Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 11, Number 2, Fall, 1999 Page: 3
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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rom the Editor
P egasus, the "Flying Red Horse," graces the cover of
this last issue of Legacies for the I99os. Appropriately
for Dallas, our Pegasus began as a corporate logo,
evolved into the most famous icon for the city, and now is perceived
as an inspirational symbol of triumph over adversity.
In 1934 the American Petroleum Institute scheduled its
annual meeting in Dallas. In honor of the event, the Magnolia
Petroleum Company erected a giant, revolving version
of the company trademark atop its headquarters building on
Commerce Street. Completed in 1922, the twenty-nine-story
Magnolia Building was already the tallest structure in Dallas
(and the highest west of the Mississippi). Now the brightly lit
red horse became a beacon visible from miles away, a landmark
for residents and visitors alike.
As the years passed, and taller skyscrapers lined downtown
streets, Pegasus became visible only from limited angles.
It stopped turning in the I970s, and its neon lights went out
in I997. The Magnolia Building itself gradually emptied.
But the myth of Pegasus, inspiration for the Greek
Muses, is a powerful one. A pocket park, designed as a contemplative
oasis, was constructed just behind the Magnolia
Building. The building itself has been converted to a hotel.
And now the Flying Red Horse is being restored and (if all
goes according to plans) will be revolving again by New
This latest rebirth of Pegasus will shine over a gradually
reviving downtown, with thousands of people now living in
loft apartments created out of stately old department stores,
utilitarian office buildings, and modest warehouses which,
only a few years ago, sat vacant. What better symbol of how
historic preservation can revitalize a city?
The articles in this issue also celebrate triumphs of the
human spirit over a variety of obstacles. Pioneer settlers like
Preston Witt fought to create safe, stable lives in North Central
Texas for themselves and their families. The flood-ravaged
citizens of I908 took steps to safeguard their city in the
future. City planners struggled with rapid growth in the I9Ios
and I920s. Out-of-work musicians in the I930s found work
and provided entertainment for thousands through the Federal
Music Project. And defense workers in the I940S rallied
to the nation's wartime needs and succeeded in creating new
industries for the region.
Mobil Corporation donated the Flying Red Horse to
the city in 1976. Pegasus belongs to us all. It is truly an appropriate
symbol of triumph over adversity as we enter a new
* Michael Hazel'
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Dallas County Heritage Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 11, Number 2, Fall, 1999, periodical, 1999; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35103/m1/5/: accessed August 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.