Borne Back Ceaselessly

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Art Deco Sculpture, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

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The Midnight Miner In the Secret Seams

“Here, are the stiffening hills, here, the rich cargo
Congealed in the dark arteries,
Old veins
That hold Glamorgan’s blood.
The midnight miner in the secret seams,
Limb, life, and bread.

Rhondda Valley
― Mervyn Peake, Collected Poems

Lignite Mining Mural Fair Park Dallas, Texas

Lignite Mining
Mural
Fair Park
Dallas, Texas

One of my favorite things in Dallas are the little-known Art Deco Murals along the Esplanade in Fair Park. Half-restored, few people see them, although millions visit during the state fair. They are hidden by the porticoes along the row of buildings – you have to get up underneath to see them.

And you should.

Fade Surprisingly Quickly

“Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Mural, Fair Park Dallas, Texas

Mural, Fair Park
Dallas, Texas

I have always loved the Art Deco Murals along the Esplanade in Fair Park. I think they are among the many unappreciated public artworks in the city. The ones along the southern side have been beautifully restored.

However, the murals on the North Side – exposed to the southern sun – are very faded and in need of loving care (and very hard to photograph). I hope they get some, they are just as gorgeous as the others.

Mural, Fair Park Dallas, Texas

Mural, Fair Park
Dallas, Texas

Spirit of the Centennial – after dark

I love the art deco murals and sculptures in Fair Park. My favorite may be the Spirit of the Centennial sculpture in front of the Woman’s Building.

I have seen it in the daylight many times and took some photos of it. But I had never had a good look at it at night. It glows with a preternatural beauty – worth a gander, for sure.

Spirit of the Centennial, Woman's Building, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

Spirit of the Centennial, Woman’s Building, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

Spirit of the Centennial, Woman's Building, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

Spirit of the Centennial, Woman’s Building, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas

1936 Monark Silverking

1936 Monark Silverking, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

1936 Monark Silverking, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)

One of the riders on the Stop and Photograph the Roses bike ride met up with us about halfway through. He was delayed because he was picking up a “new” bicycle.

It was a 1936 Monark Silverking and it was way cool. Made of cast aluminum and swaged tubing it was a long way ahead of its time. I didn’t know that there were pre WWII aluminum bicycles.

We posed it in front of the Art Deco sculptures in Fair Park. I realized that the bike was made in the same year as the architecture. It shows.

1936 Monark Silverking

1936 Monark Silverking, you can see the integrated lock – the key releases the steering tube which locks at ninety degrees.

Jazz Age Dancing

At the Jazz Age Sunday Social
Dallas, Texas

jazz_age1

“Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk, make paltry human enterprises seem important. Singers and musicians show us human beings making sounds far more lovely than human beings really make. Architects give us temples in which something marvelous is obviously going on. Actually, practically nothing is going on.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons

Zigzag Moderne Art Deco

Last weekend I went on a bike ride in Fort Worth with some friends (will get a trip report written, I promise). We loaded up our bikes, rode the DART train to downtown Dallas and then took the TRE train to Forth Worth.

Our rail destination was the T&P Station south of downtown Fort Worth. This is a recently restored historic building built in 1931 as a beautiful example of Zigzag Moderne Art Deco (what a cool name!) architecture.

I love Art Deco – and there are some great examples in the Metroplex. The best known are the buildings, murals, and sculptures (here, here, here, and here) of Fair Park in Dallas

But the old ticket lobby of the T&P is a beautiful concentrated example of Art Deco excess and beauty. It’s a big room lost in time, available for wedding rentals, and dripping with history. You can almost feel the millions of travelers moving through on their way to the trains. Today, there were only some guys with their bicycles looking around… but at least it is still there, waiting for the next chapter.

Abstract Art Deco design in the T&P Waiting Room ceiling, modified in Adobe Illustrator. (click to enlarge)

Abstract Art Deco design in the T&P Waiting Room ceiling, modified in Adobe Illustrator.
(click to enlarge)

T&P Waiting Room, Fort Worth, Texas (click to enlarge)

T&P Waiting Room, Fort Worth, Texas
(click to enlarge)

Art Deco ventilation screen, T&P Waiting Room, Fort Worth, Texas

Art Deco ventilation screen, T&P Waiting Room, Fort Worth, Texas

T&P Waiting Room, Fort Worth, Texas (click to enlarge)

T&P Waiting Room, Fort Worth, Texas
(click to enlarge)