Dallas Mayor's Task Force Votes to Leave Confederate Images at Fair Park

Images of the Confederacy in artwork at Fair Park in Dallas will remain in place, following a vote Friday by the Mayor's Task Force on Confederate Monuments.

A mural lining both side of the Hall of State illustrates scenes from Texas history, from the time when Spain ruled in the 1500s, to France, Mexico, and when Texas was part of the Confederate States of America.

The group recommended that added material near the artwork explains the context.

"It's done in an educational setting and educational way, so people can learn how Texas has evolved," said David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas.

The artwork was put up at Fair Park in 1936 for the Texas Centennial.

In addition to the mural, a statue outside the Portico of the Confederate States lines the great Esplanade in the center of Fair Park. Like the mural inside, it is one in a series depicting different times in Texas history from the 1500s through 1936.

"I think it's interesting, because the whole story of Texas is illustrated here," Preziosi said. "Here, the Confederate imagery is part of the story, and history and time line of Dallas."

Fair Park is on the National Register of Historic Places, so any recommended changes by the task force would've had to go through the City Council as well as the Landmark Commission.

Friday's meeting was the final scheduled meeting by the Mayor's Task Force on Confederate Monuments.

The task force recommended Friday that several streets in the city named for Confederate generals be renamed.

Those streets — Lee, Gano, Stonewall, Beauregard and Cabell — will all be changed at a future date.

Also Friday, the City of Dallas Park and Recreation board unanimously voted to temporarily rename Dallas' Robert E. Lee Park to Oak Lawn Park until a permanent name can be approved.

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