The Hall of State (originally the State of Texas Building) is a building in Dallas's Fair Park that commemorates the history of the U.S. state of Texas and is considered one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in the state. It was designed and built for the Texas Centennial Exposition.
Built in 1936 at the astronomical (especially during the Great Depression) price of $1.2 million, the building was the most expensive per unit area of any structure built in Texas. It was designed for the centennial of the Republic of Texas by architect Donald Barthelme in the beaux arts style and is considered one of the most representative examples of art deco architecture in Texas. Most of the Art Deco ornamental metalwork, including the light fixtures were designed by John F. Livers and made at his Company the Livers Lighting and Bronze Company in Kansas City, MO. according to records from the Dallas Historical Society Centennial archives collection. The Hall of State is the culmination of the 1,500-foot (460 m) long Esplanade of State which is flanked by six exhibition pavilions and features a long reflecting pool. It was built using Texas limestone and features memorials to many of the heroes of Texas history.
The Dallas Historical Society has been responsible for managing the Hall of State since 1938. The Hall of State is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a part of Fair Park. In 1986, the building was restored at a cost of approximately $1.5 million, and the G.B. Dealey Library was opened.
The G.B. Dealey Library, located in the East Texas room of the Hall of State, holds more than ten thousand bound volumes and three million historic documents, including Sam Houston's handwritten account of the battle of San Jacinto.
The Dallas Historical Society rents the Hall of State for events and provides guided tours to school groups.
The structure became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1981.
The curved exedra at the entrance to the Hall of Texas features 76-foot (23 m) tall limestone pillars sit in front of blue tiles designed to evoke the state's flower, the bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis). In the center, above the entrance is an 11-foot (3.4 m) bronze with gold leaf statue by Allie Tennant of the "Tejas Warrior": an archer holds high a bow without an arrow, meant to symbolize peace.
Inside the Hall of State is the Hall of Heroes, which features six bronze statues of James Fannin, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Thomas Jefferson Rusk and William B. Travis. There are also bronze plaques that commemorate the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Outside, a statue of Robert L. Thornton, benefactor of the State Fair of Texas and former Mayor of Dallas stands, overlooking the esplanade.