Our story

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.

Current Activities

While Friends remains committed to historic preservation, it has been tasked by the city of Dallas to do more. Current activities include:

    • The creation and maintaining of fairparktx.org and Friends of Fair Park social media.
    • Sending out a monthly Fair Park Newsletter in cooperation with the Park Department
    • Creating year-around events such as the Dog Bowl, Urban Dash, Olympic Day for Kids and other fun runs.
    • Producing Fair Park Fourth holiday fireworks show and Fourth of July Day at Fair Park


    • Secured $8.5 million in appropriations by the Texas State Legislature in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 for the restoration efforts in the agrarian area.
    • Recreated the 8 murals on the Automobile Building (1936 Varied Industries Building), which had been destroyed by fire in 1949.
    • Recreated the Fish Fountain at the entrance of the Women’s Museum
    • Completed a quarter of the million-dollar renovation of the historic Magnolia Lounge to its 1936 splendor. It is now home to Friends of Fair Park.
    • Recreated and unveiled the statue Texas Woofus in the fall of 2002.
    • Worked with the City, the Dallas Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts to recreate the Tenor and Contralto statues on the Esplanade.
    • Secured a $4.8 million ISTEA grant to restore the Automobile and Centennial Building

Donate today to help us keep going and create more accomplishments!

Friends of Fair Park is a member-supported non profit advocacy group. Donate or join today!

 © 2021 Friends of Fair Park, Inc. | (214) 426-3400 | fairparktx.org | @fairparktxorg

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