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|NO SMALL CHANGE FOR BIG D!
by Shelly Rosenberg
DALLAS is a 21st century city on the rise. It's quickly becoming a most intriguing city as well.
Why? Because despite a laundry list of out-dated stereotypes, unflattering national statistics
and the slew of gauche TV programs calling Big D home, this fabled Texas town has pulled
itself up by its bootstraps and is becoming a belle of the ball. Loyal citizens and city
leaders have invested decades of blood, sweat and tears to develop our city into one
deserving of our intense Texas pride. If our tipping point for success was the launch of the
extraordinary Dallas Arts District, complete with five structures, each built by Pritzker Prize
winners, then Dallas will seal the deal with the four remarkable projects slated to open this year.
|The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is the first structure (of three), designed and built by notable
architect, sculptor and structural engineer, Santiago Calatrava. If his name seems familiar
to you, it's because his notable installation, The Wave, greets visitors to SMU's Meadows
Museum. His bridge construction, however, is an even more impressive community landmark,
symbolizing a much-needed connection between our population east and west of the Trinity
River. Part of the Trinity River Corridor Project, this bridge marks the beginning of an expansive
plan to unite the public with a special, and environmentally sensitive, treasure. Already
home to the celebrated Trinity River Audubon Center, this 20-mile stretch will host a world-class
greenway, supporting significant economic development, while offering residents and visitors
an irreplaceable nature reserve to discover and enjoy.
|Savvy developers have snapped up opportunities to offer the resulting, lush views. The group
building the Museum Tower tops the list. Partnering architect firms,Johnson Fain and Gromatzky
Dupree & Associates,have built a skyscraper that will boast 42 floors and 112 luxurious condos
in a unique, elliptical floor plan. It will even see eye-to-eye with Reunion Tower, making it the
second tallest home-in-the-sky, in Dallas, to date. Three award winning interior designers, all
with international experience, have been slated to design a model. Emily Summers Design
Associates, Ann Schooler of Kellog & Company and Marco French Studio will each orchestrate
their signature atmospheres, luring potential buyers with modern, traditional and transitional
styles. Sophisticated and beautiful, a lifestyle concept, of this size, will bring the much-needed
density to support a thriving urban center. The piece de resistance, and fourth on our list, is
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The legendary Thom Mayne, another Pritzker Prize
winner, designed a structure that, “eschews the normal bounds of traditional forms,” says the
museum. Indeed, this highly unusual building is sure to garner worldwide attention.
|The 180k square foot cube not only includes five floors of state-of museum the-art exhibition space,
a 3D theater and the expected collection of restaurants and shops, but a one-of-a-kind continuous
flow escalator, contained within a 150-foot glass tube, that juts outside of the building! Or enjoy
the view from the outdoor observation deck, revealing a sustainable rooftop landscape of native
plants. This ecoconscious structure is also registered for LEED certification, yet is reaching for the
more exclusive Green Globes and Sustainable Sites Initiative designations as well.
It is clear that this city is not only evolving...it’s thriving. Each of these endeavors pushes the
envelope; sets the bar higher. The rest of the country might resist a notion beyond big hair
and barbeque, and for them, there’s a reality show (or three!) to support a chuckle or two.
But, Dallas is more than just brawn-we have big ideas under our ten-gallon hat. We are
embracing the future, investing in the arts, architecture and infrastructure, and doing it all
in a way that supports our fragile environment and strengthens the legacy we’ll offer our
children. Yeah, I’d say it’s Dallas’ turn on the dance floor.