George Leighton Dahl (May 11, 1894 – July 18, 1987) was a prominent American architect based in Dallas, Texas during the 20th century. His most notable contributions include the Art Deco structures of Fair Park while he oversaw planning and construction of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. In 1970, in anticipation of imminent commercial growth brought on by the impending development of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, he designed the First National Bank of Grapevine building at 1400 South Main Street. This iconic cubist structure served as a harbinger of the area's upcoming economic development.

George Dahl
Born(1894-05-11)May 11, 1894
DiedJuly 18, 1987(1987-07-18) (aged 93)
BuildingsTitche-Goettinger Building, Hillcrest State Bank, The Dallas Morning News building, Southwestern Life building, LTV Aerospace Center, Dallas Public Library, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium[1]
ProjectsTexas Centennial Exposition, University of Texas



George Dahl was born in Minneapolis to Norwegian immigrant parents, Olaf G. and Laura (Olson) Dahl. He received a B.Arch. from the University of Minnesota and a M.Arch. from Harvard University in 1923. He subsequently spent two years in Italy as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome.[2]



In 1926, he began work for the Herbert M. Greene Co. in Dallas, Texas. He became a partner in Greene's firm in 1928, and the name of the firm was changed to Herbert M. Greene, LaRoche, and Dahl (later LaRoche and Dahl).

In 1943, Dahl founded his own firm, George Leighton Dahl, Architects and Engineers, Incorporated, with a nationwide practice. Dahl was also a pioneer in fast-track construction.[3] Upon his retirement in 1973, he had produced some 3,000 projects throughout the country that are estimated to be worth $2 billion.

Personal life


Dahl was married twice: in 1921 to Lillie E. Olson, with whom he had one daughter, and in 1978 to Joan Renfro. Dahl died of dehydration at the age of ninety-three at his home in Dallas.

Significant work

Art Deco buildings in Fair Park
First National Bank Tower (Elm Place)
303 W. Wall St., Midland, TX; formerly the First National Bank Building, still tallest building in Midland, TX in 2018

Dallas Projects:

Year Completed Building Address Notes
1927 Neiman Marcus Building 1618 Main Street
1929 Titche-Goettinger Building 1900 Elm Street
1930 Volk Brothers Building
1934 Singer Building (Dallas, Texas) 1514 Elm
1936 Tower Building Fair Park
1936 Esplanade of State Fair Park
1936 Cotton Bowl Fair Park
1938, 1972 Hillcrest State Bank First drive-through bank
1947 Mayfair Department Store 141 Elm Street
1948 American Poster & Printing Building 1600 S Akard Street
1949 Remington Rand Building 2100 N Akard Street
1949 Dallas Morning News Building 508 Young Street
1949 Merchants State Bank Ross/Henderson
1949 Philipson's Fashions Elm/St Paul
1950 Employers Insurance Building
1950 Great American Reserve Insurance Building 2020 Live Oak Street
1951 Park Cities YMCA 6000 Preston Road
1953 Mrs. Baird's Bakery Central Expressway/Mockingbird
1955 Old Dallas Central Library 1954 Commerce Street
1956 Congregation Shearith Israel
1957 Dallas Federal Savings and Loan 1505 Elm Street
1957 Dallas Memorial Auditorium
1962 The Whittle Music Building 2733 Oak Lawn Avenue
1964 Southwestern Life Building Ross/Akard
1964 Northway Baptist Church Sanctuary 3877 Walnut Hill Lane
1965 Owen Fine Art Center Southern Methodist University
1965 First National Bank Tower 1401 Elm Street
1969 Turtle Creek Village Oak Lawn/Blackburn
1970 LTV Aerospace Grand Prairie
1970 First National Bank of Grapevine 1400 South Main Street, Grapevine
1971 Earle Cabell Federal Building

Other projects:


  1. ^ "George L. Dahl (Architectural Images)". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
  2. ^ "George Dahl: An Inventory of his Papers, 1916-1991". Texas Archival Resources Online. University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
  3. ^ "TSHA | Dahl, George Leighton". Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Midland's Mid-Century Modern Architecture". Archived from the original on 2018-03-29. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  5. ^ Barker, Evelyn and Lea Worcester. University of Texas at Arlington, the Campus History Series (Charleston: Arcadia, 2015), p.63.
  6. ^ "[Untitled] · UTA Libraries". Archived from the original on 2017-11-16. Retrieved 2017-11-20.