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Dallas, Texas
National Historical Landmark

FAIR PARK

by Clint Skinner

18. Hall of Religion

Sitting next door to the Magnolia Lounge are the remains of the Hall of Religion. Thomas F. Gallaher, pastor of the Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church, came up with the idea of having a building at the centennial celebration to focus on religion and its part in the state's history. R. L. Thornton and other leaders agreed with the minister, but a lack of funding prevented them for making the suggestion a reality. This problem was fixed by Lone Star Gas.
TX - Dallas Fair Park  Hall of Religion
Hall of Religion
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016
The company originally planned to use 50,000 to build a pavilion at the exposition, but changed its mind and used the money to construct the Hall of Religion instead. When completed, it had a patio, some reception rooms, an assembly hall, and plenty of exhibit space. The building would host representatives from the Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterians, Christian Scientists, Gideons, Jews, YMCA, Salvation Army, and American Bible Society. In addition to the exhibits, there were concerts and various programs.
1936 Texas  Centennial  Exposition  in Dallas aerial photo
No. 27 - Hall of Religion
1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas
Click on image for full view
Courtesy Sarah Reveley
After the exposition was over, the building housed several exhibits highlighting the products and services of Lone Star Gas during the state fair. The company eventually abandoned the facility and park management turned it into a visitor center. Half the building was torn down in 1982. The offices of the Dallas Historical Society moved into the place in 1987 while the Hall of State underwent remodeling. After all the work was completed in 1989, the structure remained dormant.

In 2005, a fundraising campaign was started in an effort to open the Texas Music Center at the former Hall of Religion. The new museum, set to open in 2007, would cover the history of Texas music and cover all genres of the entertainment venue. At an estimated cost of ten million dollars, the demolished section of the building would be restored and extensions would added, providing a total space of 14,000 square feet. There would also be a small lawn for local concerts and events. The campaign ultimately failed and the building continues to be used for storage and office space.

November 12, 2016
© Clint Skinner

FAIR PARK:
Fair Park - Attractions:
1. Fair Park Station
2. Main Entrance
3. Founders Statue
4. Women's Museum
5. DAR House
6. The Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial
7. Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain
8. Music Hall
9. Fair Park Esplanade
10. Centennial Building
11. Automobile Building
12. Hall of State
13. Tower Building
14. Big Tex Circle
15. Grand Place
16. Old Mill Inn
17. Magnolia Lounge
18. Hall of Religion
19. African American Museum
20. Leonhardt Lagoon
21. Dallas Museum of Natural History
22. Science Place I
23. Children's Aquarium
24. Fair Park Bandshell
25. Texas Discovery Gardens
26. WRR Headquarters
27. Science Place II
28. The Texas Star
29. Cotton Bowl Stadium
30. The Texas Skyway
31. The Embarcadero
32. The Creative Arts Building
33. Food and Fiber Building
34. Pan American Arena
35. The Woofus
36. The Swine Building
37. Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center
38. Livestock Pavilion and Arena
39. The Horse Barn
40. Fair Park Coliseum
41. Top of Texas Tower


References:
1.Bigtex.com
2.Dallashistory.org
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
4.Fairpark.org
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
6.Tshaonline.org
7.Watermelon-kid.com
8.Wikipedia.org
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.

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