Thursday, January 28, 2010

Here's a thing about the Hall of State

I could read about Fair Park history all day long, I really could, and as you know, my favorite building on the whole fairgrounds is the Hall of State which I once incorrectly attributed to George Dahl but was in fact created by Donald Barthelme, a former student of Paul Cret, the architect who designed, among other things, the backdrop for my youth. Anyway. I was in the Hall of State a few Saturdays ago, just about the only person there, and spent almost two hours noticing things I had overlooked before.

Here's one thing:

Downstairs? In the lobby area right before you go into the auditorium? There are these huge Deco light fixtures on the ceiling. They're frosted glass circles outlined in chrome -- sun symbols, a version of the emblem that's on New Mexico's state flag. At least I think that's right. This photo -- the only one I could find of the lobby -- shows an odd overhead light panel that makes me think there's been a restoration since the photo was taken. Maybe the Deco fixtures are reproductions or the restored originals. They're pretty interesting though. That building is filled with so many symbols from so many cultures, someone really should write a book. Or at least re-print one.

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