News and Features

Museum Tower's New Charm Offensive, With Plans to Open Jan. 2013 UPDATED

Museum Tower took out a full-page, four-color ad on the back page of the Dallas Morning News‘ Business section this morning — the text of an open letter to ‘citizens of Dallas’ via Barbara Buzzell,who handles the Tower’s PR. It’s clearly not your typical real-estate ad, boasting of the fabulous nature of the property on the market — although there is  a large element of that mixed with a certain degree of calculation (“We are very proud of Museum Tower … It is already internationally recognized as a work of art unto itself and a graceful example of environmentally responsible construction” — which more or less puts Museum Tower on equal aesthetic and moral footing with Renzo Piano’s Nasher Sculpture design).

The ad is addressed to “our future residents, neighbors, art lovers and citizens of Dallas, ” and it’s clearly aimed at the controversy  over the reflected sunlight coming off the Tower and reportedly damaging the Nasher’s garden and artworks.  The Nasher and the Museum Tower’s financial backers, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, have been in negotiations with attorney Tom Luce for several months in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

But in June the DMN reported that the talks had seriously soured into a possible lawsuit — with Gary Lawson, the Pension System’s lawyer, claiming that adverse publicity had damaged the Tower’s sales prospects (it’s hard to sell the luxury, museum-neighbor condos when the allegation’s made that the condos are hurting the museum: In late August, the Dallas Observer reported sales were poor). But Richard Tettamant, the pension system’s administrator, said that no litigation initiated by the pension system was pending.

Regarding the dispute, the ad combines defensiveness (“Museum Tower is in compliance with every city code”) with a soothing reasonableness (“Our number one priority is finding the best solution to the reflection issue… Today, the most promising potential solutions are undergoing exhaustive testing”).

Then it states that the Tower will open in January 2013.

We contacted Nasher reps for a response. Jill Magnuson, the Nasher’s director of external affairs, sent this cordial but well-aimed reply:  “The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to see that the Museum Tower owners have publically acknowledged that there are design issues in their building that are causing damaging sunlight reflections throughout the Dallas Arts District and that the problem must be solved.  We continue to work diligently with the representatives of Museum Tower and are confident that a design solution exists that will eliminate the reflections throughout the neighborhood.  We view today’s ad as a  positive development and are encouraged by Museum Tower’s statement that the “number one priority is finding the best solution.”

The full text of the ad follows:

To Our Future Residents, Neighbors, Arts Lovers and Citizens of Dallas:

Museum Tower and its neighbors in the Arts District share many things in common, including world-class architecture and the desire to boost the international stature of Dallas.

Our sights are set on building one of the most environmentally responsible and elegant residential towers in the world, and one that will become an iconic, architecturally significant structure for Dallas. Museum Tower celebrates the art of living fully immersed in the thriving art culture surrounding it.

Since construction began, much has been reported about sunlight reflection from Museum Tower’s glass surface. Prior to construction, Museum Tower’s design plans were open for comprehensive public review and approved by the City of Dallas. Museum Tower is in compliance with every city code. However, it’s not uncommon for bold projects like Museum Tower to encounter an unexpected issue or two, and they are invariably solved.

Our number one priority is finding the best solution to the reflection issue. Over the last year, Museum Tower’s owner, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, engaged the most prominent optical experts in North America to study this challenge. A team of architects, engineers, and material and construction experts evaluated more than 20 ideas. Today, the most promising potential solutions are undergoing exhaustive testing with the highest standards of science and technology being applied.

We are very proud of Museum of Tower. There is no residential building in Texas built to more exacting standards of elegance, energy efficiency and comfort. It is already internationally recognized as a work of art unto itself and a graceful example of environmentally responsible construction.

Museum Tower is honored to be part of Dallas’ world-class Arts District, adding to the new vitality of our city center. We are good neighbors and valuable contributors to this community.

Museum Tower opens in January 2013. Learn more about this exciting addition to the Dallas skyline and luxury living in the heart of the Dallas Arts District by logging on to www.museumtowerdallas.com