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Downtown Dallas Arts District, 10-26-10 | by skys the limit2
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Downtown Dallas Arts District, 10-26-10

An overview of the finest urban arts district in the nation, surpassing Kennedy and Lincoln Centers in New York City. I shot this on the afternoon of 10-26-10.


The Dallas Arts District is a unique, 68-acre, 19 contiguous block neighborhood in the heart of Downtown Dallas. The Arts District is now perceived as the finest in the country, surpassing the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers in New York City.


A rare jewel that is the centerpiece of the region’s cultural life, the Dallas Arts District is home to some of the finest architecture in the world. Enhancing the Downtown Dallas skyline are buildings by Pritzker Prize winners I.M. Pei, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas and AIA “Gold Medal” recipient Edward Larrabee Barnes.


The Arts District neighborhood is a center for innovative architecture, world-class exhibits, exemplary cultural programming and much more. Fine restaurants, hotels, churches, residences, office towers, and even the world headquarters of 7-Eleven Corporation populate the neighborhood.


A much larger and more legible version of the Dallas Arts District map can be found in an online album of images I created (that also contains shots of Museum Tower's immediate Arts District neighborhood):


The Arts District map shows seven "future site" projects within the boundaries of the Arts District (coded in blue):


1) 5.2 acre deck plaza, The Woodall Rodgers Urban Park

2) Museum Tower, almost 600 foot tall 42 story condominium tower

3) Dallas City Performance Hall in the Arts District

4) 2121 Flora, a 75-80 story mixed use tower planned next door to Museum Tower

5) Hall Arts Center Towers, twin 50 story skyscrapers next door to the Meyerson Symphony Center

6) Two Arts Plaza, a planned 22 story office and residential tower

7) Three Arts Plaza, a planned office and residential tower of unspecified height


In a very positive sign of the strength of the Arts District, three of those seven "future site" projects are now under construction as this is being written:


1) 5.2 acre deck plaza, The Woodall Rodgers Urban Park, costing $110 million dollars

2) Museum Tower, almost 600 foot tall 42 story condominium tower, costing $200 million dollars

3) Dallas City Performance Hall in the Arts District, costing $100 million dollars


The remaining four will definitely occur as this area of Downtown Dallas is among the hottest of Downtown core construction areas in the State of Texas and in the nation.


In addition to the three current and four future development projects within the Arts District boundaries itself, there are multiple significant development plans in the works in the area immediately surrounding the Arts Distict.


The Spire is a master planned six building highrise development covering 13 acres in 6 contiguous blocks and encompassing 1.7 million square feet of development that will be constructed just immediately to the south of the Dallas Arts District. The Spire project will provide an incredible high quality highrise development just across Ross Avenue, the southern border to the Arts District, and will be an exceptional and complementary neighbor.


The 14 story Perot Museum of Nature and Science is under construction just a couple of blocks to the west of the Dallas Arts District. This $185 million dollar museum is a significant new neighbor that will provide additional arts and science museum synergy to the immediate area.


The Museum's 4.7 acre site is located at the NW corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Field Street, adjacent to Victory Park. The Museum will be situated at the crossroads of the Trinity River Corridor Project, the Arts District, the West End, Uptown, and other popular attractions.


Harwood International has a 53 story mixed use skyscraper tower in a planning phase, called The Lexi, for the Uptown side of Downtown Dallas that will add a significant addition to the Downtown Dallas cityscape and is within blocks of the Dallas Arts District. Harwood International's track record of building enormously successful highrises in Uptown, including both residential and office towers, provides a rock solid base from which to develop its signature skyscraper project in Uptown.


And the four hundred foot tall Calatrava Bridge, costing $165 million dollars, is a keystone development linking Downtown Dallas and the Dallas Arts District to the west side of the Trinity River Lakes project by extending Woodall Rodgers Freeway.


The Calatrava Bridge, by extending Woodall Rodgers Freeway westward across the Trinity River, will open up hundreds of millions and ultimately billions of dollars in new development along the Trinity River Lakes Project Corridor. Downtown Dallas will then not only have jumped over Woodall Rodgers Freeway to the north with its explosive growth in Uptown but will also straddle the Trinity River to the west via the Woodall Rodgers Freeway extension made possible by the Calatrava Bridge.


While some may like to call it a bridge to nowhere, in fact it is THE bridge to the future.


Plans call for over 30,000,000 square feet of new dense urban highrise and skyscraper development to be built in West Dallas along with the addition of 24,000 residents in the next 17 years ... pretty incredible growth. It is the Calatrava Bridge and the new frontier it will open up that will catapult Dallas into its status as the "Chicago of the South" by 2030.


Here is the planned development guideline developed by the City for the new urban frontier of West Dallas:


As a further indication of the booming Downtown Dallas corridor, a $100 million dollar 23 story upscale apartment building called 1400 Hi Line is under construction as of 01-19-11 at the corner of Hi Line and Stemmons Freeway. The new highrise will front Stemmons and will be located across the freeway from the American Airlines Center. A nearby DART rail station will serve the residents of the 1400 Hi Line highrise.


First Baptist Church of Downtown Dallas has started work on a massive development to its Downtown Dallas campus. Several older buildings were imploded on Oct. 30, 2010 to make room for the significant new development that will be occurring. Cranes for the development have now appeared and work is underway in earnest. First Baptist Downtown Dallas is spending $135 million dollars on their new campus development. One element of the work includes a significant public water fountain with the magnificent computer controlled and animated water jets and sprays reaching 10 stories into the air for all to enjoy.


Downtown Dallas is experiencing a renaissance from more than $14 billion in new development that is currently underway in and near the Downtown core. As a result, Downtown Dallas is on the verge of a renewed greatness because of the billions in investment it has made in its Downtown core in general but also in its newest premier district, the Downtown Dallas Arts District.


An article published in the October 2010 "D Magazine" discusses how the relocation of corporate headquarters and businesses into Downtown Dallas is at an all time high. The level of interest in doing so (from out of state, in state and in town corporations) has also reached the highest level ever:


Dallas will surpass Chicago as the 3rd largest metro in the nation by 2030 or sooner, published 03-15-10 in The Dallas Morning News:


And another significant recognition and accolade from Forbes Magazine, published 09-02-09, that highlights Dallas' worldwide reach and influence and its growing significance on the world stage:



Additional informative links:


Here is a fantastic video of Downtown Dallas from 07-24-10 driving along I-35 on the west side of Downtown that shows the wonderful density that has developed in the Downtown core with its Uptown District from 2006 to 2010. Select 720p HD and full screen. If you pause at 13 seconds into the video, right in the middle of the image between Hunt Oil and One Arts Plaza Towers, will be where the under construction $200 million dollar Museum Tower in the traditional Downtown Financial District will make its presence known. The construction crane seen center left at a 13 second pause is for the 17 story $185 million dollar Perot Museum of Nature and Science that is also currently under construction on the north side of Woodall Rodgers, a couple blocks away from Museum Tower's location on the side side of Woodall. Woodall Rodgers is the new 21st century "Main Street" of Downtown Dallas. Museum Tower's almost 600 foot tall 42 story presence once completed in late 2012 is going to make a huge impact on the Downtown Dallas cityscape as it will stretch the Financial District so far north that it will completely meld into Uptown and vice versa:


This is another fantastic video shot from a helicopter circling Downtown Dallas on 07-09-10. Select 720p HD and full screen. The video generally focuses on the traditional Downtown Dallas Financial District, but if you look on the left hand side middle screen while the video is playing you will again see the incredible dense development that has literally sprung up almost overnight in Downtown's Uptown District (between 2006 and 2010). From between 5 and 13 seconds at the beginning of the video you can see how impressive the Uptown skyscrapers are from just seeing the edge of Uptown that is directly facing the Financial District across Woodall Rodgers. Also from around 35 to 40 seconds into the video is when you can see the dense Uptown development from a bit broader perspective. Woodall Rodgers is the new 21st century "Main Street" of Downtown Dallas. Also, Museum Tower's almost 600 foot tall 42 story presence once completed in late 2012 is going to make a huge impact on the Downtown Dallas cityscape as it will stretch the Financial District so far north that it will completely meld into Uptown and vice versa:


This is another great aerial video that literally offers a birdseye, multi-thousand foot view of Downtown Dallas shot on 10-24-10, in a jet flying over Downtown on its landing approach to DFW International Airport. Select 720p HD and full screen. For purposes of this discussion, freeze the video anywhere from 1 second to 10 seconds. The large mass of buildings in the very center of the video is Downtown Dallas, which includes all of the skyscrapers and highrises in Uptown as well as those in the more traditional Financial District which today forms the largest urban core in the nation outside of NYC, LA and Chicago with over 50,300,000 square feet of office space. The explosive growth of dense urban development in Uptown has vigorously extended Downtown Dallas northward. Downtown Dallas is now a long rectangle, anchored on its northern border by the CityPlace East (42 story) and Azure (31 story) skyscrapers with the mass of buildings stretching from the northern border southward through the traditional Financial District to just past I-30 to include the dense cluster of new developments in The Cedars District (the new City of Dallas Police Headquarters, the new Beat Condominium Tower, South Side on Lamar, and the just announced coup for Downtown Dallas of the NYLO Hotel South Side, etc.) . The W Hotel (31 stories) and The House Condominiums (29 stories) along with the Hyatt Regency Hotel (30 stories), Reunion Tower (50 stories) and the new half billion dollar Omni Convention Hotel (27 stories) clearly anchor the western side of Downtown running along Stemmons Freeway. One Arts Plaza (24 stories) and the dense Downtown Dallas Arts District along with the Sheraton Hotel's twin towers (42 stories and 31 stories) and the Comerica Bank Headquarters Tower (60 stories) run along Central Expressway anchoring the eastern side of Downtown, and which then extends just a little further eastward to include the massive Baylor Medical District complex (seen in the video as the large mass of white highrises farthest east of the Financial District). Like a beautiful necklace extending just immediately north of Uptown/Downtown in the video, one can see the long chain of highrise apartment and condominium towers in the Turtle Creek area of Dallas tracking the large swath of greenbelt just immediately north of the CityPlace East and Azure skyscrapers. As a pre-cursor for continued vibrant Downtown Dallas growth, a major keystone development that heralds future massive and dense urban development for Downtown can be seen in the video in the form of the instantly iconic new Calatrava Bridge spanning the Trinity River, which will bring billions in new development by extending Downtown Dallas' golden corridor, Woodall Rodgers Expressway, to the west side of the Trinity River. Woodall Rodgers has become the new 21st century "Main Street" for Downtown Dallas as it sets right in the middle of the bustling skyscrapers located on both the north and south sides of it. In the next ten to twenty years Turtle Creek, Uptown, Victory, Baylor, Deep Ellum, the Design District, the Financial District, The Cedars, and the newest urban frontier of West Dallas will seamlessly meld together to form a super dense core of the most dynamic and largest urban center in the nation outside of New York City and Los Angeles, and rivaling Chicago.


This cool video from 08-30-10 further reinforces the explosive growth of around 13,000,000 square feet in new Class A and Class AA office space that Downtown Dallas has seen in the last few years in its Uptown and Victory Districts from 2006 to 2010. Select 1080p HD and full screen. The video is shot from the same exact spot throughout but shifts its main focal point from the Financial District to Uptown at 14 seconds. From 0 to 13 seconds the focus of the video is the northern edge of the traditional Financial District with the bustling heavy traffic of Woodall Rodgers Freeway. During this segment one can imagine the imposing and impressive addition to the cityscape that the almost 600 foot tall 42 story Museum Tower will make as it will literally be positioned right behind Hunt Oil Tower, which is unmistakably dressed in its state-of-the-art LED lighting (blue at the time of the video). Still filmed from the exact same spot, from 14 seconds to the end, the focus of the video shifts slightly north looking across Woodall Rodgers Freeway to reveal just a small slice of the significant density of skyscrapers and highrises erected in Uptown mostly since around 2006. Woodall Rodgers is the new 21st century "Main Street" of Downtown Dallas. The construction crane that is clearly visible in this portion of the video is for the 17 story $185 million dollar Perot Museum of Nature and Science that is currently under construction:





Woodall Rodgers Urban Park:


Woodall Rodgers Urban Park webcam (click "Live Web Cam" on frontpage):


Museum Tower:


Museum Tower webcam:


Dallas City Performance Hall:


Dallas Arts District:


Perot Museum of Nature and Science:


Perot Museum webcam:


1400 Hi Line:


1400 Hi Line webcam:




The Lexi by Harwood International:


The Spire:


The Spire:


The Spire:


Hall Arts Center Towers:


Two Arts Plaza:


Three Arts Plaza:


2121 Flora:


West Dallas blueprint for the future with 30,000,000 square feet of new skyscraper development & 24,000 residents in the new urban district:


AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District video:


AT&T Performing Arts Center venues in the Dallas Arts District:


First Baptist Church campus construction:


First Baptist Church webcam:

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Taken on October 26, 2010