THIS JUST IN: Tim Rogers Probably Not a Cannibal. Nasher vs. Tower Fight Drags On.

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Two things to start. 1) Don't know much about architecture. 2) Tim Rogers and his wife probably are not cannibals.

Or anything like that. You know what I mean. Rogers, the editor of D Magazine, and his wife, Christine, part owner of a public relations company that has done work for the Nasher Sculpture Center, are fine people who would never ever eat anyone.

But. It does seem like Rogers takes to the web-waves with a huge THIS-JUST-IN-style screaming news bulletin every time the Culture Mob issues another whiny manifesto in The Dallas Morning News about the Nasher and how it's being subjected to building-abuse and solar molestation by nearby Museum Tower, a new fancy-schmancy condo tower accused of being too reflective.

Museum Tower Thibodeaux.jpg
I think we all know this back-story. The Nasher, a museum downtown, was the generous gift to the city of the late shopping mall magnate Ray Nasher, who, with his wife, the late Patsy Nasher, was a Texas-renowned collector of sculpture. Museum Tower is a not quite yet finished glass-walled building near the Nasher. The Nasher says the tower reflects too much sunlight, harming its semi-outdoor exhibits and gardens.

It goes on. Not too long ago, a top executive for the tower handed the director of the Nasher a check for five million bucks and told him to use it to readjust the lattices over his exhibits to block out more light. The Nasher guy handed the check back and told the tower guy to cover his building with louvers.

And on. The tower guy said he couldn't do the louvers because of blah-blah-blah. Then the Morning News published a manifesto by a car dealer and the wife of a wealthy man saying the condo tower was "a bad reflection on Dallas" and "it is time for Museum Tower to put an end to the damage it is causing not only to the Nasher but also to the Dallas Arts District and to the reputation of Dallas."

Well, you get a car dealer and the wife of a wealthy man tuned in together on an art issue, Tim Rogers is going to sit up and bark like a dog, which he did, with a big World War II news bulletin on Frontburner, "Nasher's Jeremy Strick Issues Call to Action Letter."
Oh my God! He didn't just write a letter. He ISSUED it! If it weren't for my shyness, I might even call up and ask which part of him it issued from. I hope he's OK. And it was not just a letter. It was a CALL TO ACTION letter. It's all so thrillingly Churchillian, what?

Mmm. Maybe not so much. Louvers versus lattices? You've got to be kidding us, right? Why do D Magazine and The Dallas Morning News keep churning it like it's Benghazi?

Well, one reason. The Nasher is a holy temple of the Art Mob, by which I mean the rich patrons whose devotion to high culture in Dallas is the ultimate aspirational consumerism. They parade around and around the Nasher wailing like a vast chorus of keening castrati, with the entire editorial staffs of D and the News clumping along behind like hired mourner hags.

Me, maybe I think, "An assault on art, eh? Cool." But the chorus wails, "Oh shame, oh shame," for art is the great unassailable and holy thing here in a city where the Baptist and Episcopal religions have been replaced by the Dallas Cowboys and the Arts District.

I want to say get a hat. But as I said at the top, I don't know much about architecture. What I do know a thing or two about is the news business, publishing and how to spot certain synchronicities. For example, I note that Rogers has issued no bulletin, no screed, no Shakespearean alarum over a very interesting chapter in all of this, a piece in the News two days ago by the paper's recent star-hire, business analyst Mitchell Schnurman, in which he more or less tells the Nasher it's time to get real. Schnurman, hired away from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is a heavy-hitter who seldom misfires. I attacked him shortly after he joined the News but that had to do with my disability. (Not for sympathy, just telling you: I happen to suffer from Bad Personality Disorder. Please, no gifts. Do not make me say it twice.)

Schnurman didn't take sides exactly. He just said Museum Tower was built within the law; it meets all the city's specs and requirements; and what are the chances they're going to cover it with louvers?

Now, anybody with half an I.Q. worth of story sense would have spotted Schnurman's piece as highly anomalous and therefore worthy of note, given the degree to which it cuts against orthodoxy at the News. I would have the thought the Rogerses might have noticed it. But nary a word did appear about it on Frontburner, not a jot nor a tittle. That's what I mean by synchronicity. It's scary the degree to which the Dallas establishment and their media horns stick together on something like this. In fact my whole issue on the Nasher question has less to do with the physical situation than the cultural/political one. It just gives me the willies when they all get lined up like that, and then they start marching, and then they start chanting, and pretty soon I'm about to hop in my pickup and head for Waxahachie at midnight.

In the end I believe it will all work out fine. Museum Tower will not cover itself with louvers. The Rogerses will survive and prosper. The Nasher will move to Tyler. Mitchell Schnurman will leave the News to spend more time with his family. I will continue my crusade to bring BPD out of the closet.

But right now I look at D; I look at the News; I see all these call to action letters and this flocking behavior. Flocking, flocking, flocking, ever closer, more and more of them. I feel like Tippi Hedren in The Birds. Please, make it stop, Hitch.

My Voice Nation Help
39 comments
primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

I thought letters were sent and edicts issued

Brandon
Brandon

I find it interesting that when I tried to post the following comment to the D Mag FrontBurner about your column, it was moderated out.  Guess Tim Rogers can't take the heat.   Here is what I tried to post to D FrontBurner:  

"Schnurman's story is one of the first truthful articles about this topic printed in the Dallas Morning News.  Schnurman was honest, not paid, much different than Mr. Rogers.  If the story does not tow the company line, like Rogers at D Magazine, the all mighty and very wealthy Nasher art supporters go on the attack, like they have against Schnurman.  Word is the uppity ups at the Dallas Morning News are making it very tough on Schnurman after they got a call from Jeremy Strick, Director of the Nasher.  Strick reportedly threatened Schnurman, claiming he was going to fact check his article and have his job."

"Might be interesting if you knew about Srick's background before coming to the Nasher. Check it out for yourself in BlouinArtinfo, the NYTimes or LATimes, where you will discover the dire financial condition of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles under Strick's management.  The MOCA forced Strick to resign in disgrace as its director after he nearly bankrupted the museum by lavish spending that drained the endowment from $55 million to $6.  The MOCA and Strick were being audited by the California Attorney General to determine if the museum broke laws governing the use of restricted money by non-profits."   All of that from the NY Times.

I am glad Schutze has the intestinal fortitude to poke Tim Rogers here, because Tim obviously can't take the medicine on his own site.

bmarvel
bmarvel

Schutze just brushing the crumbs off his desk into the out basket. Nothing new to read here, but Voice wants that basket refilled daily.

Check back in a couple weeks. There may be something new on the Trinity corridor.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Jim, how are you not as tired of writing about this albatross of a building as the rest of us are of hearing about it?

kurtstallings
kurtstallings

I wish these two factions would settle their differences. By year's end, roughly five million children worldwide will have starved to death, according to World Food Programme records, and it would be a terrible shame if they died without the satisfaction of knowing these folks were happy at last.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

So ridiculous.  You should see the reflection I get off the Comerica Tower.  Sheesh, what a bunch of babies!

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

All I know is Mr. Museum Tower better hope little Timmy doesn't see him driving around town and get his license plate number.

rkp
rkp

Having been blinded by the reflection off the tower while at the deck park this past weekend I worry that the effect will be like unto a death ray during the summer.  Will there be any recourse by the city at that point?  A similar situation arose in LA after Frank Gehry's performance hall was blamed for blinding pilots coming in and out of LAX.  I think the building there was eventually forced to take action to reduce the glare.

leizad1
leizad1

If Nasher had any sort of legal recourse against the Museum Tower, they would have obtained a restraining order long time ago stopping the construction of the Tower. The fact that it has not tried to obtain such an order and has not filed a lawsuit suggests that the Tower was indeed built within the letter of the law. Putting legal issues aside, however, the sculpture garden is enjoyed by thousands of people every year, while the Tower is built for the benefit of a few hundred selected individuals. Although, it might not be required to do anything under the law, it would be nice to see the Museum Tower act like a responsible corporate citizen. They would win so much more in public opinion. After all, how many people want to live in a building that has been touted as "evil" (rightfully or wrongfully) in the community?

jack
jack

more nasher vs. tower stuff.........yawn.  wake me up when the feds come for JWP.

Jeff
Jeff

In all fairness to Tim, Wick as David Brice to Tim's Scott Pritchard still cruelly refuses to requite Tim's love, so he obviously needs some outlet.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

I find it more interesting that The DMA will soon stop charging admission and memberships will soon be free as well.

I also find it interesting to read the article about it in this morning's DMN that contains a quote with subtle racial overtones.

The quote, from national art's blogger Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes: "Museums offering free admission report 'that their audiences get younger. Their audiences become less white.'"

What exactly does that infer? I wonder what Jim's "ART MOB" really thinks about this development? Perhaps more shining white lights inside the Nasher will keep it from going all ghetto like it's neighbor. Just a thought.

hearshorton
hearshorton

@SuperfuzzBigmuff The albatross is the dishonesty of the Nasher, caught in a big lie last week about an important cancelled solutions meeting.  Nasher son-in-law David Haemisegger cancelled the meeting with the Museum Tower folks last week, November 20th, a meeting where the final solution and offer to pay for it was to be presented.  Then Haemisegger's minion Jill Magnuson, the Nasher PR flack, called the Dallas Morning News and said the cancelled meeting "wasn't a meeting at all," but a "drop by the office" meeting set up the day before, which she claimed was actually a publicity stunt.  

Magnuson told a big fat one there, because the Museum Tower folks, that would be the Dallas Police and Fire Pension system, sent to the Morning News the email string with Haemisegger's personal email address on it showing the meeting had been set up since the first week of November.   That's just one of many acts of dishonesty by the Nasher.  

They complained the cancelled meeting, behind closed doors, was a publicity stunt?  Well now, you want to talk about publicity stunts?  On the same day Magnuson was so indignant and lied about the meeting being cancelled, the Nasher had a big blowout story by its friend Brett Shipp on WFAA.   In that story, Nasher architect Rick Del Monte laid out his suggested plan to put louvers on Museum Tower, knowing full well the scientific and engineering studies the Museum Tower owners were going to show the Nasher's the next day proved the louvers would not work because they are designed to reflect sunlight, would cause damage to Museum Tower and that the manufacturer's own wind tunnel tests showed the damn roller shades could blow off in a high wind event day and possibly kill someone down below.  

I could go on here for many paragraphs, but suffice to say the Nasher is the unreasonable one in this mess, refusing to even talk about the real solution, that being the reconfiguration of the oculi roof grid on their building, which the Museum Tower's hired engineers and architects have already redesigned and offered the Nasher a $5 million check to pay for it.   You want reasonable and a fix right now?  There it is.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@kurtstallings Great point. It would be so nice to be able to tell them, even if it's only at the last.

hearshorton
hearshorton

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz My office is just east of downtown, but I live north and during my drive down Central Expressway the sunlight reflected from a number of buildings on either side of the freeway hit me smack in the face.   That is just a part of life living in a region where glass is used to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.   BTW, I was on the deck park a week ago and almost got blinded by the glare, NOT from Museum Tower, the glare shining off of the Chase Building.   

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@MushMouth1 or that little Timmy exchanges his BB gun for a .22 rifle.

hearshorton
hearshorton

@rkp Like I said, i was on the deck park last week, and got blinded by the glare coming from the Chase Building.  There is no death ray, get real people.   Have you actually seen the reflection from up high?  I have, from 6 stories to 40 stories I have seen it, it travels in stripes, thin stripes, across the landscape of downtown as the sun moves.  No place is lit up for long, I didn't put a stop watch to it, but good grief.   You guys make it sound like Darth Vader is up there with his storm troopers about to zap Tatooine.  

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@rkp

That's awful!! Did they give you a cane?

anon
anon

@leizad1 People buying multi-million properties are notoriously good at not giving a shit who their actions affect. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

@leizad1 It doesn't affect the people looking out at the Nasher from inside the tower. Condo owners likely don't and won't care--they want the location and the views.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@jack Good point, good point. But, you know, Jack, I gotta pay the rent.

aaronstew75218
aaronstew75218

whats racial about accepting the fact that the population is becoming more diverse in dallas, in texas and the entire US for that matter? it isnt.  the museum is activley attempting to appeal to all of Dallas? what a shame!  and to assume the nasher caters to whitey? really? whats racial, the DMN article or such an assumption? hmmmm

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

@hearshorton @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Can't wait to enjoy the deck park this summer. Don't know much about louvres (French museums or otherwise) but I do know the museum was there first and the pension fund manages money worse than the kids gathering charity at my old Sunday school. The real crime is the Pension Fund investing, the costs of which will dwarf this controversy.

rkp
rkp

@JimSX Hyberbole and smart-assery aside: good architecture should be more about being a good neighbor then about fancy design.  At the very least architecture should be about avoiding being a bad neighbor.  After all architecture is largely the practice of creating inhabited space.  If an element of inhabited space (the tower) makes it less bearable to be in another adjacent element of inhabited space (the museum/ deck park) then that offending element is therefore not good architecture.

James080
James080 topcommenter

@JimSX @jack So what's going on with John Warren trying to put access to the county's public records behind a subscription wall benefiting a private vendor? Isn't there a story in there somewhere?

James080
James080 topcommenter

@aaronstew75218 If I forget to apply sunscreen in July and become less white, does that have racial overtones?

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

@aaronstew75218 

It might not be blatantly racist, per se, but it definitely carries a negative tone.  Using the term "less white" leads many readers to infer that it references the diminishing of a desirable condition, rather than the growth of diversity (cue comment section troll in 3...2...1...). 

Tone is important (hi, Joe). Yes, with a little consideration, we understand that the author is not implying anything offensively racist.  However, I would suggest that taking a positive tone in the first place avoids those questions althogether.

hearshorton
hearshorton

@primi_timpano Really?  The Dallas Police and Firefighters Pension has been ranked as one of the top defined benefit programs in the nation for more than a decade.  20 years ago the  Pension system was nearly out of money, today it has over $3.2 billion in assets.  That does not happen with bad management.  Some investments do very well, some don't do as well, so it is with hedge funds, pension funds and your own stock and investment portfolio.  You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts.   

hearshorton
hearshorton

@JimSX @rkp Bingo!   I challenge the Observer to look into the Shard building just opened in London.  Gives us a picture of that towering reflection.  That's Piano's new contribution to this discussion.  To improve energy efficiency, what did Piano clad his new high rise, the tallest in London?  Glass, very reflective glass.   He is lighting up all kinds of historic places in London.  But, the British, always the stiff upper lip, say when it shines in their windows, they just pull the blinds for a while, the reflection never lasts long.  Now there is a bunch of smart folks.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@rkp @JimSX 

Piano, who designed the Nasher, as a reputation in London as the architect from hell worst neighbor in the world architectural vandal.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

@aaronstew75218 I would also respectfully ask you to quiz Our Man Downtown JWP if he really believes there is anything wrong with the phrases "Black Hole" and "Angel Food Cake". Yes, he in fact on multiple occasions has asserted that these phrases are racist even when used appropriately. 

The "less white" comment I think was meant to be "more diverse." Yet, without clarification I can only surmise the author meant what he said and the DMN thought enough to print it.

aaronstew75218
aaronstew75218

i respectfully disagree, i've heard it said in news stories printed and on tv, read it in books and online, that the population is becoming 'less white' and I've never interpreted it as a negative tone.  I think this is a case where tone is interpreted more by the reader...

Daniel
Daniel

@Double-O-Joe @aaronstew75218 How about "their audiences become more full of shiftless, unhygienic men with unseasonable  attire, addiction to household cleaning solvents, incomprehensible sexual appetites and an urgent need to defecate"? Always go race-neutral just to be safe, I say.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...