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Historic red Pegasus flies again in Dallas, complete with oil rig
May 28, 2015 / 5:53 PM / 2 years ago

Historic red Pegasus flies again in Dallas, complete with oil rig

The flying red Pegasus sign is shown in this undated handout photo provided by the City of Dallas, Texas May 28, 2015. REUTERS/City of Dallas/Handout via Reuters

DALLAS (Reuters) - A 1934 red neon Pegasus, a familiar emblem of Mobil Oil, has been lit up once again in Dallas, restoring a symbol of a city known for its close association with the oil business that had been locked away for a decade and a half.

The large illuminated sign, which glowed atop a 1920s-era skyscraper until being taken down and consigned to storage about 15 years ago, was turned on overnight in front of a convention center hotel, mounted atop an oil derrick as it had been in the past.

“This was too great a historical and cultural icon of Dallas to lose,” David Fisher, head of the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, said of the 32-foot-tall (9.8 meters) sign showing the winged horse of Greek mythology.

The Pegasus sign has long been embraced by Dallas residents as a defining element of their city.

Comprised of two identical fabricated panels, the 1934 sign was mounted on a 50-foot-tall (15 meter) oil derrick that rotated atop the Magnolia Building, which opened in 1922 as the city’s first skyscraper and for a time was tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.

There are now two big Pegasus signs in Dallas. Since the original one was taken down in 1999, a replacement has sat atop the old skyscraper, now called the Magnolia Hotel.

The original Pegasus took a year to build and originally glowed to welcome the first annual meeting of the American Petroleum Institute in 1934, according to the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. It was visible from 75 miles (120 km) away.

It was boxed up and stored in a city shed for more than a decade, where it “fell off the radar,” Fisher said.

The Pegasus became a symbol of Mobil Oil when it merged with Magnolia Petroleum in 1959. Mobil Oil is now part of Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp.

Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Will Dunham

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