PH Residents Donate $5M to Revamp Cotton Bowl Plaza

Preston Hollow residents John and Helen Carona made a $5 million donation to revamp Cotton Bowl Plaza, now named Carona Plaza.

Fair Park First, alongside the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, announced this donation Oct. 11.

John Carona served on the Texas Senate for District 16 in Dallas County and was a member of the Texas House of Representatives. He now serves as the president of Dallas-based Associa. 

“It is an honor to have the Carona family invest in the storied past and hopeful future of Fair Park,” said Veletta Forsythe-Lill, Fair Park First board member. “They will help us create a new and inviting campus for all.”

The plaza will receive upgrades including new concrete work, landscaping, and sitting areas, as well as marquee signage at the north and south ends. This area will serve as a center point of the activation area of Fair Park’s 277 acres — from the State Fair of Texas to concerts, games, festivals, and more. 

“Their generosity builds on the continued public and philanthropic support of the Phase 1 capital campaign, led by Fair Park First in partnership with Dallas Parks and Recreation, to revitalize Fair Park,” said Heather Stevens, Rise360, Capital Campaigns for Fair Park. “Together (we have) collectively raised more than $350 million … toward the goal. … We invite donors to join … the campaign in supporting this beloved campus as it enters a new era of serving the City of Dallas.”

Along with the Cotton Bowl Stadium and Carona Plaza renovations, Fair Park has several other capital projects on the campus underway during Phase 1 of the Master Plan. These include the Music Hall, African American Museum, Dallas, Visitor Center, Magnolia Lounge, creation of the 18-acre Community Park, a 1.4-acre neighborhood park, and several other building and grounds projects.

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