File:Cotton Palace Post Card.jpg

The Cotton Palace was an exhibition ground in the area of Clay Avenue, Dutton Avenue and South Sixteenth Street in Waco, Texas, It was built to highlight cotton-growing activities in the area.

Following a campaign where Waco residents raised $40,000 to build the facility,[1] the Cotton Palace was opened on November 8, 1894. Governor James Hogg in attendance for the opening day, which began a month of festivities.[2]

However, in January 1895, a fire closed the facility until 1910. Over the next two decades, over eight million people visited the Cotton Palace,[3] but the exposition closed permanently in the early 1930s due to the decline of the cotton market as well as the Great Depression.[4]

After years in disrepair, the buildings were demolished. The City of Waco sold them for the material for $10,265 to Morrow Wrecking, who on Monday, February 8, 1943 razed the buildings, dug out the foundations, graded the ground and hauled the scrap away. [5] The only remaining structure was the stage area from the coliseum, which served as the changing rooms for the Sun Pool. The structure was destroyed in the devastating tornado that struck downtown Waco on May 11, 1953, killing two lifeguards that were sheltering in the underground locker rooms.


  1. Bird, Prisca. "Texas Cotton Palace". Baylor University.
  2. Callaghan, Shuana. "Waco’s Cotton Palace – A Texas Family Tradition".
  3. Conger, Roger (June 12, 2010). ""Cotton Palace"". Texas State Historical Association.
  4. Stingley, Jim. "The Texas Cotton Palace". Baylor University.
  5. "Glamorous Memories Are Homeless When Exposition is Razed". Waco Tribune-Herald. February 7, 1943.


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