Welcome to the Fairs, part 3

The Texas Centennial,  more than any other fair of the 1930s, looked backward as well as forward, celebrating the frontier past of Texas.  Chief architect George Dahl and designer Donald Nelson led a team of 100 architects, artists, and craftsmen in the remodeling and construction of 77 buildings on the grounds of Fair Park, site of the Texas State Fair since 1886.  The fair introduced what Dahl called “Texanic” architecture and encouraged its use throughout the Southwest.

Statistics about the Texas Centennial Exposition:

Texas Centennial Exposition postcard

Texas Centennial Exposition postcard, 1936. National Building Museum purchase.

  • City: Dallas, Texas
  • Dates:  June 6 – November 29, 1936
  • Admission fee:  adults 50 cents, children 25 cents
  • Size: 277 acres in Fair Park
  • Attendance: 6,353,827
  • Theme: Centennial of Texas Independence

According to designer Juan Larrinaga, the architecture embodied “the feeling of the Aztec expressed in simple lines.” It was, he claimed, “an architecture that is as modern as Texas is.”

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