Downtown's Neon Pegasus Hasn't Been Shining Right For Months. That Could Change Tomorrow.
It's nighttime. I'm driving along the highway, glancing at my beloved Dallas skyline, looking for the same three landmarks I've revered since I was a kid.
The big green building known as Bank of America Plaza. The spinning-ball restaurant that is Reunion Tower. The neon red Pegasus perched atop the Magnolia Hotel.
Only, uh, there's kind of a massive problem. For the past few months, the Pegasus' lights have barely been lit up at all.
Considering that the neon-adorned statue isn't that old, the issue's a little surprising. Though the original was erected in 1934 by the Magnolia Oil Company, the whole thing was replaced on New Year's Eve in 2000 as a part of a midnight millennial celebration.
Still, while the 8,000-pound duplicate cost around $600,000 to make and install, it too has problems every so often. Since 2000, city officials say it's really been a day-to-day gamble to see if the piece is still fully functioning. As such, they've basically long given up on the rotation mechanism that once allowed the piece to rotate in the sky.
The good news is that the city's aware of the fact that the iconic skyline feature's lights haven't been working right of late. This weekend, a maintenance crew will be attempting to fix this very concern. Thanks to the Keep the Pegasus Flying Fund, new lights have been purchased for the Pegasus. Starting tomorrow, these workers will walk out onto the Magnoliaâ€™s roof to start replacing the lights.
One problem: “We won't know for sure if all the lights work until they finish repairs,” says Kay Kallos, manager of the city's public art program. “If all the neon doesn't work, they will have to order more, and it will be a few more days. They just don't know if everything is going to work until they test it.”
Hey, that's a start, right? It's something, at least.
Turns out, we aren't the only ones worried about the statue. The Pegasus has an intense following, and, as we did, people tend to get pretty upset when it's not in shape.
“I have residents of the downtown area who, whenever they see a problem with the Pegasus, call the office of cultural affairs and report it,” Kallos says.
In other words: It takes a literal village.
Adds Kallos: “The Pegasus has always been a high priority for maintenance.”
Hopefully this means that, after this three-month waiting period, our beloved neon Pegasus will return to its millennial glory.
Well, minus the rotation, of course.
But maybe that's something we can hope for in the future.