After 25 Years, Craig Hall May Build in Arts District. But First, He Needs Lots of Big Signs.

Categories: Development
HallArtsCenter.jpg
The proposed Hall Arts Center
You remember Craig Hall, right? He's the developer who's been talking since forever about building something fancy in the Arts District -- like, say, that stalled-out tower where presently there sits a parking garage on Ross. Only, remember, he and the city got sideways over unpaid lease monies and TIF-for-tats, which didn't do anything to speed up construction on a tower that's been talked about since ... 1986. So, yeah. If you don't remember, that's fine too. It's been a while.

But, he's back -- before the city council, matter of fact, this coming Wednesday, when the council will vote on letting him create a new subdistrict within the Arts District Special Provision Sign District. Why the need? Because Hall wants permission to put four signs on the building he now says he's going to build across from the Meyerson -- the Hall Arts Center, which, as you'll note, is a shadow of a shadow of the original proposal. They're all so-called "tenant identity signs," one of which would be nine feet tall by 50 feet long, another of which could be as large as nine feet tall by 60 feet long.

City staff hates the idea of giving Hall dispensation, which is why it suggested the City Plan Commission deny the request: "Staff is concerned with treating a single block within the Art's District differently from the Arts District as a whole and therefore cannot support the applicant's request." But the CPC voted to OK the request, which Hall has said he needs in order to secure tenants in order to build the building. But some at City Hall are concerned that the way the application reads now, he could probably put the signs on the parking garage; there is no language in the application that says they have to go on the so-called Hall Arts Center.

Earlier this week, Lynn Derman of One Arts Plaza Homeowner's Association Board of Directors, wrote a Letter to the Editor, calling for opponents to bum-rush City Hall:
The proposed internally illuminated signs would degrade and distract from the surrounding award-winning architecture and mar the Arts District's otherwise carefully orchestrated, non-commercial streetscape. The signs would create significant light pollution, be visible from all arts venues and both ends of Flora, and sit directly in the sight lines of Museum Tower and One Arts Plaza residents. ...To allow large or internally illuminated commercial signage will create a dangerous precedent, forever changing the district's ambience and arts focus.
A better look at the Hall Arts Center, and its potential impact on the Arts District, follows. Hall Arts Center

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13 comments
Russp
Russp

More tasteless signage for Dallas, great! We're one of only 100 cities on the world with a Wyland whale mural and it's been covered up by an add lately. 

Kpz2011
Kpz2011

Vote against SPSD 01 002 There is no commercial signage of this type, and it should stay this way.  The Hall Arts Center request will set a dangerous precedent.Stop him!!!!!

Justsayin
Justsayin

I think the complaints mentioned in this paper lack solid grounding. NYC's theater district is covered in signs. I don't think anyone there complains about it detracting from the experience.

Lakewoodhobo
Lakewoodhobo

Quite a disappointing design. I hope the Spire project moves forward first. At least that building will have retail and residential included.

SandL
SandL

1986 was a different time. Back then your congressman could help you get your loans restructured by threatening to withhold vital legislation and not get into any trouble with the House Ethics Committee.

ConnectiveTissue
ConnectiveTissue

What a horrible, horrible building to "complete" the Arts District. A glass curtain wall building of no distinction whatsoever that doesn't interact at all with either Ross Avenue or Flora. It's garbage, and the City should demand much, much better.

LJT2011
LJT2011

The Theater District/Times Square was also, at one time, saturated with porn theaters and inhabited largely by hookers and drug dealers.  Don't think I want to emulate that either.

ConnectiveTissue
ConnectiveTissue

The main problem is a building that looks like shit and relates to its surroundings like shit and basically appears to be a huge piece of glass shit designed for Logan's Run. Adding giant advertising signs just makes it look that much shittier.

ReverendVelvet
ReverendVelvet

A theater district is one thing to have signs ... an art district is different.

LJT2011
LJT2011

I haven't heard much about that project in awhile.  Any news on a groundbreaking?  DMN did a story last year on it last year and it sounded pretty cool.

Your name here
Your name here

I thought that the signage on the Winspear was bad, but in this case, I hope the signs are bright enough to blind me from the view of this monstrosity.

RTGolden
RTGolden

how so?  isn't theater a performing art?  Isn't the Meyerson basically a performing arts center?  I agree, if there is some sort of definite plan for what the arts district is supposed to become, then Hall's development should fit into that plan.  I just hope the plan is something more defined than ".... whatever isn't like THAT..."

Patricia Camargo Bowles
Patricia Camargo Bowles

There IS a plan that was set by our 1970s city leaders who envisioned an arts district without commercial signage ... and just because NYC does it one way, it doesn't mean Dallas can't be a trendsetting city which can say NO to VISUAL POLLUTION!

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