TEXAS SPRING PALACE
Following a suggestion by General R.A. Cameron, an officer of the Fort Worth & Denver Railway, city promoters developed the idea of an annual exhibition for the display of Texas agricultural products. In 1889 they constructed the Texas Spring Palace near this site to house the exhibits. Designed by the Fort Worth firm of Armstrong and Messer, it was a two-story wooden structure featuring influences of Oriental and Moorish styles. Women’s groups added ornamentation using flowers, seeds, and grasses. On the evening of May 30, 1890, during the second season of the exhibition, a fire swept through the Spring Palace, completely destroying the structure. A number of people who crowded the building at the time had to leap from the second floor to escape the flames. Alfred S. Hayne (b. 1849), a native of England, returned to the burning Palace to help others who were still trapped inside. The only fatality of the fire, he died the next day of burns suffered in the rescue effort. In 1893 the Women’s Humane Association dedicated a monument near this site in memory of his heroism and courage. Efforts to rebuild the Texas Spring Palace failed because of economic problems in the Panic of 1893.