Fair Park’s historic Hall of State suffered about $3 million worth of damages after a pipe burst, flooding prominent rooms that contained historical archives dating back to the early 1900s. The Hall of State is among three Fair Park buildings that we know suffered damage in last week’s storms, which include the Tower Building and the Cotton Bowl. (The Tower Building is where vaccine recipients are observed 15 minutes after receiving their doses, but Rocky Vaz, the city’s director of the Office of Emergency Management, said the damage didn’t affect those efforts this week.)
Julian Bowman, a spokesman for Fair Park’s management company Spectra, declined to discuss the extent of damage elsewhere among the 277-acre grounds. He said the company is waiting to complete a “parkwide” assessment that will identify any other problems after last week’s storm. Spectra will determine the source of damage in affected buildings, fix it, then establish longer-term solutions for severe weather conditions in the future. The Dallas Historical Society estimates about 10 percent of its collection was damaged.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the Cotton Bowl sustained $2 million worth of water damage, but Bowman would only say that Spectra hopes to complete its estimate by early next week. The State Fair Classic between Grambling State and Prairie View was scheduled for this week, but has been postponed until March 13 and moved from the Cotton Bowl to AT&T Stadium.
The damage to the Hall of State was particularly painful. Fair Park’s most visible landmark, which is home to the Dallas Historical Society, had just completed a $14.4 million renovation last month. Now, the same company responsible for the renovations, Phoenix 1, will get back to work.
Karl Chiao, the executive director of the Dallas Historical Society, says most of the cost will be for building restorations. He believes only 10 percent of its archives—which include documents, photographs, maps, and other paper artifacts—suffered any sort of damage. Nine orotone prints produced in the 1930s by photographer Polly Smith had to be restored. The city of Dallas dispatched a conservator to help work on them; they were removed from the East Texas room.Read More