Dallas, Texas Skyline from I-35 Eastbound
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. As of 2009, the population of Dallas was at 1.3 million according to the US Census Bureau. The city is the largest economic center of the 12-county Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area that according to the March 2010 U.S. Census Bureau release, had a population of roughly 6.5 million as of July 2009. The metropolitan area is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Founded in 1841 and formally incorporated as a city in February, 1856, the city's economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, and transportation, home to several Fortune 500 companies. Located in North Texas and a major city in the Southwestern United States, Dallas is the core of the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. The city's prominence arose from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, its position along numerous railroad lines, a strong industrial and financial sector, and its status as a major inland port (due largely to the presence of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest in the world). It was rated as a beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network.
Dallas and its surrounding area are mostly flat; the city itself lies at elevations ranging from 450 feet (137 m) to 550 feet (168 m). The western edge of the Austin Chalk Formation, a limestone escarpment (also known as the "White Rock Escarpment"), rises 200 feet (61 m) and runs roughly north-south through Dallas County. South of the Trinity River, the uplift is particularly noticeable in the neighborhoods of Oak Cliff and the adjacent cities of Cockrell Hill, Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie, and Irving. Marked variations in terrain are also found in cities immediately to the west in Tarrant County surrounding Fort Worth, as well as along Turtle Creek north of Downtown.
Dallas, like many other cities in the world, was founded along a river. The city was founded at the location of a "white rock crossing" of the Trinity River, where it was easier for wagons to cross the river in the days before ferries or bridges. The Trinity River, though not usefully navigable, is the major waterway through the city. Its path through Dallas is paralleled by Interstate 35E along the Stemmons Corridor, then south alongside the western portion of Downtown and past south Dallas and Pleasant Grove, where the river is paralleled by Interstate 45 until it exits the city and heads southeast towards Houston. The river is flanked on both sides by 50 feet (15 m) tall earthen levees to protect the city from frequent floods. Since it was rerouted in 1908, the river has been little more than a drainage ditch within a floodplain for several miles above and below downtown Dallas, with a more normal course further upstream and downstream, but as Dallas began shifting towards postindustrial society, public outcry about the lack of aesthetic and recreational use of the river ultimately gave way to the Trinity River Project, which was initialized in the early 2000s and is scheduled to be completed in the 2010s. If the project materializes fully, it promises improvements to the riverfront in the form of man-made lakes, new park facilities and trails, and transportation upgrades.
The project area will reach for over 20 miles (32 km) in length within the city, while the overall geographical land area addressed by the Land Use Plan is approximately 44,000 acres (180 km2) in size—about 20% of the land area in Dallas. Green space along the river will encompass approximately 10,000 acres (40 km2), making it one of the largest and diverse urban parks in the world.
White Rock Lake, a reservoir constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, is Dallas' other significant water feature. The lake and surrounding park are a popular destination among boaters, rowers, joggers, and bikers, as well as visitors seeking peaceful respite from the city at the 66-acre (267,000 m2) Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located on the lake's eastern shore. White Rock Creek feeds into White Rock Lake, and then exits on to the Trinity River southeast of downtown Dallas. Trails along White Rock Creek are part of the extensive Dallas County Trails System. Bachman Lake, just northwest of Love Field Airport, is a smaller lake also popularly used for recreation. Northeast of the city is Lake Ray Hubbard, a vast 22,745-acre (92 km2) reservoir located in an extension of Dallas surrounded by the suburbs of Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall, and Sunnyvale. To the west of the city is Mountain Creek Lake, once home to the Naval Air Station Dallas (Hensley Field) and a number of defense aircraft manufacturers.
Buildings in Photo:
Bank of America Plaza is a 72-story late-modernist skyscraper located in the Main Street District of downtown Dallas, Texas. Standing at a structural height of 921 ft (281 m), it is the tallest skyscraper in the city of Dallas. It is also the third tallest in Texas and the 21st tallest in the United States, while also being the 53rd tallest building in the world. It contains 1,900,000 sq ft (177,000 m2) of office space. The building was designed by JPJ Architects, Inc. and Bramalea LTD. Construction began in 1983 and finished in 1985.
Reunion Tower is a 171 m (561 ft) observation tower and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dallas, Texas. Located at 300 Reunion Blvd. in the Reunion district of downtown Dallas, the tower is part of the Hyatt Regency Hotel complex, and is the 15th tallest building in Dallas. A free-standing structure until the construction of an addition to the Hyatt Regency Dallas in 2000, the tower was designed by the architectural firm Welton Becket & Associates.
Renaissance Tower is a 886 ft (270 m), 56-story modernist skyscraper located at 1201 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, Texas. The tower is the second tallest in the city, the fifth tallest in Texas, and the 24th tallest in the United States. Renaissance Tower was designed by the architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, completed in 1974, and renovated by architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in 1986 and serves as headquarters for Neiman Marcus, Blockbuster and Winstead PC.
Comerica Bank Tower (formerly Momentum Place, Bank One Center and Chase Center) is a 60-story postmodern skyscraper located at 1717 Main Street in the Main Street District in downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). Standing at a structural height of 787 feet (240 m), it is the third tallest skyscraper in the city of Dallas. (If the antennas and spires of Renaissance Tower were excluded, Comerica Bank Tower would be the second tallest.) It is also the sixth tallest building in Texas and the 49th tallest building in the United States. The building was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee and was completed in 1987. The structure has 1,500,000 square feet (100,000 m2) of office space.
Fountain Place is a 60-story late-modernist skyscraper in the Arts District in downtown Dallas, Texas. Standing at a structural height of 720 ft (220 m), it is the fifth-tallest in Dallas, and the 15th-tallest in Texas.