In recent weeks Dallas Historical Society Board Chair Veletta Lill and Executive Director Karl Chaio have been anticipating the official debut of the $14.4M restoration of the organization’s home base at Fair Park’s Hall of State.
But last Wednesday afternoon when Texas was deep freezing it, those plans took a turn when “staff was notified by our monitoring company that water was entering the building.”
According to reports, the water was the result of a water pipe that had “frozen and burst during a lengthy power outage” in Fair Park.
With water flowing out the front door, the 91-year-old landmark had sustained damage which included the East Texas room and Hall of Heroes on the ground level and sub-level auditorium’s carpeting, ceiling, walls and seating. The price tag for the damages is estimated at more than $3M and closure of the building for the time being and all programs/events being postponed.
As bad as all it may sound, it could have been much worse. Thanks to facilities management staff and Dallas Fire Rescue, the water and power were turned off and the flushing of the water got underway.
According to Karl, “This storm certainly had a big impact on our operations, but the good news is we have not suffered irreparable harm to our building and through heroic efforts of many the collection had been protected.”
In addition to water removal, steps immediately got underway to “protect the archival collection by knowledgeable, experienced professionals.”
As Veletta put it, “We feel fortunate that so many people, trained volunteers and staff, mobilized so quickly in defense of the building, the art and the collection. The Dallas community feels a great sense of ownership and pride in this landmark building and its contents that reflect our city’s history. We have a very large family.”
Nearby neighbor Cotton Bowl scored $2M worth of damage due to water, thanks to more a dozen pipes breaking. As a result the annual Prairie View A&M vs. Grambling State game slated at the Cotton Bowl will take place on Saturday, March 13, at Globe Life Park.