Future of Fair Park up for discussion

Hundreds of people packed an auditorium at Fair Park in Dallas to discuss its future.

Right now, it's run by the city of Dallas.

The non-profit "Fair Park Texas Foundation," would like control of the park.

If the foundation gets the park, they would then seek to raise nearly 500 million dollars to repair and improve it.

"It's the crown jewel of the North Texas region," says Walt Humann, who heads up the task force.

The 277 acre park opened in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial celebration.

It was recognized in 1986 as a National Historic Landmark.

However, its remarkable Art Deco buildings and architecture are in dire need of repair and the surrounding neighborhood is poverty stricken with high unemployment and an image problem.

The Task Force plan would take down some gates, add development and green space.

Supporters point to the Dallas Zoo which has flourished since the city turned over its operation to a nonprofit foundation in 2009.

Tonight's meeting was all about public input.

It was scheduled to only last two hours but had to be extended an hour for more people to speak.

Most of the citizens who talked, supported the plan, but the Dallas City Council will have to decide whether to go the foundation route.