25. Texas Discovery Gardens
| Texas Discovery
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016
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.
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
November 28, 2016
© Clint Skinner
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.