Dallas Center for Architecture to Argue: "Bright Lights, Great City?" Should Be Illuminating.

RedReunion.jpg
Photo by Justin Terveen
Long before the downtown Omni opened we were treated to a sneak peek of its light show, which folks either think is the right shade of shiny or plain tacky, a debate that becomes especially heated when you add in the new-look Reunion Tower and all the other lite-brites decorating downtown. And speaking of Reunion, Justin's photo above is how it looked on Valentine's Day; turns out, "Red Ball" isn't just Jason Garrett's nickname anymore.

All of which reminds me: Greg Brown over at the Dallas Center for Architecture sends word of a back-and-forth concerning this very subject scheduled at its Woodall Rodgers HQ February 28 beginning at 6 p.m. From Brown's heads-up about the center's inaugural, takes-its-name-from-this "Point/Counterpoint" panel:
What is the impact of this phenomenon on the image of our city center? Does it enhance the vibrancy of our downtown? Does it add to the architecture or is it merely used to mask less-than-great design? Does it attract urban dwellers or simply keep them up at night?
KERA 's Jeff Whittington will moderate the panel that'll feature the likes of architect Scott Lowe, who's responsible for the Omni; preservationist architect Marcel Quimby; and Patrick "Car-Free" Kennedy, among others. Details here.
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Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Ask you doctor if Dalagra is right for your city.

Warning: If you tower glows red  for more than four hours please see a physician or the architect critic of the NYT."

catbird
catbird

None of it matters a whit... :'-(

Sidewalkastronomer
Sidewalkastronomer

I don't care about classy, I don't care about tacky, but I do like the bright colors lights. In my youth I remember the Republic tower had changing color neon lights with the spot light on top. Also the Mer clock tower and the red flying horse Pegasus when there weren't taller building that block the view.  So this thing about colored bright lights is nothing new to Dallas. It is part of Dallas history. You can still see the spot light on top the Republic tower. It was never taken down.

Tapgaltoo
Tapgaltoo

With the addition of the Omni light show, the Dallas skyline is looking too much like Vegas. Not classy, just tacky.

NotTheSuburbs
NotTheSuburbs

Less is more for the omni.  Whoever programs it must think they need to keep pushing the envelope with more colors and faster motion.   If they toned it WAY down, both in the number of colors at once and the speed of the changing lights, it could enhance the architecture rather than taking away from it.

Colin Z
Colin Z

Marcel Quimby for mayor.

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

There's been a load of compromisin'On the road to my horizonBut I'm gonna be where the lights are shining on meeeeeeee...

Harvey
Harvey

Dallas has always been the city of gawdy and always trying to overcompensate to be like the big boys in Paris or New York City. I'm not saying what that picture of Reunion tower looked like, but I was thinking the city needs a doctor to check for some nasty disease. 

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

I think the tower displays other colors. But then you see what you look for. 

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

 overcompensate?  Looking at the photo of the Tower and I have to giggle ..

ts
ts

This is clearly the work of the LED Lobby.

SchluderStrip
SchluderStrip

So thinking about it, how is the current infatuation with lighting any different now than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago??

A quick refresher of downtown Dallas architecture:-1600 Pacific: Features a 30 story, bright white sailboat.http://tiny.cc/8rf7l

-Republic Tower:  Features a giant 1000 watt spotlight said to be visible for 120 miles (according to the Dallas Library)

-Elm Place:  Features giant columns of flourescent bulbs that when tested 5-10 years ago, generated 100s of complaints from neighboring residents.http://tiny.cc/cmc9i

.....and these are just the ones not currently "on"

Lets face it, every shiny new building in downtown built since The Merc Tower has featured some form of distracting lightworks.  Its been in our heritage for the last 70 years.

Also, for all the complaints about electric consumption:  An LED light display (like Reunion) uses less energy than pumping AC into a North Dallas McMansion...just food for thought.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 plus, except for the coldest nights, our energy drain in the evenings is insignificant.  This is the reason for amusement parks, and likely these lights.  The energy needs to go somewhere.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Lighting is as much an esthetic element in building design as color, texture, form. There is an oddly puritanical bent to a lot of the comments here. Apparently a sense of pleasure, joy, glitter is alien to our native Texan sensibilities. We like grey, beige, off-white. At night we seem to prefer darkness.The argument from energy consumption, as noted, is completely bogus. We waste enough energy cooling our beer and driving our kids four blocks to school  to light a thousand buildings.       

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

As a kid growing up in the sticks the "ball" and the "green building" were icons I dreamed of

Now a days the bling is out of control but Im sure some kids somewhere think its really cool

but really why does our city skyline have to have so much damm bling 

keepthetrinitykosher
keepthetrinitykosher

"Does it enhance the vibrancy of our downtown?"....what "vibrant downtown" do they speak of?

cliffhanger
cliffhanger

It's in Dallas, so it must be both world-class and tasteful. The brochure says so.

NewsDog
NewsDog

Robert,How many times do you have to be told... it's World Class, not great.

Please drink the kool aid and repeat... World Class...World Class...World Class.

Nick R.
Nick R.

In the ciitttyy of bllliiinnding lights...

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