The Hall of State at Fair Park

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To view exterior photographs of the Portico Tejas, click on the words in the map to the right.

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Portico Tejas Diagram

Portico Tejas

There is no better place to begin a description of the Hall of State than the Portico Tejas, the central niche which forms the entrance. Pilasters of Texas limestone rise seventy-six feet to fram the bronze double doorways leading into the building. Immediately above the central doorway, standing against a field of blue mosiac tile, is an imposing statue of an Indian, The Tejas Warrior. Allie Victoria Tennant, a Dallas sculptor, designed and executed the eleven foot tall figure in bronze gilded with gold leaf.

In the frieze above the the statue of the Tejas Warrior is the the Symbolic Seal of Texas, designed by Donald Barthelme and carved in relief by Harry Lee Gibbons. The female figure, representing the State of Texas, kneels behind a symbolic state flag. She holds aloft a glowing torch which represents the fiery spirit of Texas patriotism. In the lower right corner, the owl of wisdom holds the key to progress and prosperity. In the background are the branches of the state tree, the pecan.

The five double doors of heavy bronze that grace the entrance of Portico Tejas are also rich in symbolism. Stylized figures representing industry and agriculture have been worked into the ornamental designs, and sharp eyes will find cotton bolls, wheat sheaves, pine cones, saw blades, oil rigs, lariats, cattle and cow ponies.

The above text is from A Gathering of Symbols: Texas History in the Hall of State (Dallas: Dallas Historical Society and the Junior League of Dallas, 1985).

Portico Tejas photograph copyright © Paul Everitt. Tejas Warrior photograph copyright © Steven Butler.

Copyright © 2003 by the Dallas Historical Society. All rights reserved.