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Dallas, Texas
National Historical Landmark

FAIR PARK

by Clint Skinner

25. Texas Discovery Gardens

Dallas TX -  Fair Park - Texas Discovery Gardens
Texas Discovery Gardens
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016
Located across from the Fair Park Bandshell, Texas Discovery Gardens was originally built in 1936 as the Hall of Horticulture for the centennial celebration. Arthur E. Thomas and M. C. Kleuser designed the limestone and marble structure, which required 75,000 dollars to make a reality. The two-storied facility had a winter garden and the first public conservatory in the Southwest. The 7.5 acres of land behind the building possessed a wide variety of landscaped gardens. In this area, workers built a replica of the Alamo, which became one of the exposition's most favorite attraction. To the north of the Alamo, there was a log building housing a headquarters for the Texas Rangers and a replica of Judge Roy Bean's saloon The Jersey Lilly. The southwest corner had four model homes featuring the latest trends. Out of all the structures which were made in the garden area, the only surviving structure is one of the model homes.
1936 Texas  Centennial  Exposition  in Dallas aerial photo right enlarged
No. 23 - Hall of Horticulture
No. 17 - Model Home Site
(1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas - Aereal photo right)
Click on image for full view

Courtesy Sarah Reveley

After the exposition, the Hall of Horticulture became the Dallas Garden Center. It served as the headquarters for the War Rationing Board during World War II. From 1945 to 1949, the main building was transformed into the Women's Building for the state fair. The building was renamed the Dallas Civic Garden Center in 1982, changed in 1994 to the Dallas Horticulture Center, and given its final name in 2000. Four years later, construction began on the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium, which was funded through bond election money. In addition, a new entrance designed by Oglesby Greene was built and reproductions of the original bas reliefs were sculpted. The interior also underwent renovation as work on the butterfly house and insectarium continued. The entire project came to a close with the grand opening of the new Texas Discovery Gardens in 2009.


November 28, 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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