  The photo is of the exterior of the western end of the newly constructed building, which was the court section of the building.

Provenance Statement

     The Jim Johnson City of Irving Police and Court Building Construction File, 1963-1965, accession number 87-06, was donated to the Irving Archives by Assistant Police Chief Jim Johnson on June 5, 1987.  Prior to its donation to the Irving Archives, the material was in the possession of Jim Johnson.

Literary Rights Statement

     Permission to publish from The Jim Johnson City of Irving Police and Court Building Construction File, 1963-1965, must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Note to Researcher

See also: accession number 0405-65 for blueprints of the building.
See also: accession number 0001-135 for an invitation to the dedication of the building, 1965.
See also: accession number 0203-20 for photo negatives (2) of the building in June 1965
(these negatives have been scanned as positives and are in a digital collection file under Police and Court Building).

Container List

Series I. Development and Construction Records

Box 1


  1     Documents, 1964-1965
Contains concrete cylinder test reports; handwritten notes from meetings concerning the design and construction process between September 1963 and August 1964; correspondence and a resolution regarding failure to complete the construction on schedule.  Also included is a photo of the west side of the building, which housed the municipal court.

  2     Documents, 1964-1965
Contains a report entitled “Survey of the Facilities of the Police Department and Corporation Court of Irving, Texas, as Conducted by Grogan and Scoggins, Architects”; a blue print of the design of the building, Jan. 20, 1964; building construction inspection reports; a punch list, Dec. 1964; correspondence related to construction changes and work schedule delays.

  3     Documents, 1964
Contains a paint color schedule; correspondence with subcontractors regarding the jail section of the building, construction schedule, job specifications, metal work, and marble work; a blueprint for the lettering on the exterior of the building; a list of questions the architects need the city council to address; and results of metal tests.

  4     Documents, 1963-1964
Contains concrete strength test results; a cost analysis estimate for different versions of the building; correspondence from various contractors to the architects; building specifications; changes in the building specifications; a master plan for the development of a police and court building containing alternative plans of development; site plan, floor plan, and elevation for one of the plans (plan B); handwritten notes from various meetings on the project; a report on the requirements for a police station for a city of 130,000 population; a report detailing the basic facts concerning the city of Irving in 1963.

  5     Documents, 1963
Contains mylar sheets and paper copies of the site and floor plans and elevations of two design plans and a mylar sheet only of the floor plan of the final design.  Also contains a report from the architects to the council on the cost of four variations of the building plan.