The Bank of America Tower, Dallas' Tallest Building, Is Changing Its Neon Green Lights

Categories: Development

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baplaza.com
You know the building, even if you don't know its name. It's a neon silhouette that juts from the downtown skyline like a radioactive thumb. My 3-year-old calls it The Pickle, because that's kind of what it looks like, but its official name is the Bank of America Tower. Since it was built in 1985, it has stood as the tallest building in Dallas.

The Dallas Morning News' Steve Brown brings word today that the 72-story tower is in the beginning stages of a major multimillion dollar renovation. There's going to be a new entry, an updated lobby area and a remodeled retail court.

Now for the bigger news: "The project will replace the building's signature green argon exterior lighting with a modern LED system," Brown writes. The LED tubes will be sort of like what they have at the Omni.

In a companion piece, Brown gives a thumbnail history of the building and, more important, the neon.

[T]o make sure that the tower wasn't missed at night, the building was outlined with almost two miles of green argon-filled lighting. (The developers considered both blue and red light tubes before picking green because the color was visible from farther away.)

Those light bulbs were trouble from the very start. Within weeks of the grand opening clumsy window washers had broken about 15 feet of them.

And Dallas' hail storms and high winds have played havoc with the system over the years.

There's very little hint of what the new lights will mean for Dallas' skyline. Will they be kept the same shade of green? Or will they serve as a changing, particolored canvas, much like the Omni? Whatever the decision, the Morning News' new architecture critic is not impressed.

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69 comments
cmcochran07
cmcochran07

Keep it green! Enough with the blue lighting already! There are at least 10 buildings now that have blue lighting!

dallas1845
dallas1845

BTW, it's Bank of America *Plaza*, not Tower

BarackObummer
BarackObummer

I'm not saying I'm gifted or anything but I created my own birth certificate with Photoshop.

Brandon Dickerson
Brandon Dickerson

This is BS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is my favorite sight of Dallas the Green Building and the white globe. uuuhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggg !!!!

Mack McDowell
Mack McDowell

my grandfather had a hand in making and installing the original neon when it was built... I think he would be amazed at what LEDs can do now!! Im ok with the update, been wondering why it hadnt already been done :p

DMZ3
DMZ3

Honestly, I think Dallas (and its architecture critics) needs to get over itself and just embrace the dystopian concrete and neon Blade Runner vision that it already is anyways.

kduble
kduble

Missing from your article is the larger story. They notified tenants in the building of the construction last week, and they began putting the barricades in place Thursday. The plan calls for destroying all trees on the south side (Main Street) side of the building to create a parking lot.

The trees represent a private urban park that has a plaque commemorating the donor that made it possible. In addition to providing a nesting place for birds, the ground cover provided a habitat for rabbits that have been visible in the pre-dawn hours. Although the work began a week ago, the press releases seem to have been timed so as not to interfere with the destruction of the trees. The trees were all destroyed for a surface parking lot this afternoon.

lolotehe
lolotehe

As the color green was chosen for improved visibility, would there be any restrictions preventing a color change?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Did anyone else attend the laser light show that the developers put on at the ground breaking to simulate the outline of the tower? Me and the rest of the Physics Club at T.J. went down and I can't remember which building or garage we were in, but looked out over the sight where the 2 buildings were to be built. There were laser beams bounced off mirrors shooting towards Uranus and points beyond. They were a little cockeyed, but hey, it was the 80s and lasers were cool. Too bad they never built the second tower. Damn Canadians. And the same goes for Fountain Place. And Cityplace. I was really looking forward to that bridge over Central Distressway.


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

There was a big fire today across the street from the BOA building.  A few months ago there was one catty corner at the Crowne Plaza, which is on the same block as Miss Chicken.  The cats adore Miss Chicken's breasts as a treat.  Thank God it didn't go up in flames.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

...and if there's one thing I've learned, it's DON'T GET ON THE BAD SIDE OF THE DMN ARCHITECTURE CRITIC.

I still have phantom pain from last time I did that.

Izabela-Artist-Designer
Izabela-Artist-Designer

With all due respect, what exactly does the new architecture critic have to be impressed with? They are changing to LED's... Not like there is even a potential of being impressed. I think they should keep it the way it is, because that's how it's known, but I'm pretty sure that the LED lights will be able to be manipulated into hundreds and hundreds of colors. I designed the interior parapet metalwork for Ray Hunt's Oil Building off Woodall Rodgers, and Mr. Hunt was really enjoying the fact that his building will be sooo awesomely cool and different. Now everyone does it, and I'm sure this one will follow;).

I personally enjoy all the different shapes and colors of downtown Dallas;). Hugs! Izabela

Diane Treider
Diane Treider

lmao, stop it, Rudy! Laura Miller isn't in charge anymore. :-)~

Dfw Brutha
Dfw Brutha

They may choose a combo of red/white/blue lighting to contest the Chase tower.

DallasSportsPrincess
DallasSportsPrincess

Yeah, I'm in the keep it green camp.  I'm thrilled they're updating it to LED.  From the beginning (and I worked over on Akard when it was built), the argon has been a problem.  It seems like there is always a section of it that's out.  LED will be much more efficient, and I'd imagine, cheaper to maintain.  The glass is green - keep the lights green.  Omni throws enough color around downtown.  

jon.e.hendrickson
jon.e.hendrickson

To the author: you should remove all references to "neon" (which is the gas in red lighted tubes) and replace it with "argon" (the gas in green lighted tubes). As it stands now, your article seems to be written by an uninformed junior high student using "neon" in a generic sense.

Van Johnson
Van Johnson

Since it is green it is argon, not neon.

Rudy Cruz
Rudy Cruz

The whole project was scrapped. The building is being moved to Arlington and a $50,000,000 dog park will be put in its place.

sumerlyn13
sumerlyn13

You People are morons and have no sense of History.... As a Dallas Native, I <3 my Green Building  

EdD.
EdD.

By what little in downtown that is holy, keep that building green.

Quinn Bogar
Quinn Bogar

It's signature green needs to stay put. Damn Dallas stop changing ish!

Lisa Blount
Lisa Blount

I like the green. Shouldn't change it.

wes.house
wes.house

the Morning News' new architecture critic is a jackass

mh122079
mh122079

@DMZ3 Dallas has been lighting up its skyline with color since the 1920's.  Its a Dallas tradition & it wouldn't be Dallas otherwise like Vegas wouldn't be Vegas without its bright lights & casino's.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@kduble Who needs trees? All they do is suck up all the CO2 that doesn't cause climate change. Hell man, crank up the A/C and start using up that fracking gas! Mary's sold the drilling rights to DCC. so more's on the way.

mh122079
mh122079

@lolotehe Green was the color chosen because they wanted it to resemble stacks of $$$.  I doubt they will go with color changing this time...it would surprise me if they did.

barnes.ann
barnes.ann

You mean the George W. Bush Expressway?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

and I must tangentially add, the HuffPo badges system ya'll got going is gonna lead to some hurt feelings.


mh122079
mh122079

@jon.e.hendrickson Maybe he wrote it that way because 99.99% of the general population who doesn't blow glass neon tubes for a living doesn't know what the hell Argon is.  Neon is what people know when they see colored borders & lettering.  Cut them some slack.

observist
observist topcommenter

@jon.e.hendrickson And the 2013 Award for Excellence in Pedantry goes to..... jon.e.hendrickson!!!!!!!!!!!

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@jon.e.hendrickson 

Hey Jon, to nearly everyone else in the universe except you and a cousin of mine that actually makes lighted-tube glass signs, neon-sign has been pretty much the go-to term for that type of signage in the modern lexicon.

Think: Xerox or Kleenex.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@sumerlyn13 

Can't believe I scrolled this far down before seeing it referred to by its' proper name, The Green Building!

jon.e.hendrickson
jon.e.hendrickson

@observist It's a news article. News articles should be factual, not an exercise in using generic terms and miss-portrayal of information. How very adult of you to demean me for being knowledgeable.

jon.e.hendrickson
jon.e.hendrickson

@TheCredibleHulk @jon.e.hendrickson I am in signage. It is not the goto term in the signage industry. Xerox and Kleenex are abominations to the English lexicon. Try again.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @mcdallas   He hates it when wine and beer parties are called cocktail parties, because technically cocktails must be served in order for it to be called a cocktail party.

observist
observist topcommenter

@jon.e.hendrickson @observist   Demean?  I gave you an annual award of excellence!  How is that demeaning?   If I gave you the award for pederasty, that would be demeaning.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@jon.e.hendrickson I sell neon signs of all colors, all the time.  Why? you ask.  Because my customers have no friggin idea what argon is, or xenon or any of the other gasses in lighting tubes.  But they know what neon means.  Get over yourself.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@jon.e.hendrickson he didnt say it was the go to in your industry, he said it was the go to, to non industry types, now go making a fucking neon sign with argon

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