If you haven’t already, take a minute to read what Jim Schutze has written on Unfair Park. I tried to respond to it in that forum. I couldn’t. Their login process for comments stymied me. I tried to log in with my Facebook account and instead was logged in with my Village Voice account, which has a goofy username attached to it. When I tried to change my username, it told me that “Tim Rogers” was already taken. By then, the comment I’d written had disappeared into the ether. I hope our registration process isn’t similarly frustrating people. If it is, please send word to email@example.com. I’d like to know.
Back on task: if I understand Schutze, he’s saying that D Magazine and the Morning News are working together to support the Nasher. A sample:
The Nasher is a holy temple of the Art Mob, by which I mean the rich patrons whose devotion to high culture in Dallas is the ultimate aspirational consumerism. They parade around and around the Nasher wailing like a vast chorus of keening castrati, with the entire editorial staffs of D and the News clumping along behind like hired mourner hags.
For people paying close attention, there’s a lot of retreading in this Huffington Post Arts and Culture piece about Museum Tower. Doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a once-over.
In it, Cultural Landscape Foundation president Charles Birnbaum argues that the building “has undermined the harmonious environment created by [Nasher landscape architect Pete] Walker and [building architect Renzo] Piano.” It focuses on the natural harm being done to the center’s garden. In part:
In his statement in the Nasher Sculpture Center Handbook, Raymond Nasher wrote: “[O]ur intent was to create an urban cultural retreat surrounded by the energy of the large city but offering a serene and beautiful oasis for the contemplation and enjoyment of art.” Unfortunately, that serenity has been replaced by a tempest, and a good bit of denial about the impact on the landscape. I agree with Walker’s final remark in the interview, for anyone to say, “There’s no problem … that’s beyond my comprehension.”
Got woken up by a loud loud sound and dust and debris everywhere thinking it was an attack or major accident
If it makes you feel better it seems very very few people remembered it was today, even those who lived nearby. I think I saw one article about it and it didn’t sink in. The lady that worked the front desk of my apartment building (like 2 blocks from the demo site!) had the same thing, read an article, and then didn’t hear about it again. I don’t think there was much effort to notify nearby building because I saw 0 flyers around my building and there is much speculation that the permit and demo was rushed to prevent any possibility of a historical designation from preventing whatever plans were made for the lot.
Ann Margolin Will Not Seek Reelection: The last time the district 13 city council seat was vacant, Ann Margolin beat-out Brint Ryan in what was the most expensive campaign for a single council seat in city history. Now Margolin, a respected voice on the council, has suddenly and surprisingly decided to not seek an additional term in 2013, citing “personal obligations.”
Arlington Gym Teacher Sued By Student: The student in question, Alyssa White, has a medical condition. She is also a star soccer goalie. When she was late for gym class one day at Ferguson Junior High, her gym teacher punished the student by making her run strenuous exercises. A lawsuit now claims that those exercises landed White in theÂ hospitalÂ andÂ jeopardizedÂ the student’sÂ potential soccer career.
Another Piece of Dallas History Destroyed: The 88-year-old Thomas building was imploded Sunday. As we learned awhile back, the building, described as a “relic of when cotton was king,” was razed, its Charlotte-based owners said, because of the high cost of asbestos and disrepair.
The Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau just tweeted out that picture on the left, which is the city’s spanking new John F. Kennedy Memorial in General Worth Square in downtown Fort Worth. It officially opens tomorrow, but is getting a press preview today.
Let’s compare it to downtown Dallas’ JFK monument, designed by Philip Johnson, built in 1970. Who does the assassinated president’s memory prouder?
This story (paywall) makes me smile. Museum Tower is offering buyers a money-back guarantee. From the Morning News:
“We’re confident and proud of Museum Tower and are willing to financially stand behind the project,” tower spokeswoman Rebecca Shaw said Monday. … She declined to provide details of how the guarantee would work.
How do you offer a guarantee and then not explain how it works? Follow-up question: how do you offer such a vague and therefore unenforceable and worthless guarantee — and still get a newspaper to write a story about it? Shaw is a Spaeth Communications operative. Merrie Spaeth has apparently taught her the “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” mind trick.
I just got off the phone with the president of Klyde Warren Park, Mark Banta. A couple of things need clarification here, and then an apology. I referenced a WFAA report about the glare from the tower. On WFAA’s website, the written version of the story ends like this:
Officials from Klyde Warren Park declined to comment for this story, but did say the glare does not affect them… even though its visitors do seem to notice.
I did not watch the video version of the story, so what I failed to understand is that those words were spoken by the anchor, John McCaa, after the reporter, David Schechter, had tossed it back to the studio. Banta tells me that he didn’t decline comment and that he’d never say the glare doesn’t affect the park. Banta was in the park when Schechter was working on his story, and he talked to the reporter about the story he was working on.
What’s more, Banta says he didn’t know the pension fund had donated to the park. He didn’t become president until March, by which time $50 million in gifts had been made. So the folks who have their names on the park? Yes, he knows who they are. But the pension fund? He says he didn’t know that it had donated money. Meaning, of course, his silence couldn’t have been bought.
“I would never say the glare doesn’t affect us,” Banta says. “We are hugely impacted. The Nasher is our neighbor, and we need them to succeed. Museum Tower is our neighbor, and we need them to succeed. We moved into this great neighborhood, and we’ve got this very difficult situation.”
When he says “hugely impacted,” he means politically. As for the plantings, Banta says they will have to wait and see what effect the reflected heat and light from Museum Tower might have. They’ve already lost some trees, but that’s a result of drought.
The closing line of the WFAA report should have given me pause. (They declined to comment but also commented that they were unaffected?) Instead I leaped to the implication that park officials had been influenced by cash. I shouldn’t have. Mea culpa.
WFAA posted a story this morning about how the glare off Museum Tower is affecting Klyde Warren Park. Some visitors to the park are all like, “Now I get it! Yeah, I see why the Nasher has been bellyaching. That’s bright.” The story ends with these words: “Officials from Klyde Warren Park declined to comment for this story, but did say the glare does not affect them… even though its visitors do seem to notice.”
It remains to be seen whether the reflected heat off Museum Tower will damage the plantings at Klyde Warren. But as far as reflected light being a nuisance to visitors, there’s no question. I experienced it myself yesterday when I ate lunch in the park. There are certain times of the day when visitors sitting on the lawn and looking at something happening in the performance pavilion will be blinded. Yesterday at 5 o’clock I went to Veletta Forsythe Lill‘s retirement party, which was held on the 46th floor of the Chase tower. Looking down on the park, I watched streaks of light slowly crawl across the grass as the Museum Tower bounced light onto it like a disco ball.
Yet Klyde Warren Park officials say the glare does not affect them. Do you know why they say that? Because the developer of Museum Tower, the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, has donated $1 million to the park. That’s the figure Richard Tettamant, the chief fund administrator, gave me in March.
It’s easier in the cool fall months to avoid biting the hand that feeds you. We’ll see what happens when summer rolls around.
D MagazineÂ has just published an entire special issue about how this park came to be: the idea, the funding, the construction, and the anticipated impact. You can learn about all the programming planned for this new green space. Our cover line calls it a “green jewel for Dallas.” But what do you think?
Don’t like our line of questioning? Ask your own.
The Morning News has the email that Luce, who was mediating the dispute between the Nasher and the owners of Museum Tower, sent to the administrator for the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System:
Richard; recent events have made clear that the conditions and spirit
under which I agreed to serve to help find a mutually beneficial
solution for all parties are not being adhered to by you. This saddens
me because I believe this is such an important issue for our City as a
whole together with the financial future for our wonderful police and
fireman. From the sideline I will be hoping this situation can be
mutually resolved with your approach.
Was yesterday’s tour the last straw?
“Main Street in downtown Dallas, Texas with a view of Praetorian Building,” 1916.
Share your ownÂ Ghosts of Dallas.
Last night at the Dallas Center for Architecture, I moderated a panel that discussed the relationship between Fair Park and South Dallas, and how Fair Park’s design and use impact the surrounding neighborhoods. The panel members included Rev. Gerald Britt, Robert Foster, Patrick Kennedy, Hank Lawson, and Vicki Meek, and the conversation brought a number of issues to light regarding the history and use of the park and the ongoing difficulties that face redevelopment there. I wanted to pull out a few takeaways, as well as put forth a few ideas to keep the conversation going. If you’re interested in your city, jump:
I hope you can join me tonight at the Dallas Center For Architecture for a panel discussion I will be moderating called: “The Elephant in South Dallas’ Living Room:Â What Do We Do With Fair Park?” The departure point of the discussion is, in part, this article that was written by Patrick Kennedy back in June. In it he argues that some of theÂ architecturalÂ features of the park — not the art deco buildings, but rather the copious parking lots — may contribute to the prolonged lack of investment in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Just a month later, after a police officer shot a young man in a neighborhoodÂ located just behind Fair Park, we were shown just how tense the neighborhood situation is as angry neighbors took to the streets. We now know that theÂ individuals involved in the specific incident that led to the shooting were engaged in criminalÂ activity, but the response of their neighbors nonetheless stood as a display of the prolonged feeling of anxiety and frustration in the communities around Fair Park, Â as well as a demonstrated lack of trust in the city and police.
We hope you can come and join our conversation which will explore how the design of the park impacts the surrounding neighborhoods and what can be done — and what has already been planned — to realize Fair Park’s best form and utilization.Â It all begins at 6:30 p.m., and it will take place at the Dallas Center For Architecture, 1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Ste. 100. Â We will begin with a short presentation by bcWorkshop with some background information on the park, followed by a conversation between our panelists. For information on our five panelists, jump.
That’s some serious stacking money, to be sure. But look at what you get.
I’m not a big fan of the Omni Hotel,Â whichÂ I’ve called “booster kitsch”. MyÂ skepticism of these kinds of animated buildings dates to aÂ Dallas Architecture Forum event a few years ago in which one of the speakers extolled the virtues of using building facades as new venues for advertising. It seems a logical, though repulsive, next step in the convergence of technology and consumerism: a world in which everything — including our homes or offices — is turned into an advertisement. Little can inspire quite like the sight of a Toyota logo scrolling across the face of the Dallas skyline.
On September 26, however, that changes — at least for a long weekend. That’s when the Omni’s digital skin will be taken over not byÂ advertisements, but by video art, part of a kick-off event to this year’s Dallas Video Festival. The festival is calling the program “Expanded Cinema,” and on that day at 8:30 p.m. , the four curved walls of the Omni Hotel will become a digital “canvas” for fourteen artists. Sound for the installations will be simulcast on KXT 91.7, and the Video Fest promises to update their website with information about where to best view the program. In addition, “Expanded Cinema” will continue to play on the Omni from sundown to sunrise throughout the duration of the festival (which runs from September 27 through September 30). For more on that centerpiece event, as well as to see the festival’s full program, go here.