next door to the Magnolia
Lounge are the remains of the Hall of Religion. Thomas F. Gallaher,
pastor of the Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church, came up with the idea
of having a building at the centennial
celebration to focus on religion and its part in the state's history.
R. L. Thornton and other leaders agreed with the minister, but a lack
of funding prevented them for making the suggestion a reality. This
problem was fixed by Lone Star Gas.
| Hall of Religion
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016
|The company originally
planned to use 50,000 to build a pavilion at the exposition, but changed
its mind and used the money to construct the Hall of Religion instead.
When completed, it had a patio, some reception rooms, an assembly
hall, and plenty of exhibit space. The building would host representatives
from the Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Disciples
of Christ, Presbyterians, Christian Scientists, Gideons, Jews, YMCA,
Salvation Army, and American Bible Society. In addition to the exhibits,
there were concerts and various programs.
the exposition was over, the building housed several exhibits highlighting
the products and services of Lone Star Gas during the state fair.
The company eventually abandoned the facility and park management
turned it into a visitor center. Half the building was torn down in
1982. The offices of the Dallas Historical Society moved into the
place in 1987 while the Hall
of State underwent remodeling. After all the work was completed
in 1989, the structure remained dormant.
In 2005, a fundraising campaign was started in an effort to open the
Texas Music Center at the former Hall of Religion. The new museum,
set to open in 2007, would cover the history of Texas
music and cover all genres of the entertainment venue. At an estimated
cost of ten million dollars, the demolished section of the building
would be restored and extensions would added, providing a total space
of 14,000 square feet. There would also be a small lawn for local
concerts and events. The campaign ultimately failed and the building
continues to be used for storage and office space.
November 12, 2016
© Clint Skinner
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.