Deep Ellum, TX

Deep Ellum showing a sunset, a city and signage
This massive sculpture of a friendly stainless steel giant manages to represent the fascinating history that makes Deep Ellum such a unique neighborhood.

The Deep Ellum Traveling Man serves as an unforgettable welcome to one of the most unique neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas. Stop by the jovial giant and take a moment to appreciate the sentiments and history the sculpture represents.

Learn about the evolution of Deep Ellum over the past few centuries and the significant impact it has had on the culture of the entire city. The neighborhood began as a hub for immigrants and African-Americans working on the railroad. In the 1920s, it became a hot spot for blues and jazz musicians. Today, it is known as one of Dallas’ prime destinations for art and entertainment.

In 2007, the city commissioned artist Brad Oldham to make something to honor the rich past, present and future of Deep Ellum. Walk down Good Latimer Avenue and see the character he created and installed on three distinct sites. The four-story-tall Deep Ellum Traveling Man dominates the northeast corner of the Deep Ellum Rail Station.

Even with his simple robot-like form, everything about the Traveling Man exudes friendliness. His hand is outstretched in friendship and the circular hole in his midsection represents universal acceptance. Stare carefully at his head and notice the guitar shape, a nod to the neighborhood’s musical culture. His stainless steel body reflects the lights and colors of Deep Ellum, creating a constantly changing mirror of the world around him.

Note that the Traveling Man is accompanied by a group of four bird friends, which drive home the kind personality of this gentle giant. The birds represent the artistic types that have shaped and continue to shape Deep Ellum. Perch in the scooped backs of the bird sculptures sitting at the giant’s feet.

The Traveling Man is the guardian of the Deep Ellum DART Station. From here, take the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Green Line farther into downtown Dallas and its arts district or south toward the suburbs.

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