Fair Park’s Hall of State Reopens

Big Tex
Image from FOX4 News

The Hall of State will finally reopen after being renovated twice in just a few months. The building, which dates back to the 1930s, underwent an extensive renovation last year after the City of Dallas approved approximately $14 million towards this project.

Just three months after the initial renovations were completed, the infamous February winter storm caused parts of the building to be flooded. The flooding was caused by water pipes in the building freezing and bursting as a result of the storm.

In addition to building damage, the flood also caused artwork, documents, and artifacts on display to be soaked and stained. The initial estimated damage to the building was $3 million.

Karl Chiao, the executive director for the Hall of State, said that the process of getting the building reopened has been challenging. He and his team remained dedicated and resilient throughout the renovation.

“The main things were the carpet, the tile, and just having a floor, to begin with. And having ceiling tiles, that was another milestone when we got all our ceiling tiles back,” Chiao said.

Now that the restoration has finished and the building is open, the State Fair of Texas invites the public to the “Our State Fair” exhibit to see some of the historical items on display. The exhibit displays over 135 years of State Fair of Texas history.

“Our State Fair ” includes many artifacts from the fair from over the years. One of the artifacts included is the head of the original Big Tex, which debuted in 1952. The current version of Big Tex on display at the State Fair is the third one. The second was destroyed in a fire at the end of the 2012 fair.

Visitors to the Hall of State can also see the Tom Landry exhibit, which takes a look at the legendary life and career of the former Dallas Cowboys coach. The exhibit includes some of Landry’s military medals, as well as the signature hats and jackets that he wore.

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