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Dallas, Texas

FAIR PARK

National Historical Landmark

by Clint Skinner

21. Dallas Museum of Natural History


TX - Dallas Fair Park, Dallas Museum of Natural History
Dallas Museum of Natural History
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016

Located on the southwestern corner of Leonhardt Lagoon, the Dallas Museum of Natural History was designed in 1935 by Clyde Griesenbeck, Mark Lemmon, Frank D. Kean, and John B. Danna. After the team of architects finished their task, workers began the process of constructing the two-story building out of limestone. At the cost of 200,000 dollars, the project came to a close in time for the centennial celebration. Its official goal was the promotion of the natural world through exhibits, research, and educational program.

TX - Dallas Fair Park, Dallas Museum of Natural History
Dallas Museum of Natural History
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016


1936 Texas  Centennial  Exposition  in Dallas aerial photo right enlarged
No. 20 - Museum of Natural History
(1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas - Aereal photo right)
Click on image to enlarge

Courtesy Sarah Reveley

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum had 45,000 square feet of space. The first floor contained four galleries which display over fifty wildlife dioramas. Collectively, they showed stuffed mammals, reptiles, and birds inside cases decorated with native plants, trees, soil, and a backdrop to depict the environment of the animals displayed. Some of the residents were alligators, bison, bears, wolves, coyotes, turtles, roadrunners, eagles, and hawks. During its latter years, a gallery showing various minerals and gems was added. The museum also had a gift shop, an auditorium, and a library in this level. The second floor focused solely on dinosaurs with a collection of fossils and skeletons. Animamatronic statues of the prehistoric reptiles were later added when the technology became more commonplace. In the basement, there was a potpourri of small exhibits in addition to science labs, workshops, storage units, and administration offices. An outdoor amphitheater provided a venue for special events, though it was rarely used.

Starting in 2011, a significant chunk of the museum's collection left the building to become a part of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. When it opened the following year, the Dallas Museum of Natural History became its secondary campus. Its main features included the dioramas, the mineral gallery, and an exhibit about light. At the current time, the building is closed for remodeling.
November 19, 2016
© Clint Skinner



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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