The Fair Park Band Shell Restoration Is Chosen For Exhibit at the Dallas Center for Architecture
GSR Andrade’s award-winning Band Shell Restoration has been included as part of the Dallas Center for Architecture’s latest exhibit to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the State Fair of Texas Centennial Exposition.
The Band Shell Amphitheater is located in Fair Park, a 277-acre National Historic Landmark with the largest collection of 1930’s Art Deco exposition-style architecture in the United States. Home to the State Fair of Texas, which attracts more than 3.6 million visitors annually, Fair Park is the largest collection of cultural facilities in Dallas. The Band Shell Amphitheater seats 4,500 people and was used by the Dallas Wind Symphony, designated as “America’s Premier Wind Band,” for their performances.
Originally built in 1936 for the Texas Centennial, The Band Shell held many concerts and events from World War II Celebrations to the Temptations. But throughout the years, the facility had been painted over to match the color palette of following exhibitions and fairs while also slipping into a serious state of disrepair.
Highlighting the renovation of The Band Shell was the restoration of the deteriorating plaster of the shell and adjacent light towers and returning the colors of the complex to that of its original scheme in 1936. An exact color match to each of the shell levels and light towers was only possible after extensive paint analysis of over 20 samples obtained from the flaking plaster. The Band Shell now matches the original color design when crowds would have first seen performances take place in it over 60 years ago.
The lighting of The Band Shell, originally incandescent, was replaced with a 4-tube neon lighting system placed underneath each of the amphitheater’s six bands. The intensity of the light in each tube can be adjusted to allow the bands to change colors independently or in unison. With the interaction of the differing color bands, The Band Shell can now glow with various color schemes matching the moods of any performance that might take the stage.
The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has recognized the Band Shell Restoration by honoring it with one of their 2000 Dallas AIA Design Awards. The Band Shell also received a 2001 Preservation Achievement Award given out by Preservation Dallas, an organization that preserves and recognizes large and small-scale projects that focus on restoration and preservation in the Dallas Community.
About the Dallas Center for Architecture Exhibit
As the 2011 State Fair of Texas begins its run, the Dallas Center for Architecture celebrates the 75th anniversary of the fair that did much to make Fair Park the architectural icon it is today. On June 6, 1936, the Texas Centennial Exposition opened its gates. Under the leadership of architect George Dahl and with the support of a cadre of enthusiastic Dallasites, the Fairgrounds had been transformed into an Art Deco masterpiece. Over 6.5 million attendees would take in the sights over that summer and fall, and millions more have enjoyed the Exposition’s architecture in the decades to follow. The National Historic Landmark is now considered the finest collection of Art Deco buildings still in existence.
Using historic photographs and documents from the archives of the Dallas Historical Society and the City of Dallas, as well as vintage postcards and souvenirs, The Texas Centennial Exposition and the Architecture of Fair Park examines how Dallas won the Exposition and how George Dahl marshaled scores of architects and artists to fulfill his grand vision. It also takes a closer look at some of the most iconic buildings of the Fair, including the Hall of State and the now-demolished Ford Building.
A section of the show also looks at the ongoing restoration efforts undertaken at Fair Park over the last several decades. With materials provided by many of the Dallas restoration architects involved, the exhibition shows the results of extensive renovations of the Esplanade, the Tower Building and the Band Shell—as well as the preservation of the Art Deco murals so important to the Exposition’s grandeur.
The exhibition is free and open to the public from October 3, 2011, to November 23, 2011, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
The Dallas Center for Architecture is located at 1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Suite 100, Dallas, TX 75201. Visitor parking is available in front of the building. For directions or more details, call 214.742.3242.