It’s a cliché to say that Texas likes to do things in a big way! When the 400-foot-tall Magnolia Petroleum building opened in 1922, it was the city’s first skyscraper, the tallest building in Texas and west of the Mississippi and taller than anything in Europe. With 29 floors and seven elevators and at a cost of $4 million to build, the Magnolia was the first high rise in the United States to have air conditioning, according to the management company that acquired the building in 1997. In 1925, Standard Oil of New York acquired Magnolia Petroleum Company, and in 1934, the iconic11-foot enamel neon Pegasus was installed on the roof, towering 450 feet above the street.  While the oil industry contributed enormously to the development of Dallas, Fort Worth, called “the most typically Texan of all Texas cities,” became a cattle town. Its meatpacking industry generated an economic boom for the city in the late 1800s, with the oil industry supplanting its famous stockyards in the 20th century.  Today, both cities are thriving metropolises, with award winning restaurants, shopping galore, historic sites, and natural beauty.  A new Pegasus graces the roof of what is now the  Magnolia Hotel and, while surrounded by taller structures, its red glow can still be seen downtown.  Today it is joined by other iconic structures that house museums designed by a who’s who of modern and contemporary architects: Louis Kahn, Edward Larrabee Barnes, Philip Johnson, Tadao Ando, and Renzo Piano. From the original Louis Kahn building of the Kimbell Art Museum and its recent Renzo Piano Pavilion to the Nasher Sculpture Garden and Dallas Museum
of Fine Arts, all are fitting structures for extraordinary collections.  Big oil has truly been joined by big culture!

CLICK HERE for info on Weatherspoon's late October trip
to Dallas/ Ft Worth with an optional junket to Marfa 

Nancy Doll, Director, Weatherspoon Art Museum

'PEGASUS' by Carolyn Brown