Dallas’ Hall of State sustained millions in damages from broken water pipes, authorities say

A frozen pipe burst last week that flooded parts of the newly renovated Hall of State in Fair Park, Dallas, causing damage estimated to run into millions, according to authorities.

The city is still collecting cost estimates and evaluating the procurement and repair options for several Fair Park facilities damaged by burst pipes, including the Cotton Bowl Stadium and the Tower Building, said Stefan Kesler, city’s chief architect.

Veletta Forsythe Lill, chairman of the board of directors for the Dallas Historical Society, said Tuesday the estimated damage to the Hall of State was more than $ 3 million. The Cotton Bowl received around $ 2 million.

The Hall of State, built in South Dallas in the 1930s, commemorates the history of Texas and is known for its architecture. It was originally the centerpiece of the 1936 Texas Centennial Celebration. The building is owned by the city. Opened in 1886, Fair Park in South Dallas covers 277 acres and is a national historic landmark. Some of the buildings, including the Cotton Bowl Stadium and the Centennial Building, were constructed between 1900 and 1930.

A $ 14.4 million restoration of the 85-year-old Hall of State was completed in December. Voters approved the city bond funds to cover the renovation in 2017.

1/5A photo shows how water is swept from the Hall of State in Dallas on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.(Courtesy of Stefan Kesler)

A photo shows damage to the ceiling of the East Texas Hall of State room in Dallas on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.

2/5A photo shows damage to the ceiling of the East Texas Hall of State room in Dallas on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.(Courtesy of Stefan Kesler)

A photo shows severe damage to the ceiling in a basement bathroom at the Dallas Hall of State on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.

3/5A photo shows severe damage to the ceiling in a basement bathroom at the Dallas Hall of State on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.(Courtesy of Stefan Kesler)

A photo shows a broken sprinkler amongst debris at the Hall of State in Dallas on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.

4/5A photo shows a broken sprinkler amongst debris at the Hall of State in Dallas on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.(Courtesy of Stefan Kesler)

The water flows out of the entrance of the Hall of State in Dallas on February 17, 2021.  The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.

5/5The water flows out of the entrance of the Hall of State in Dallas on February 17, 2021. The building was one of several Fair Park facilities that suffered water damage from broken water pipes during the winter storm.(Courtesy of Stefan Kesler)

Water lines and pipes burst across the city last week in freezing temperatures, blizzards and prolonged power outages.

Dallas officials said Monday they had received more than 4,000 water-related calls since the snowfall began last Sunday. City spokeswoman Catherine Cuellar said 680 of the calls were all about burst pipes. Dallas confirmed 307 water pipe breaks and leaks and 147 repairs as of last week. There were likely many more that were not reported to the city.

Kesler said he visited the Hall of State about five hours after the flood was reported around 4:30 a.m. on Feb.17. The low in the Dallas / Fort Worth area was 22 degrees that day, according to the National Weather Service. It was 18 degrees the day before.

A broken sprinkler pipe in the building’s attic caused about 4 feet of water to pool in the basement, Kesler said. Another 5 inches of water pooled in the basement and destroyed parts of the ceiling, carpet, walls and seats in the auditorium, he said.

Wood-paneled walls, display cases, and artwork in the East Texas area on the first floor were among the affected areas. There was also damage in the Hall of Heroes, Kesler said.

“When I got there, water was flushed from the front door. Like a river, ”said Kesler.

Karl Chiao, executive director of the Dallas Historical Society, said many of the exhibits, artifacts and documents in the building have been protected from damage.

At least a dozen water pipes burst at the nearby Cotton Bowl Stadium, and the Tower Building was flooded by at least one broken pipe, Kesler said.

Julian Bowman, a spokesman for Spectra, who manages Fair Park in south Dallas, confirmed that there had been multiple burst pipes in the Cotton Bowl, as well as water damage in the Hall of State and the Tower Building. He declined to comment on certain damages on Tuesday as they were still under investigation. He also said there were several other facilities with burst water damage and declined to name them for the same reason.

“It’s a big campus with a lot of buildings to evaluate, so it will take time,” Bowman said.

The annual State Fair Classic soccer game featuring Prairie View A&M and Grambling State has been postponed from Saturday to March 13th and relocated to Globe Life Park in Arlington due to the burst pipes in the Cotton Bowl.

Staff writer Michael Granberry contributed to this report.

Comments are closed.