A Guide to DallasTexas, the oil state and the largest of the ‘lower 48’ states, became a republic in 1836 after its war of independence with Mexico. It was annexed by the USA in 1845. Because of its size, it is known as ‘the fat lady’ and presidential election results have been delayed whilst waiting for the votes from this large state. Hence the saying ‘the show isn’t over till the fat lady sings’.
Dallas, the 8th largest city in the USA in the north-east of Texas, is where oil wells and cotton fields merge with the wide open spaces and cattle ranches of west Texas. It is the financial and commercial centre of the state, driven by business to which the gleaming, shimmering glass skycrapers are testament. The Bank of America Tower on Main Street is the tallest building, standing 72 storeys high.
Downtown Dallas is easily accessible by either foot, DART trams or cabs. For an orientation of the city, visit the 50-storey Reunion Tower, the most prominent structure. The geodesic sphere on top has a bar, restaurant and observation area which provides a spectacular panorama of the city and its suburbs.
The enormous sculpture of Texas longhorn cattle outside the Dallas Convention Center is a reminder of the Wild West days during the latter part of the 19th century when cowboys drove herds of longhorns into Dallas for shipment to markets in the eastern US.
Converted old warehouses form the city’s main recreational area, the West End Marketplace, four storeys of cinemas, restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
Thanksgiving Square in mid-downtown is a tiny tranquil park with gardens, waterfalls, a chapel, belltower and a small museum which explains the celebration of thanksgiving.
Fair Park in First Avenue is a 277-acre exhibition and arts centre where the annual Cotton Bowl football game is also played. An aquarium, natural history museum, African-American history museum and the Hall of State displaying Art Deco exhibits, complete the park.
Dallas is infamous as the place where President John F Kennedy was assassinated as he rode through the streets in an open vehicle on 22 November 1963. The Sixth Floor Museum at 411 Elm Street is located in the former warehouse from where sniper Lee Harvey Oswald fired his fatal shots. The life and times of the president are portrayed here, but some of the floor space is taken up with the many conspiracy theories that still surround the assassination.
The impressive Dallas Museum of Art houses antiquities from the ancient Mayan, Incan, Greek and Roman civilizations, Renaissance treasures and Modernist paintings, and boasts of the world’s largest collection of works by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian.