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A Tour of the Historic Heart of Fair Park

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Centennial House

Centennial House

This house, which stands on the grounds of today's Discovery Garden, was built for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. Made of Portland cement, it is the only one of four such houses constructed at that time that is still standing in what was then termed the "Model Homes Area."

The Official Texas Centennial Exposition Guidebook described this "Model Homes Area" as follows:

At the southeast end of the grounds between the end of the Midway and the Ranger Ranch House is the Model Homes Area, one of the most interesting places in the Exposition. Here you will find four homes, completely furnished, which give you an excellent opportunity to study the present trends in home building and interior decoration. Each of the houses is sponsored by a material supplies corporation and each residence represents the ideal small home as planned by the architects of the several firms.

Thse firms, Centennial Model Homes, Inc., Masonite Corporation, Portland Cement Asociation, and Southern Pine Association, have made special plans to have these homes on exhibition throughout the entire Exposition period. Attendents in each structure will give you detailed data on the cost of bulding and equipping such a home.

Centennial House

Why this particular house was left standing while the other three were demolished is a mystery. Perhaps it was deemed to difficult to destroy, being made of cement. Nevertheless, over the years it was neglected and by the late 1980s was in a terrible condition. It has since been restored to some semblence of its original condition. Although it is not open to the public, its windows are without curtains or blinds, allowing curious visitors to take a look inside what people of 1936 must have regarded as a "home of the future."

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