Dallas Hall model is alumna’s labor of love

Mildred Henderson Grinstead and Caroline Brettell with Dallas Hall modelAs a studio arts student at SMU, Mildred Henderson Grinstead (’54) had her classes on the third floor of Dallas Hall. Now, more than 50 years later, she has given the University a 30-inch-tall, 82-inch-long wood model she designed and built, working off the building’s 1912 blueprints. Read more. (Left, Grinstead, at right in photo, with Dedman College Interim Dean Caroline Brettell.)

“As a student and now an alum, I’ve walked by Dallas Hall many times and seen it in many photos through the years, but the model helps present the whole picture,” says Grinstead, who installed her creation Aug. 8 on the ground level at Hughes-Trigg Student Center, dedicating it to son Jay (’89) and late son Edward (’87). The sculptures of birds in the Hughes-Trigg atrium also were donated in his honor.

Grinstead, whose other works include models of the Custis-Lee Mansion and Stratford Hall for the Virginia Historical Society, spent a year and a half crafting the bass-wood model in her Tyler home studio. She reproduced the exterior bricks on paper; painted the windows, doors and columns; topped the rotunda with stained glass; and stained the dome to approximate its copper patina.

“Dallas Hall is the architectural symbol of SMU,” says Caroline Brettell, interim dean of Dedman College. “Now, in anticipation of the upcoming centennial, it’s moving to have an alumna remember her time at SMU in this way and with this gift.”