The Museum Tower-Nasher Debacle is Getting Uglier By the Minute [Updated]

Categories: Biz, Development

Museum Tower Thibodeaux.jpg
Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux
The Morning News has obtained an email from Dallas attorney Tom Luce, in which he tenders his resignation as the facilitator in the endless dispute between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.

The email, sent to pension system administrator Richard Tettamant, has the subject heading, "resignation as facilitator." According to the newspaper, it reads, in full:

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.

Luce signed on as a facilitator between the two sides in May. He asked both parties not to comment publicly on the negotiations.

His resignation follows a very pointed visit to the Nasher by the DPFP's trustees. According to the DMN, "outside consultants" told the trustees before the visit that the best solution to the reflection issues caused by Museum Tower would be for the Nasher to reorient the conical light-receptors on their roof. That "outside consultant" is Cy Cantrell, a professor at the University of Texas. Cantrell also recently had a cameo in a video produced by Museum Tower , the one that declared the building to be both an icon and a fabulous neighbor.

Pension trustee board chairman George Tomasovic also wants the Nasher to consider re-orienting their roof; he suggested as much in a recent editorial in the pension plan's newsletter . The Nasher doesn't seem excited about that prospect and has suggested this is Museum Tower's problem to fix.

DPFP is in the middle of their annual workshop, where the trustees are reviewing their current investments and discussing plans for 2013. They're in recess today, but will return tomorrow and Friday; they were scheduled to tour several of their properties yesterday.

We've contacted both Tettamant and Luce for comment and will update accordingly.

Update, 1:45: Mayor Mike Rawlings has released an official statement on Luce's resignation, which reads, in full:

Tom Luce has worked hard to resolve the issue between Museum Tower and Nasher Sculpture Garden and I am grateful for his leadership and commitment to our city.

I don't blame Tom for resigning. To be effective, he must have leadership on both sides that are forthright and working tirelessly on this issue; unfortunately, he has not had that. I know that attitude does not represent the sentiment of the Police and Fire Pension Board of Trustees. They have told me they want to resolve the issue quickly because the financial success of Museum Tower, the retirement security of our brave fire fighters and police officers as well as the future of Nasher Sculpture Garden is at risk. We need to work harder.


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28 comments
nammer
nammer

I think the Nasher should pick up and move to Fort Worth...Ray Nasher is spinning in his grave

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Why can't the rich folks in Dallas just get along?

MisterMean
MisterMean

Dallas -what a joke-can't do ANYTHING right.  

WatchingSouthDetroit
WatchingSouthDetroit

It would be interesting if the museum people would tel Dallas to screw themselves, pack the whole museum up. and move it to downtown Fort Worth or to Arlington by Jerry's death star.  Maybe then the city of Dallas would learn about regulating new construction and its impact on others.  (Are you listening incompetent city manager Suhm?)

ProtectTheProtectors
ProtectTheProtectors

The Museum Tower is gorgeous, the Nasher survived the summer just fine and the gardens are beautiful. What is this really about?  A PR firm for the Museum Tower, who blew it and tried to cover their ass, with this nightmare. Maybe they should fire the PR people at Museum Tower for not working with the media, properly.

 

The Police and Fire work for little money and for their pension to get screwed over because of botched PR hired by the developer and who followed City code, is ridiculous. 

 

The shame is in the Dallas media for hurting the working men and women in Blue.

 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Today's quiz question. Take three recent public relations disasters. The Arboretum and Winfrey Point. The DISD Power Words edict. Yesterday's Police and Fire Pension Fund Raid on the Nasher resulting in Tom Luce quitting as umpire.  Name the common element. And damn if there isn't a fourth one and I can't remember what it was.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I hope the Nasher charged then admission fees for the visit

Siam
Siam

Mayor Rawlings has got no business messing with this situation to begin with.  The best I can tell Museum Tower is a privately owned building, yea the Police and Fire Pension System owns it, but that organization is not part of city government.   The Nasher Sculpture Center is likewise a private entity, not owned or controlled by the city.   This is a property rights issue between the folks who own Museum Tower and the Nasher, the mayor has no business sticking his nose into private business.   Best I can tell Tom Luce had taken sides with the Nasher, he was not an impartial go between, and was keeping the mayor hopped up on a nutty louver idea to trash up the side of Museum Tower.  I went on line and checked out that louver thing on the building Germany they were all talking about, and guess what?  The louvers are used to reflect sunlight and keep the building cool, they create glare they don't solve it.  Check it out for yourself, Hegau Tower in Singen, Germany.   Putting up louvers n Museum Tower that look like venetian blinds would make the place look like a jail house and would still reflect light on the Nasher.  Hello?   The mayor ought to get out of the business of messing with private business and get about doing the real business of this city, like revitalizing south Dallas.

 

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

"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."

 

Translated this means.

Hey DICK

All I asked you to do was not say a word . Everyone one tends to think  we are all working on a solution if we all remain silent .Things like this tend to work themselves out in our collective favor when the common  folks are looking the other direction.

So now I am going to stand over here and laugh my ass off as you try to dig your sorry ass out of the mess you have created for yourself .

Good Luck with all that .

Tom :)

 

 

 

 

darrd2010
darrd2010

I can't wait for Mike Rawlings to come out and hear what he has to say about this resignation.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

If they went rental, the tenants probably would not care. It would be a bunch of ball players that would likely wonder why it is called Museum Tower. It is the people risking equity that abhor that tag. I assume Mr. Luce can only work if both ides understand the real order of battle. He is someone trying to get the Iraqis/Pension Board to make a few concessions while the US 7th Army is massing across the border. He goes to the meeting and the Pension Board leaders are chanting about winning the Mother of All Battles. Time to leave.

Fb2012
Fb2012

Mr. Luce has such a nice was of saying "screw you and the horse you rode in on." If it is something involving the City of Dallas you can be assured it will be screwed up.

claffiteau
claffiteau

What person in their right mind would want to live in a building known as the "Solar Cooker"? I can imagine a conversation that goes like this: Woman to male or female friend, "Where do you live?" Friend, "I live in the Museum Tower." Woman, "Do you mean the building that cooks everything in the museums around it?" Friend, "Oh yeah, THAT building." Woman, "OMG, well I hope you don't take too much of a loss when you try to sell it. Even in a good real estate market a property like that will be hard to sell." Friend, "Yeah I am already painfully aware of that. I would like to sell it but I'm not sure I could even give it away." The Pension Fund needs to face the reality that selling (or even renting) units in the "Solar Cooker" is going to become virtually impossible unless they pony up the money to fix the problem they created for the "Museum" in their current name. No Dallasite or even an 'out of towner' with any real estate savvy would ever buy a unit in that place. Maybe they could find some renters but even then they would have to advertise rental rates below what other high rise apartments in the area rent for. But even if you rented, who wants to acknowledge they live in a "Solar Cooker" rental unit?

TexOHara
TexOHara

 @ProtectTheProtectors I agree it looks real nice, except at around 5:30 when the reflected sunlight fries my retinas.  (And I'm looking at it on the other side from the Sculpture Center.)

towski
towski

 @JimSX  It's the awful Merrie Spaeth, isn't it?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Hint: it's a person.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

seriously? "the mayor has no business sticking his nose into private business"?

 

and then you end with a remark about how the mayor should "get about doing the real business of this city, like revitalizing south dallas"?

 

nothing like contradicting your own remarks.....after all, it is private business that will be doing the revitalization. duh.

 

as for your comments about the louvers, the idea IS to reflect sunlight: it is the reflection of sunlight that is the problem and with a louver positioned correctly reflecting the sunlight AWAY from the Nasher the problem is resolved.

Siam
Siam

 @oakclifftownie And the Nasher was being quiet?  Really?  Best PR machine in the city, operating behind the scenes stirring up all kinds of misinformation with a bunch of rich friends and for what?   Much a do about nothing.  Have you looked at the Nasher Garden?  I have, green and growing by leaps and bounds all summer long.   The only thing standing in the way of fixing the reflection on the Nasher roof is the ego of those at the Nasher.   The way I see it, changing those cone things on the roof to prevent the reflection from coming inside the gallery is the best way to go.  No body, no body will notice any change to the Nasher, except for their egomaniac architect Piano.   As for Tom Luce, he took sides against the owners of Museum Tower a long time ago.  Good that he is gone, may be now the two sides can duke it out and solve this thing.

 

DowntownResident
DowntownResident

 @claffiteau 

"What person in their right mind would want to live in a building known as the "Solar Cooker"?"

 

Ron Popeil?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

 @claffiteau Seriously? The friend would either be completely oblivious to the point of never having heard there was a problem or only be more interested in who the interior decorator was. You've giving too much sophistication credit to the rich. Plus the interior stays cool and they have a nice view, why would most owners care?

towski
towski

 @Siam  @oakclifftownie 

 

Best PR machine in the city? That's a bit of hyperbole, isn't it? Jill Magnuson and Kristen Gibbins are good, but it's a non-profit art museum. Where do you get this best PR machine in the city thing?

 

As for "green and growing all summer long" - you sound like one of those "it's snowing, so much for global warming" folks...

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

 @Siam I answered that with this ahead of time .

 

.

Things like this tend to work themselves out in our collective favor when the common  folks are looking the other direction.

 

 

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