During February’s ice storm, 23 of the more than three dozen buildings in Fair Park experienced water damage, including the Cotton Bowl. But the worst to suffer was probably the Hall of State. The Art Deco masterpiece, which was built as a Texas showcase, was flooded all the way down to its basement auditorium.
A month after the storm, fans and dehumidifiers were still running in the Hall of State, still drying it out.
The blackouts across Texas during the storm cut the power to Fair Park. So very early on February 17, a single, fire-suppression sprinkler froze in the Hall of State – and burst in the lobby, known as the Hall of Heroes.
“What happened was it sprayed across the Hall of Heroes,” Karl Chiao said. He’s the executive director of the Dallas Historical Society, which is headquartered in the hall. “And then the water pressure forced it to kinda daisy-chain and break the other sprinkler pipes that were up there.”