Museum Tower Is Sorry Their Awesome Glass Reflected on Nasher, Offers Same Solution Again

Categories: Development, Shiny

Museum Tower Thibodeaux.jpg
Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux
Officials at the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, which owns the Arts District's shiniest building, Museum Tower, have loudly announced that they have a solution to their glare problem, the one muddying their neighborly relations with the Nasher Sculpture Center next door.

They want the Nasher to fix their roof, and they want to pay for it. You're reading about this in every news outlet in town this morning because the pension fund just sent out a big press release about it. They've even got a splashy new website, Oculi Solution, so named because the pension fund folks want the Nasher to reorient the oculi on the museum's roof at their expense.

See also:
- Museum Tower's Latest Salvo in Battle with Nasher Features Danny Glover and Is Pretty Bizarre
- In Museum Tower vs. Nasher, Tower Officials Say the Only Sure Fix is Fixing the Nasher Roof

It's a weird move, this press release, in large part because the "oculi solution" is the same "solution" that the pension fund proposed publicly back in November. The same one that Nasher director of external affairs Jill Magnuson rejected as a "publicity stunt," "flawed" and "not a viable option." She said reorienting the oculi would drastically reduce the amount of light in the gallery, which is not such a hot thing for a museum. (Unlike the light reflecting on it, which is quite hot indeed.)

Fund officials aren't really acknowledging that this solution of theirs has already been presented and rejected by the other guys involved. But as long as we're all here and listening, they do have a few words to say about how extremely awesome that glass on their building is.

In a bit of background on the controversy, the press release states, in part:

Until the exterior of the building went up, Museum Tower developers were not aware that the oculi sunscreen system that covers the Nasher Sculpture Center's glass roof was pointed directly at Museum Tower property, and that its high performance, energy efficient glass reflected sunlight into the galleries during certain times of the day. This was an unexpected development and an unintended consequence.

In other words: it's not Museum Tower's fault that their incredibly forward-thinking, high-tech glass is pointing at the Nasher. It's the Nasher's fault that their oculi had the bad judgement to be pointed at the place where Museum Tower would eventually be built. Got that? (If you're looking to test out this conversational style in real life, try sloshing punch on someone at a party. Don't apologize afterwards, just shout, "I'm sorry if you were offended!")

Pension fund administrator Richard Tettamant also insists in the press release, not for the first time, that moving the oculi is a minor undertaking. "The good news is that involves only a slight reconfiguration of the Nasher's sunscreen design," he writes. "The science, engineering and computer simulation proof of this solution are so strong, Museum Tower, LP has committed to pay for testing on the Nasher, as well as paying for production and installation on the entire Nasher gallery."

Tettamant adds that the Nasher has promised to evaluate the idea, and says Museum Tower and the pension fund are "anxiously awaiting their response." Because certainly they have no idea what it could possibly be. Isn't this over yet? Can we not pull this car over and let these two entities fight this out by the side of the road somewhere? The rest of us can wait in the shade.


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46 comments
mickeygil1
mickeygil1

I got it move the Nasher to the end of new bridge.... because it drops you off into one of the highest crime areas in Dallas.  Also, they could build a mote around it and a big sign that says look at this useless gift we have that brings in a very small amount of  money to this City.  As opposed to a beautiful bldg that eventually will rent out and provide tax dollars and visitors to the Jewel.  Of course the well paying residents may not want to be snubbed by the Nasher people and may drive to Ft.Worth where the sun doesn't shine as powerful.

Now for the real deal ... who cares  .... 1. Pension people spend alot of money looking for a solution and of course none will work for the Nasher

2. Nasher people ....get over yourselves,   move all of that  S*** to North Park like you did before and remember when you ran out of money for that project, who help you with the finances Oh I remember Dallas Police and Fire Pension.//????

Cameron Gott
Cameron Gott

Seems to me that the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System is offering to pay for the fix. What's the big deal? Take the money, solve the problem, keep making art and move along.

Brandon
Brandon

Still, I say the Nasher should award a commission for a huge 100 foot long, 60ft wide vagina to be put outside in their garden, that rests up above the trees for the MT folks to look down upon from their perch.

rroyb
rroyb

I have done quite a bit of international and domestic travel lately.  Museum Tower has clearly become quite the symbol for all that is wrong with Dallas and Texas.  Our city leaders have clearly put their heads under the sand.  Absolutely Shameful

MattL11
MattL11

I still don't understand why nobody has yet taken my SunSetter idea seriously. I'm willing to chip in for one or two. Television tells me they're quite affordable. 

nammer
nammer

I bet Fort Worth would LOVE to have the Nasher...I say, pack up the sculptures, move the building brick by brick to Fort Worth, then build a homeless shelter or public housing on the Nasher site

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart

I would like the tower to stop shining an interrogation light into my flat every afternoon starting mid-May ending sometime in late June. For 2 1/2 minutes no one can dare look towards any of my windows and I live 8 blocks away.

Barry
Barry

Anna, get your facts correct.   First, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, which owns Museum Tower, did not "announce" anything.   The oculi solution was presented at the DPFP Board of Trustees Meeting Thursday morning, not for a publicity stunt, but because the Trustees had demanded to know the status of the work being done to find a solution to the reflections from Museum Tower upon the Nasher.   This proposal was the exact one made specifically and only to David Haemisegger and Nancy Nasher on April 26.  Pension System Administrator Richard Tettamant had kept this proposal under wraps waiting for a response from David and Nancy, who did not reject it when it was presented, rather they promised to personally shepherd the proposal to its technical team for evaluation.   Tettamant was obligated, upon the demand by his Board of Trustees, to report in detail about the progress on the search for a solution.   

Now that you know the truth about how the proposal became public at a public meeting, you ought to also share the truth about the solution and proposal offered to the Nashers.   The video, scientific and engineering reports, along with the computer simulations and animation of the reconfigured oculi sunscreen solution, are all contained on a repository website set up for those who want to know the real story.  That website is www.oculisolution.com.   That website is not a stunt, but a place where the real story can be found, protection knowing how the mainstream Dallas media has distorted this story.  While the mainstream media has been claiming the Pension System was doing nothing or stalling over the past 18 months,  its team of experts were spending thousands of hours pouring over 22 different solutions, and the science and engineering led to only one solution that was a 100% fix for the Museum Tower reflections into the Nasher galleries.   

Go look at the video, the scientific documents, the simulation and animation, and the offer by Museum Tower to pay for installing the reconfiguration on the current oculi sunscreen on the Nasher roof.   Tell me why this is not respectful of the Nasher, the solution is invisible to the architecture, it is only a modest reconfiguration of the shape and directional turn of the current oculi sunscreen.  Why not try this?  There is no risk to the Nasher, Museum Tower will pay for it, if it doesn't work, the Nasher can put its old oculi up on the sunscreen in a matter of hours.  The risk is all on Museum Tower.  

Why not do this?  Do something that is proven to work to stop the reflections getting into the Nasher galleries.   If you want to talk about the garden after that, fine, but lets do this now.

ItIsFinished
ItIsFinished

After they fix the problem. Fire everyone. Fire the pension people, fire Jill Magnuson and all of the other ED's and key employees in the district, who fanned the flames on social media, for months. Ticket sales are not down because of the tower. Ticket sales are down because people saw through the lack of leadership, demonstrated by many groups, in the arts district, from the Crow Collection to ATTPAC. Fire anyone associated with this tower,  starting with the public relations firms and the media for creating a cultural Armageddon, where one wasn't warranted and more importantly, fire them for using the arts community to help their friends with their dirty work.


The Nasher should consolidate this museum with the Nasher Museum at Duke University. Use the property to build badly needed amenities geared toward the hospitality industry and visitors. Something the Nasher family is good at and passionate about and design it in a way to feature their fathers works. The museum was their fathers passion, not theirs. Let's give them permission to let it go, so all the stakeholders can move forward and we can start building our arts district and its reputation. Do we seriously  think we can do that without cleaning house?

parisrec
parisrec

Toured Museum Tower. Unsalable freeway noise level. Plus Southwest Jets flying by.  As for Nasher..Well, There's some poetic justice in the museum being fried. Perhaps the heat is a metaphor for someone's current location.

lzippitydoo
lzippitydoo

If we enclose the Nasher just like his Northpark Mall - there wont be any issues! Actually, this smells of former Mayor, Laura Miller. She is intentially trying to also have the Nasher move out of downtown Dallas out to Arlington!

Guest
Guest

I'm going to build a house of cards in the middle of downtown and demand compensation when a skyscraper deflects some wind and knocks my house of cards down.

That's the exact same thing the Nasher did. Any of the glass skyscrapers, built in Museum Tower's place, would cause the same issue. That's why you don't build a fancy holey roof IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY.

baker24
baker24

I wonder if Fort Worth could find a nice safe spot for the Nasher to relocate..... Of course, the expansion of the Kimball Art Museum has taken the nice area between the Kimball and the Amon Carter. The Nasher folks are finding out it doesn't pay to trust anything the city of Dallas says. The city should have been aware that the taller building they were allowing was going to cause problems, and this is only the Nasher - no way to tell right now how many other areas will be affected at various times of the day. I'd be concerned about automobile traffic along the Woodall Rodgers service roads in particular.

WylieH
WylieH

I recent check of DCAD records indicates that a grand total of five units have been sold to date.

Terri M Raith
Terri M Raith

I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but how can they say this is "the only solution"??? BS! The Museum Tower is the problem, NOT the Nasher roof....or gardens, or neighboring structures, parks, homes and offices. Museum Tower built a building with an intrusively reflective surface with no regard for ANY of their neighbors. THE ANSWER IS CHANGE THAT SURFACE, you money-grubbing schmucks!

Eric Miller
Eric Miller

I hate glass buildings, but the Nasher and its architects were involved in the museum tower planning, were they not?

Eric Miller
Eric Miller

Sounds to me like flipping the direction of the screen louvers may work. Why not?

Dallas Art News
Dallas Art News

Maybe the Nasher should consider building a free-standing wall between the two. That would really irk residence in the Museum Tower. Cheers.

Brenda Kronenberg
Brenda Kronenberg

I think this is a big issue for Dallas. We should protect tne Nasher! It is a treasure, is a gift to our city, is one of the best art venues in the arts disctrict, and this glare is the fault of Museum tower and I believe they should fix the glare, not ask the Nasher to redo the VERY well publicized roof system. Get this glare off of our treasured sculpture garden. Figure it out and do it now.

Lee Higginbotham
Lee Higginbotham

It seems like the comic book superhero has a solution for when the villian sends the beam of light at the good guys, they just put up a mirror and send the beam of light back from whence it came. The bad guy gets defeated, and the good guy saves the day. A new outdoor or rooftop installation?? Maybe a new sport for folks that are affected by the beam: hand held mirrors.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

At least the Museum Tower folks have come to understand that being jerks about the whole thing won't make them any friends. The mea culpa is very different than what they have said in the past.

This is about all that Nasher is going to get, frankly it will cost them a lot of money to try and win a law suit and the probability of winning in court is very, very low.

So the bottom line is Nasher should let Museum Tower redo the oculi, and also get them to warrant the continued health of their vegetation. oh, and maybe a few bucks for the aggravation this has caused....

Tom434
Tom434

Could be just have a WWE cage match to settle this

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

At least they are still fighting.  It looks like Melissa Kingston and Avi Adelman settled their dispute last week. Saddened to see that sand box battle end. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@rroyb 

Are you telling me that not just the nation, but the entire world is concerning itself with this little dispute in the Dallas arts district?

Why, I had NO idea!

casiepierce
casiepierce

@MattL11 Come on, this is the "Arts District"! A Sunsetter would trailer-park up the place!

MikeyLikesIt
MikeyLikesIt

@Barry Hey look everybody, we paid a heap of real life scientists to come up with the same exact tired response we had last time.  Ain't we smart?

Tolldya
Tolldya

@Barry Who's going to stop the reflections from everything else?

nammer
nammer

@Barry it sounds like you work for the pension fund or Museum Tower...at least have the courage to admit that before you shill on a public forum

casiepierce
casiepierce

@ItIsFinished Couldn't agree more, fault all around. My question in terms of due diligence on the part of the Nasher, considering that it was built in downtown where presumably skyscrapers might also be built, did they ever try to get some sort of assurance from the City that no structure taller than xyz stories can be erected within xyz feet of the Nasher?

jeffreyallendaigle
jeffreyallendaigle

@Guest Makes sense, right? They should have built their naturally-lit city art museum outside of the city. I mean, common sense.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@baker24

the Museum Tower tract possessed the right to build to the height they reached, it is an entitlement in their zoning. The City of Dallas had no responsibility, nor the power, to limit the Museum Tower to a height less than the zoning ordinance sets as a maximum.

BTW University Drive carries more VPD than the service roads of Woodall Rogers, are you concerned there, too?

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@WylieH  5 units Well that would seem to fit into the Pensions past real estate Business model .

mickeygil1
mickeygil1

@Terri M Raith 

your kidding right....  what about the everything else around the Nasher i.e. car exhaust, homeless urinating on the bldg and #2 as well   traffic  

No matter what type of bldg was built you would find it intrusive

tallerh
tallerh

@Eric Miller renzo piano does not bother himself with shitty residential buildings. ie they where not bc his fee is insanely expensive 

Tomcat
Tomcat

@Brenda Kronenberg You are about 10 articles behind.  If the solution is good enough for the Nasher's, move along. Nothing more to see here. 

Barry
Barry

@shwhitley @Barry Shill?  How about telling the truth?  Something wrong with the truth?  Notice you are so bold with your real name, eh?   Instead of personal cheap shots discuss the issues and the real facts.  Personal attacks have no credibility.


mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@casiepierce @ItIsFinished 

The Nasher and the owner of the tract of land that Museum Tower was built on had an agreement recorded that limited the future building to no higher than 22 stories and also the type of exterior the future building would be made of.

Sughue sold the land, and the new owners did not extend the agreement, as soon as it expired they built the 42 story edifice and constructed the building with the very type of skin the prior agreement sought NOT to have.

This is a story about greed and how the DP&FPB ignored the negative affects in order to potentially maximize their ROI.

As is case many times, greed is biting them in the butt as people don't seem to want to buy these residences, Museum Tower has a certain negative aroma about it....

baker24
baker24

@mavdog Well, then the thing to do is move the Nasher to a better site. How much thought did the Tower developers give to the effect of their building? At any rate, they are the ones really suffering, since sales have been somewhat slow..... If the Nasher's roof could be rebuilt with a different orientation of the oculi and not affect the amount of indirect light entering the museum, that probably would be the best solution, barring moving the museum to a less obstructed location. But I don't know if re-orienting the oculi can be done and still allow the same amount of light into the Nasher building - they have to have enough to illuminate the exhibits using indirect light to avoid fading and heat damage. As far as University Drive is concerned, ANY severe` glare that blinds drivers is a safety hazard. I'd guess that if the courts held that the Museum Tower was responsible and liable for accidents caused by glare from their building, they would find a way to correct the situation.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Those sales represent a major improvement in their real estate investments. They could let police and fire retirees bunk in the tower if through some unintended consequence they do not sell out.

tallerh
tallerh

@Tomcat  simple ..the current roof is famous ( even before the tower.) also changing the quality of the light is changing the design of the building. why do u think james turrell closed the exhibit !! light matter to archits and designers ...but clearly not to engineers 

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Barry Hmm, interesting how you managed to not answer the question, instead proposing a question of your own...

Guest
Guest

@mavdog @casiepierce @ItIsFinishedJohn Shugrue did not sell the land. He was the developer and the pension fund was forced to be his financial backer, by local politicians, when no one else on the planet would fund it. Do your homework. As you've mentioned many times, the Nasher signed off on it. Now another local developer wants to buy it?  At a loss no doubt. Maybe that was the conspiracy all along?  We'll probably never know.

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