Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 9, Number 2, Fall, 1997 Page: 35
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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Architect George Dahl Recalls His Role
EDITED BY SARAH HUNTER
Hunter.: I want to talk with you today about your
experiences with the Texas Centennial Exposition
and your work on that project. Did you
have any involvement in Dallas being chosen
as the Exposition site?
Da/.' Yes, very much. To begin with, a commission
of ioo people designated by the State Legislature
was to determine where the exposition
was to be held. The ioo men and women traveled
all over the state to such cities that wished
to be considered. The first city the commission
visited was Dallas. They came to Dallas
and they listened to what Dallas had to offer.
Hunter.' Who represented Dallas in this bid?
Dahl: There was a committee: Bob Thornton,
Karl Hoblitzelle, Fred Florence, Otto
Herold, and Nathan Adams. They spoke for
the City of Dallas.
Hunter.' How did you become involved?
Dahl: Well, the commission of ioo, they knew
nothing about an exposition. Now, I became
interested, so I told them I could help show
them what an exposition should be. I had visited
a number of expositions, one in Milano,
Italy, and the San Diego, Philadelphia, and
Chicago expositions, so I was fairly knowledgeable
of what an exposition should be.
And I was a friend of young John Middleton
of Greenville, who was a member of the commission,
and he said would you come down
and talk to us and tell us what an exposition
might be? I made a number of trips to Austin
to speak with them, then they decided they
would go around and visit Houston, San
Antonio, Fort Worth, and Dallas. There were
only four cities that indicated any particular
interest in building an exposition ground. So
they came to Dallas first.
Hunter: What did the Dallas commission do to
prepare for the visit?
Dahl: I told the Dallas committee I thought there
should be some pictorial views of what an
exposition might look like. I said you can get
In anticipation of the 1986 sesquicentennial celebration of Texas independence, Peggy Riddle and
Sarah Hunter, then of the Dallas Historical Society, conducted a series of oral interviews with
numerous architects and artists who participated in the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition held
at Dallas's Fair Park. Fair Park as we know it today was created primarily by local architect George
The following excerpt is from an interview conducted by Hunter and Riddle with Dahl at his
home at 3601 Turtle Creek Boulevard in Dallas on February 24, I984. Dahl was 90 years old at the
time and had previously suffered a severe and debilitating stroke.
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 9, Number 2, Fall, 1997, periodical, 1997; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35107/m1/37/: accessed February 25, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.