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A Dallas Icon, the flying red horse

A Dallas Icon- “the flying red horse”


Did you know that Dallas has a real mascot?

No, its not JR Ewing and it has nothing to do with football or the cowboys.

It is Pegasus, our red neon sign that proudly spins on top of the Magnolia luxury hotel. This Dallas skyscraper was the headquarters of the Magnolia Petroleum Company, before Mobil.

When it first opened it was considered to be the “Tallest Building in Texas”.  The architectural style is Beaux-Art design an ornamented on all four sides. In 1934, Magnolia Petroleum Company erected an oil derrick on the roof that’s so Texas) that supported two 30 x 50 foot red neon signs in the image of Pegasus, the flying red horse and the logo for Magnolia. Exxon Mobil still uses it today.

The two horses were placed 14 ft of each other and revolved on top of the building till 1974 when they quit. They sure don’t make things like use to. During this long period the flying red horse had become a Dallas Icon. In 1977, Mobil moved its headquarters and gave the building and sign to the City of  Dallas.  Over time the building became damaged and outdated and the sign was officially turned off in 1997.

That same year Denver developers bought and converted the building to a 330 room luxury hotel for executive travelers keeping what they could restore, even the elevator doors are original with the Pegasus logo.  This was one of the first downtown buildings to be lovingly restored as part of the renaissance happening in downtown. As part of the Dallas millennium our flying red horse was brought back to life in 2000.

They tried to restore the original but it was too damaged to repair, a new Pegasus was made for $600,000 and now proudly revolves once again.  The original sign is on display at the Dallas Farmers Market. The Magnolia is conveniently located by the Adolphus Hotel and Neiman Marcus …oh,did I mention shopping?

So if you live, relocate or visit Dallas you will have an idea of what the flying red horse means, it is also a logo for the city of Dallas on downtown and west end street signs.  When you live here a while and see Pegasus he will become your pet too. The Magnolia is an upscale hotel that  you should check out and see some of Dallas history, gloriously restored, with an urban edge.