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A Tour of the Historic Heart of Fair Park

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Main (Parry Ave.) Entrance

Parry Avenue EntranceThe present Parry Avenue Entrance was built for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. Designed by Minnesota-born architect George Dahl, the entrance echos the 1930s Art Deco style found throughout the park. The central pylon, some eighty-five feet high and placed squarely in the center of what was once a vehicle entry gate, is flanked on either side by two "block-houses" which were originally used as administrative offices. They are today used as ticket offices during the annual State Fair. On the side of the pylon facing Parry Avenue, near its top, is a large gold five-pointed star, symbolizing the State of Texas. Near its base is a frieze depicting a pioneer wagon train and a buffalo hunt. This frieze was designed by James Buchanan "Buck" Winn, Jr., a native Texas artist. Below the frieze is a bronze plaque, one of many scattered throughout the park, which has on it the raised seal of the Texas Centennial Exposition and the names of its officers. For many years there were eight ticket booths with turnstiles located between the pylon and the blockhouses but these have been replaced with tall metal gates. Attached to the blockhouses are metal animal head medallions, six in all, which were once found on the park's livestock buildings. Added to the entrance in 1963 were flagpoles from which the flags of the fifty United States fly during the State Fair.

In 2009, DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) added a station to the front entrance of Fair Park, making the annual State Fair much easier and more convenient to reach!

Copyright © 2002 by Steven Butler. All rights reserved.