Texas Centennial Exposition Federal Building. (Library of Congress)

Just 10 made this architectural magazine’s list of world’s “most impressive art deco buildings,” and one (collection of buildings) is nearby, and chances are you will be there this month.

Travel + Leisure magazine on Monday rolled out a list of structures that best represent a movement born around the conclusion of World War I — a style that represented “hope, a new beginning that parted ways with the past’s opulent and overly ornate designs, and instead, put a stress on a more straightforward, functional, modern-day aesthetic.”

Editor Dobrina Zhekova’s list features “masterpieces” — The Empire State Building, Palais de Chaillot in Paris and Morocco’s Majorelle Garden, to name a few — adding that we should see all 10 at least once in our lives.

Brussels and Nice are not on my near-future travel plans, sadly, but fortunately for Dallas-locked denizens like me, No. 7 is none other than the Fair Park, Texas collection, created by the late local architect Greg Dahl.  

The author notes that our city is actually home to one of the nation’s largest collection of art deco buildings, adding that The Esplanade — showcasing a 700-foot pool lined with art deco buildings, including the “notable” Hall of State — was constructed specifically for the 1936 Texas centennial.

Regarding Dahl and this project, Atlas Obscura notes that the exhibit was “a hit.”

“Over 6 million people, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, attended the fair. The event is credited with helping pull Dallas out of the Great Depression,” according to atlasobscura.com.

On his website, Douglas Newby, a local specialist in architecturally significant homes, points out that Dahl not only created the Centennial buildings and several other commercial structures — the Dallas Morning News building, Neiman Marcus, the Titche-Goettinger Building and more — but he also is behind some of Lakewood’s grandest abodes.

“He designed many estate homes in Lakewood, Highland Park, Volk Estates and University Park on streets such as Tokalon, Armstrong, Bordeaux, Euclid, Lorraine, Miramar and even one at 5847 Vanderbilt in Geneva Heights, next to Greenland Hills in Old East Dallas,” notes Newby of Dahl.


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