Screw It. Let’s Just Affix LED Systems To Every Downtown Building.
Earlier this week, Dallas’ tallest building, the iconic Bank of America Plaza — or the “Green Building” as it’s more affectionately known — once again became illuminated, this time with an updated, flashy, unicorn vomit color scheme. Officials now say the building will remain green most of the time, but the fact that it has the capability to shine in these other, excessive manners is not to be discounted.
Also not to be ignored is the fact that the controversial lighting system change has reignited the years-old debate that Dallas is on the fast train to becoming the type of garish abomination of lighted architecture that is Las Vegas or New York — or, y’know, the kinds of places nobody visits, like, ever.
What are we so worried about, really? The idea that slapping showy, ill-conceived lights on every bit of subpar architecture in town only perpetuates the stereotype that Dallas is town full of shallow, flashy $30,000 millionaires?
What this city needs isn’t to go dark at night or to stick to single color schemes that don’t allow us to show off our abundance of creativity at all hours of the night. On the contrary: What this city needs is more lights — and enough of ’em to make Vegas feel like the Griswold family’s Christmas spirit-lacking neighbors.
You ever heard the Flatlanders’ song, “Dallas,” with its chorus, “Have you ever seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night?” It’s a charming ditty, but you can see the lights of any city from out the window of a plane flying at night.
A better potential line: “Have you ever seen Dallas from a space shuttle orbiting the moon?”
Now there‘s a song this city could be proud of.
Really, we should be aspiring to light up every building in town. It’s what our city’s founders would have wanted. And, With that in mind, we’ve got a few ideas as to which of Dallas’ landmarks should first be improved upon on our path toward illumination domination.
• The Magnolia Hotel’s Neon Pegasus. Back when it was built, the Magnolia was the tallest building in the state. And, over the years, the spinning neon Pegasus on its roof evolved from the logo for the Mobil Oil company into something of a symbol for the city itself. Back then, it could also be seen from all over town. Now, though? Thanks to taller buildings that have since been erected around it, one can only view the Pegasus from certain vantage points. A spinning disco ball of lasers would probably help add some visibility to this important landmark, though.
• The Kennedy “X.” With the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination coming up, the swarms of tourists flocking to Dealey Plaza are only going to increase. We need to improve the experience for our out-of-town guests by making the whole dodge-Elm-Street-traffic-to-pose-on-the-“X” routine an even-more-illuminated experience. Maybe it could serve as the starting point of a projected X into the night sky, much like the Batman symbol? What better way to honor a former president than with a glowing beacon of death?
• The Roof of The Nasher. Here’s a way to settle that whole Museum Tower reflection debate once and for all: Throw some high-powered neon beams on the roof of the Nasher and shine them directly into the windows of Museum Tower for a few hours a night. That way, the tower gets lit and the Nasher folks get to pound their chests a little a bit. Everybody wins.
• Old Red Courthouse. Have you heard what people call this thing? The Old Red Courthouse. That doesn’t necessarily do anything to help bolster our reputation as a progressive city. Please, let’s throw what are forefathers would have referred to as a “buttload of holograms” on that sucker. And fast.
Listen: We realize that lighting every nook and cranny of the city isn’t going to happen overnight — and we’re cool with that. Just so long as it happens sooner rather than later.
Point is, Dallas as a city just needs to stay ahead of Fort Worth’s lighting plans.
Have you seen Fort Worth’s skyline lately? All the buildings are lit in a matching shade of gold. I mean, are you serious with that shit? If all your buildings are the same color, how is anyone supposed to tell any of them apart?