Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 23, Number 1, Spring 2011 Page: 7
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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TEXAS CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION
V9. I DALLAS, TEXAS, JANUARY i, 1936 . No. 18
Ford Motors Contract Signed,
Exhibit Will Cost $2,250,000
DuPont to Introduce New Age Big Building
Brings Show Anything at Fair for a Nickel
Of Wonders On Kid's Day Every Tuesday Exposition
Everythng's a niukel for school children of Texas on Tusay H onor Court
In Ch en strv through the Texas C'nt'nnijM Fponaitnon, opening June o.
The investment by Ford of $2,250,000 in an exhibit hall at the Texas Centennial Exposition was
announced in the January 1936 edition of the Centennial News.
sum of $2,250,000 (over $110 million in today's
dollars) on his exhibit hall at the centennial ex-
position. Of this amount, $1,200,000 would be
spent on the building and $1,050,000 on the
exhibits and programs. One of the principle
features of the Ford exhibition was to be a dis-
play showing the use of raw materials from the
Southwest in the manufacture of Ford cars. The
article also described the "Roads of the South-
west"-similar to the "Roads of the Pacific" in
San Diego-that would be another key attrac-
tion at the Ford show in Dallas.
Several days later, in a January 12 article
published in the Morning News, Ford proclaimed
that the plans for its "pageant of transportation"
were complete; that the building would occupy
55,000 square feet of floor space; that the archi-
tect was Albert Kahn of Detroit; and that Walter
Dorwin Teague would design the displays and
interior decoration of the building. The article's
attribution of the building's design to Albert
Kahn, however, was erroneous. The firm's role
should have been described more accurately as
executive architect, responsible for the building's
technical details and the working drawings used
in its construction.As he had done in San Diego
the previous year, Walter Dorwin Teague once
again secured the primary responsibility for the
design of the Ford Motor Company Building at
the centennial exposition.Whereas in San Diego
Teague utilized local architects to produce the
working drawings for the building, Ford brought
Albert Kahn back into the picture in Dallas and
required that Teague work with his office. To
avoid any undermining of his role in the project,
Teague ensured he was listed as "Designer" in
the title block of all the construction documents.
Ford officials in Dearborn were not pleased
with the articles appearing in the Dallas pa-
pers concerning their purported investment of
$2,250,000 in an exhibit hall. An admonishing
letter from FL. Black, who led Ford's exhibition
efforts during the 1930s, to Frank Watson, the
over-zealous promotions director at the exposi-
tion, warned that such publicity would scare off
other exhibitors, including car manufacturers,
from participating in the fair. Black told Watson
that Ford refrained from publicizing budgets re-
lated to their exhibits and that the actual invest-
ment in the Dallas building would be $300,000
as opposed to the $1,200,000 reported in the
newspapers. Black closed the letter by advis-
ing Watson that Ford had heard from its con-
tacts throughout Texas that they should "divide
Spring 2011 LEGACIES 7
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 23, Number 1, Spring 2011, periodical, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth204538/m1/9/?q=centennial%20museums: accessed January 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.