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Spin Goes One Way in Nasher/Tower Flap

Driving west on Northwest Highway this morning and being “blinded” by the sun glinting off the Richards Group office building near Central Expressway, it was hard not to believe this singling out of Museum Tower for its “death-ray reflection” is becoming a tad bit unfair. First, a very simple, seemingly logical solution to the Nasher center’s light problem is proposed—to be paid for by the tower in full. But it’s quickly dismissed by the sculpture center as a “publicity stunt” that’s no good because the glare problem affects the entire Arts District. (It does? Klyde Warren Park told Tim last year that the jury’s still out on that.)

Then, in seeming record time yesterday, an extensive interview with the center’s landscape architect appears in The News, blasting the proposed solution as “insulting” and “absurd” and “unthinkable,” in part because it failed to address the Nasher garden problem. If you look a little closer, though, you find the tower itself retained a respected horticultural expert to study any potential damage there. This very reasonable-sounding expert explains in this video—posted on a web site put up by the tower owner—why his conclusion is that there is no damage to the garden from the Museum Tower death ray.

Sure, this gardener guy may be a shameless shill who’s sold his soul for dollars. The condo building may yet be the death of the sculpture center as well as the entire Dallas Arts District. And, this whole mess may not have been caused by lapses and inadvertent error on all sides—the Nasher and the city of Dallas included—but by greedy commercial interests motivated strictly by the lust for money. That, or there’s a wonderfully slick PR campaign being spun by the culturati with the help of the media, and quite a few seem happy to buy it.