At Much, Much Bigger Joule, a Recording Studio, New Charlie Palmer, Underground Spa and, Finally, Return of Mercantile Mosaics

mercmosaics.jpg
Via David Kirkpatrick
A look at one of the Merc's mosaics before it was removed
For close to two years we've written here and there (and there and there and ...) about Tim Headington's slow-but-sure downtown takeover via The Joule's expansion, which, we recently learned, is the reason the Praetorian and those other old buildings along Elm are being razed. And now we know, in part, for what.

To begin: 2,500 square feet added to the lobby ("anticipate an all-hours vibe somewhere between the allure of a library coffee bar and the mystique of a classic cocktail lounge"); 31 new guest rooms (including one single-story penthouse and two three-story penthouses, not to mention "a 4,000 square-foot rooftop terrace and garden that can accommodate 500 people"); a revamped PM Lounge that will include "a 600-square foot screening room with seating for 25 and a 1,350-square foot recording studio"; an "8,000 square-foot subterranean spa"; and a second Charlie Palmer eatery, this one featuring "certified Neapolitan pizzas, fresh-off-the-grill plates and handmade breads and pastries."

But for some Friends of Unfair Park, this may be the biggest, best part of the press release:
The Joule's art collection will also grow with the addition of historic mosaics from the original Mercantile National Bank Building. The mosaics, an important piece of Dallas history, were slated to be destroyed during that building's renovation, but were rescued by Joule-owner Tim Headington. Originally commissioned during the art deco period by former Dallas Mayor R.L. Thornton, the handmade mosaics were shipped from Venice and installed in the Mercantile National Bank Building. The mosaics, which depict the basic elements of nature -- earth, wind, fire and water -- range in size from only a few feet high to more than 20 feet. The works, restored by conservation specialist Michael van Enter, will be installed in The Joule's new VIP Corridor and ballroom pre-function space.
Here's a fascinating look at the mosaics being removed; look forward to seeing them restored, should I ever be allowed in the VIP Corridor, which is highly doubtful.
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Mr Drum Tracks
Mr Drum Tracks

And what's the price tag on this "minor" development? :)Looks very classy!

Call me dumb, but...
Call me dumb, but...

What's the point of saving public art if you have to be ultra exclusive to ever see it again?

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

"a 600-square foot screening room with seating for 25"That is one small screening room! Hope those 25 people will be wearing deodorant.

Gabe
Gabe

24 feet^2 per person isn't so bad. That's a 4'x6' space for each person if they're equally distributed, like the molecules of a gas. 

williamedia
williamedia

Well this still doesn't seem to explain why he wants to knock down the Praetorian and other Elm Street buildings. I believe all those new projects mentioned in the PR are going to be located in the buildings he owns next door to the current hotel. Rumors have been circulating that he wants to tear down the old Elm Street buildings and the Praetorian to build a parking garage with ground floor retail space particularly facing Stone Street. 

If he does build a parking garage I hope he spares no expense to build something besides just bare concrete. Any garage built to replace those beautiful old buildings should have some kind of architectural interest. Worse case scenario would be if he built something like the Metropolitan did on the backside of their building its butt ugly and it makes the property look cheap.I am sad that those historic Mosaics will be hidden away again for only VIPs to see. I was hoping he would encourage those mosaics to accessible to the general public.

Course I do welcome Tim Headington, overall he continues to make a positive impact on Downtown.

V707091
V707091

The Old metal Preatorian is falling down, just like the rest of that block, from a business perspective, there is no viable business case to build a parking garage? Stone street is an asset to Main other than its lack of maintenance. Have you been in the Joule? it wouldn't make sense for  Mr. Headington to "spare" expense when it comes to the impact on the properties adjacent to the Joule... nor would it make business sense to build a parking lot or garage.... think about it.... 

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Maybe we could convince him to put the mosaics ON the parking garage! That ought to bolster the aesthetic appeal of a usually purpose-built structure like that.

That way at least a few of us 99%ers might catch a glimpse of them.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I've mentioned this before, but: From what I've been told by those who know, a parking structure and some retail component is said to be part of the so-called Phase 2 of this expansion -- because, well, if you're going to build a massive spa and recording studio and a rooftop garden for 500 and all the other stuff going in, per this release, they need to park somewhere.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

Something is odd about all this. Why would the parking garage be part of a later phase when the first phase is what requires all the parking in the first place? 

There should be a timeline for demolition of the Praetorian and renderings of this garage structure by now.

V707091
V707091

Maybe because there is no parking garage planned? Dalpark, and two on Elm? no business reason to build a garage. No renderings=no garage.  

asu87
asu87

if dallas would develop a thriving, connected, livable downtown we may all be celebrating the greatness of these works more often. Thanks to Tim for taking the ball and the risk in starting to renew downtown dallas....hopefully more will take action.

guest
guest

It's nice that M. Headington rescued them. Would be even nicer if he would have them placed where the general public could appreciate them...instead of the VIP hallway & ballroom.

Paul
Paul

Thanks ... The number of mid century modern art that was commissioned by Dallas was quite incredible.  They are some of the most unique pieces of art in the country of this type.

Say what you will about the Dallas oligarchy in the 40's, 50's and 60's, they did do some things that were quite nice that made Dallas unique.

DM
DM

This is great news. Headington is doing some great things for downtown. We just need to get rid of the corrupt people at City Hall and Dallas could really turn the corner and put this horrible past behind us. 

V707091
V707091

There are a lot of really good people at city hall....

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