In 1987 the Magnolia Lounge was to be demolished. This had been the Magnolia Oil Company’s hospitality suite during the 1936 Texas Centennial. It later became the home to the Margo Jones Theater, where “Summer and Smoke” and “Inherit the Wind” had their world premieres. Alarmed by plans for the building’s demolition, a group of business leaders, historic preservationists and Fair Park advocates founded Friends of Fair Park with the express purpose of restoring the Magnolia Lounge. They raised $750,000 for this effort, and then decided to begin work on the rest of the park.
The mission of Friends of Fair Park is to preserve the buildings, art, sculpture and related artifacts of the
1936 Texas Centennial while promoting the year-round use of Fair Park as a public park.
While Friends remains committed to historic preservation, it has been tasked by the city of Dallas to do more. Current activities include:
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