Pegasus – “The Flying Red Horse”

Pegasus – “The Flying Red Horse”

1934 was the year the original Pegasus was installed on the roof of the 29 story Magnolia Building. This building was the city of Dallas’s first skyscraper as well as the tallest building in Texas and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.  The Magnolia Building was the headquarters for the Magnolia Oil Company later to become Mobil Oil.

The original Pegasus, the logo of Magnolia Oil, was completed in six weeks. It was produced to welcome oilmen attending the American Petroleum Institute’s first annual meeting in November 1934. Pegasus was never intended to become a permanent structure, but it still flies above the Magnolia Building, now the W Hotel.

Dallas and North Texas residents referred to Pegasus as the “Flying Red Horse”. It became a landmark of the Dallas skyline. As a youngster traveling to Dallas with my family from Mt. Pleasant on the narrow 2 lane US 67 highway, I would always try to be the first one to spot the “Flying Red Horse” as we got to Rockwall some 20 or 30 miles away.

The original Pegasus was constructed of two porcelain enamel identical horses spaced 14 feet apart, each measuring 40 feet in length and 32 feet in height. A quarter of a mile of neon tubing outlines the details on both sides of the silhouette. Pegasus was installed atop a 50 foot tower made to resemble an oil derrick. Over the years wear and tear rendered “The Flying Red Horse” impossible to be restored and it was removed in 1999. A new Pegasus was built at a cost of $600,000.00 which was donated by individual and corporate sponsors. The second Pegasus was installed in time for New Year’s Eve 2000. This is the “Flying Red Horse” I have photographed atop the now W Hotel.

The original “Flying Red Horse” was discovered stored in a city owned warehouse. Efforts began to emerge to restore the original at a cost of $200,000.00. The newly restored original Pegasus – “Flying Red Horse” is now mounted on a small platform in front of the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. The Mayor of Dallas officially turned the neon lights on in May 2015.

Reflection of the past
Reflection of the past
Pegasus # 2
Pegasus # 2
The Current Flying Red Horse # 2
The Current Flying Red Horse # 2
# 2 Flying Red Horse atop the W Hotel formerly the Magnolia Building
# 2 Flying Red Horse atop the W Hotel formerly the Magnolia Building
The Original Restored Pegasus in front of the Omni Hotel
The Original Restored Pegasus in front of the Omni Hotel
The Original Flying Red Horse
The Original Flying Red Horse
The Originals
The Originals
Pegasus the Flying Red Horse
Pegasus the Flying Red Horse
The Flying Red Horse
The Flying Red Horse
The Flying Red Horse  at dusk
The Flying Red Horse at dusk

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Pegasus – “The Flying Red Horse””

  1. Interesting. You have done your homework. I think that’s a phrase from school, you probably remember that.,

  2. I have always loved the “Flying Red Horse”, it is one of the first things I saw, when I came to Dallas!!! There was a private club in one of the adjoining buildings, and you could see it right outside one of it’s windows… Thank you for bring back great memories…?. My favorite pictures are the one as a reflection, and the one where it is adjacent to the lit tower!!!

  3. I’m a little late! Dallas visitors. I go downtown every time I am back in Dallas because I LOVE THAT PEGASUS! Want to see how different he looks in every location – just like have here, Michael. Great pictures.

  4. I still look for the flying red horse every time I come into town. It’s definitely a fond memory from my childhood. Thanks for the history lesson and for the update of its status.

  5. I had super narrow feet as a child. The only place my parents could find shoes that fit my feet was A. A. Harris (think this was the name of the store) in Dallas. So we would drive to Dallas to get my school shoes. Very expensive… I knew we were in Dallas when I saw that red horse on the top of a building!!!

    Never forgot that red horse and never forgot what an effort my parents’ made to be sure I had “shoes that fit correctly.” Thank you, Mikey!!

  6. Great shots! Are any of these images available for commercial purposes? I have a client project in Dallas and we’re looking for some local images.

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