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Hall of State (State of Texas Building)

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1936, Texas Centennial Architects, Associated; 1987 renovated, Thomas and Booziotis

The vista along the Esplanade is terminated by the towering State of Texas Building, elevated on a podium and illuminated at night from behind by twenty-four radial searchlights. The central feature is a monumental, curved, five-bay exedra, an apse at the end of the nave of the Esplanade. Colonnaded lower wings extend north and south, forming transept-like wings leading to exhibition areas north and south of the Esplanade.

The authorship of the State of Texas Building is complex. The Centennial Corporation Architects (George Dahl and staff, including Donald Nelson) prepared the design and construction documents, but the Board of Control (a state agency established to oversee the entire centennial effort) selected a different group of architects, and Donald Barthelme was appointed the principal designer, with Adams and Adams as the interior designers. This design restart delayed the opening of the building until September 1936, following the fair’s grand opening in June.

Donald Barthelme’s (1907–1996) ascent to chief designer was through the influence of Paul P. Cret, his former teacher. In addition to being the most progressive design of all the new centennial buildings, the State of Texas Building incorporated an extensive program of art to express the history, culture, and landscape of Texas.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Hall of State (State of Texas Building)", [Dallas, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 179-180.

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