Brace yourself for a time warp as you crack the spine of Fair Park Deco: Art and Architecture of the Texas Centennial Exposition. This isn't the Fair Park you've come to appreciate, though mostly ignore. As it was unveiled in 1936, the deco temple was sprawling and much more sordid, bizarre and brilliant then its current iteration. It was a geographical crystal ball, meant to unite those rural farmers, those Texans, and give them a glimpse into the future.
Jim Parsons and David Bush are the books' coauthors and photographers, and they'll present the new release at a lecture on Thursday, November 8 at 6 p.m. in the Hall of State. It's free to attend, and you'll get a rare peephole look back, as the fellas offer up pictures and original news reel footage from 1936.
We chatted with them, asking about the interesting curiosities they discovered through their historical stone-turning. It turns out, they found a lot. Here's our five favorites.
1.) The Midway had Strippers, Booze and Gambling The bastion of oversized plush animals that we see today was another area entirely during and after the Centennial. "There was a lot of nudity and girlie shows," said Parsons. "It would shock us today." At the time of its unveiling, he explains, Dallas was in the throes of financial disturbance. It was, like the rest of the country, shook up by the economic rattling of the Dust Bowl era.