Museum Tower Officials Say What We Knew They Would: Louvers Won't Work

Categories: Development

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Two weeks ago, Anna Merlan schlepped down to the Dallas Police & Fire Pension Fund's headquarters for a "technical update" on some of the solutions to the ever-simmering Museum Tower-Nasher dispute. The takeaway was that the louver system being peddled by the Nasher crowd as the only solution to the blinding, life-killing glare from the skyscraper wouldn't fly.

It took two weeks for the Museum Tower folks to say as much formally. Late this afternoon, they passed along a media statement and a summary of a feasibility study explaining why the louver thing is a non-starter.

For one, there's wind, which gusts mightily at 42 stories. There's no guarantee the louvers won't detach themselves from the building, turning into potentially deadly projectiles. It is left unsaid that Nasher patrons would undoubtedly suffer a bit of sunburn if it means they are safe from decapitation.

The study summary also points out that the stainless steel louvers also reflect sunlight, which is exactly what the system is designed to prevent; that retrofitting the building to carry the louvers could damage the current water-tight exterior and make the building nearly uninsurable; and, last but not least, the louvers attract birds and require maintenance such that the building will inevitably become an eyesore. Bottom line: "The louver solution is not acceptable to home buyers."

Then, at the end of the media statement, almost as a coda, Museum Tower officials go nuclear. "We are disappointed that the Nasher has repeatedly engaged in communications designed to harm Museum Tower and the Police, Firefighters, Retirees and their families' investment."

That's right. This isn't a case of the pension fund making a risky, speculative investment. Rather, the elites at the Nasher are waging an attack on the hard-working men and women who protect the city. Classy move.

This all comes on the heels of high-profile pleas for Museum Tower to go for louvers. That doesn't appear to be in the cards, but we all kind of assumed that, just as we can assume where the dispute will eventually wind up.

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mavdog topcommenter

interesting that from what is included above there is not a single engineering or architectural firm cited in this "study".


1) Find a way to tint the windows with diffusive material to reflect the light upwards

2) Design and build the architectural piece between the two buildings that opens and closes based on the time of day

3) Museum Tower pay for a new Nasher Roof design AND put 5 mil into an operational trust for the Nasher. 



How far would you have to drive to find a shop that tints car windows?


@ DallasTodd, Tinting was considered as one of 20 possible solutions considered by Museum Tower to solve the reflection problem.  None of the tests on the film proved productive because of two things; 1) when applied externally, the film is designed to reflect sunlight to improve energy efficiency of a window, just the opposite of absorbing or directionally reflecting the sunlight; 2) the film/tinting is just that a plastic film that will deteriorate rapidly when exposed to outside elements like constant direct sun and other weather elements making its lifetime 3 years or less.  The only way to replace the aged exterior film is to scrape it off with a razor blade.  Imagine a window cleaning rig inching down the Museum Tower a couple of years from now scraping off the film, scratching the windows and destroying the warranty on the windows.  Not going to happen, any more than the flawed idea of louvers on the building.  During the exploration of the 20 possible solutions, the Dallas Police and Firefighters Pension system hired scientific and engineering experts who did find a 100% solution to the reflection getting inside the Nasher.  It is a re-calibrated oculi, simliar to the ones that now sit on the arched roof over the galleries.  This new oculi prevents the reflection from getting inside while transmitting almost the exact same amount of indirect ambient light inside the gallery.   The owners of Museum Tower, that would be every police officer and firefighter in this town, have also offered to pay for the new roof on the Nasher.  But, the Nasher refuses to even talk about the offer.  Who is not being reasonable or truthful?   Instead of dealing honestly with the offer from Museum Tower folks, the Nashers have engaged in a very well orchestrated PR campaign carried out by surrogates over the entire past year.  The Nasher has been dishonest and has now been caught in an outright lie.  Jill Magnuson, the Nasher's PR flack, claimed last Tuesday in the Dallas Morning News that Nasher chairman David Haemisegger did not call off a long planned meeting with Richard Tettamant, the administrator of the Dallas Police and Firefighters Pension, to discuss the scientific and engineering findings about their proposed and promoted louver idea for Museum Tower.  She claimed the meeting was asked for only one day before November 20th, and was a prelude to a publicity stunt.  Not true, frankly she was lying and knew it.   Check the Dallas Morning News blog of Tuesday afternoon, and you will find the Pension system published the email chain between Haemisegger, Tettament a other Pension system executives that started planning the November 20th meeting nearly 3 weeks earlier.  Why did she lie?  She is practiced.   She has often repeated a lie about alleged damage to the Nasher garden.  The Nasher and Magnuson have not and cannot produce any evidence of harm to the garden.   Magnuson says the harm will show up years from now.  Really?   Noted horticulturalist Scott Ogden and other agronomist and arborist have visited the Nasher over the summer, all have determined the garden is not damaged, in fact the plants, trees and grass are all flourishing because of the sunlight and 3 times a day watering.  Yea, the Nasher violates the city watering restrictions in the hottest period of the summer drought, go figure.  The Nasher should quit acting like a stuck-up rich kid and practice what it preaches, like sitting down and talking about the only real 100% fix on their roof which the owners of Museum Tower have said they will pay for.

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