African American Museum.
Photo by J. Griffis Smith courtesy of TxDOT
the 2,200-seat venue’s principal performance space, the Margaret McDermott
Performance Hall, is designed to be the
environmentally conscious, state-of-the-art
standard against which future opera houses
will be measured.
Fair Park, Dallas, one of Dallas’ hidden treasures, is a central location to spend the day
relaxing and learning about the rich history
of Dallas. While many people associate
Fair Park with only concerts and the famous
Texas State Fair, there is actually much more
to this historically and culturally rich locale.
Fair Park is home to many beautiful native
and organic gardens, museums, and performance halls, but it also boasts some of the
finest art and architecture in the nation. As
a matter of fact, Dallas’ Fair Park holds the
designation of being a National Historic
Landmark due to it boasting the largest
collection of 1930s Art Deco architecture in
the United States, and it is the only unaltered
pre-1950s World’s Fair site in the nation.
The State Fair of Texas has called Fair Park
home since its inception in 1886 when the
Dallas State Fair Board of Directors voted
to purchase 80 acres of land and established
the fairgrounds. Now the largest annual
state fair in the United States, the State Fair
of Texas is the largest tenant of Fair Park.
In 1936, the city of Dallas was chosen to host
the State of Texas Centennial Celebration.
Architect George Dahl was commissioned to
rebuild Fair Park for the event to the astonishing tune of $26 million—an outlandish
price tag for the Depression Era. Dahl was
tasked with the planning, designing and
constructing with only 14 months from
conception to completion. With the help of
10 Dallas design firms, Dahl and his team
designed 26 major buildings in nine months.
Dahl took great care to create a unique architectural look by combining classic Art Deco
designs of the period with a Southwestern
flare that interjected elements of Texas history.
The Hall of State building was designed
to be the architectural centerpiece of the
Currently, Fair Park draws over seven
million people to ticketed events alone
and generates millions of dollars for the
city of Dallas annually. Superpages.com
Centre hosts over 40 concerts with nation-
ally known stars each year. There are nine
museums and six performance halls located
at Fair Park, including the Science Place
and The Women’s Museum. There are
over 749,000 square feet of covered space
that can be used for conferences, exhibits,
markets, festivals and sporting events. Fair
Park has a wealth of history, art and stun-
ning architecture. The following is just a
brief peek at what Fair Park has to offer.
African American Museum
The African American Museum is the only
institution of its kind in the Southwest
dedicated to the preservation and display
of African-American artistic, cultural and
historical materials. It features one of the
largest collections of folk art in the nation.
The rich history of black art and culture
is stored in the four vaulted galleries,
augmented by a research library.
Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park
The Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park opened
in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial celebration. Housed in its original Art Deco
building, the Aquarium is home to a varied
collection of thousands of aquatic animals,
including marine and freshwater fish,
reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
Dallas Historical Society
The Dallas Historical Society was organized
on March 31, 1922, by 101 prominent citi-
zens who wished to encourage historical
inquiry. In 1938, the Society assumed the
management of the magnificent Hall of
State at the request of the City of Dallas. The
Historical Society is the oldest historical orga-
nization in Dallas County that is committed
to preserving the area’s entire history.
Dallas Summer Musicals
For more than 75 years, the non-profit Dallas
Summer Musicals Inc. (DSM) has presented
the very best in Broadway to North Texas
audiences. Located in the historic Music Hall
at Fair Park, DSM promotes excellence in
live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages. Past
musicals have included Wicked, Disney’s The
Lion King, Kinky Boots and Pippin.
Museum of the American Railroad
The Museum of the American Railroad
possesses one of the most comprehensive
heavyweight passenger car collections in the
United States, with a complete pre World
War II passenger train including a Railway