Few Cities Can Compete With The Architectural Pedigree Boasted By The Dallas Arts District Alone.
It's a quick five-minute walk from the Pearl Street DART station to the Dallas Arts District — just enough time to enjoy the apple that I packed in my bag, perfectly enough. I'm filled with the same sense of excitement and adventure as I was the first time I took the tram up the hill to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. I'm excited about the art, culture and people I'm going to see out and about on this beautiful spring day.
I head down Pearl Street and through this surprisingly busy area of downtown. Cars and buses are passing by, people are moving about, and, nearby, church bells are ringing.
This once-desolate destination of downtown has seen new life and is ever-changing and growing. With the additions of the new AT&T Preforming Arts Center, the Wyly Theater and Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Museum of Art and the the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center no longer stand alone. The parking lots that once surrounded these buildings are now filled with breathtaking public spaces.
The buildings, meanwhile, were designed by some of the world's greatest architects. These public spaces beg the mind to imagine and daydream — to sit all day and watch people come and go. The green lawns open on to more green lawns, which open on to an outdoor pavilion, water features, public seating spaces, overhead shading and art. Lots and lots of art.
As I mentioned, this area is filled with works from some of the world's greatest architects — and that is not just opinion. It is fact.
The Dallas Arts District houses several of the latest designs from many of the world's greatest, Pritzker Prize-winning architects. The first Pritzker Prize was given in 1979, and its purpose was to honor living architects whose work stimulated and encouraged public awareness of buildings, while begging for more creative thought in the realm of architecture.
Modeled after the Noble Prize, the Pritzker family decided to celebrate the great accomplishments of the world's most renowned architects. Once a year, the award is given to an architect whose work speaks to the ideals of talent, vision and commitment to the field. It is given to someone who stands out from the rest and is known as “the profession's highest honor.”
In Dallas, we're fortunate enough to boast the works of not one but six Pritzker Prize winning architects. Phillip Johnson, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas, and Thom Mayne all have extremely successful works here in Dallas.
Some cities may celebrate the works of a few Pritzker winners, but the Dallas Arts District alone will soon be one the greatest collections known worldwide, featuring Pei's Meyerson Symphony Center, Paino's Nasher Sculpture Center, Koolhaas' Wyly Theater and, the newest addition, Mayne's Museum of Nature and Science.
The key element missing from all these buildings is the glue that ties them all together. Once completed, the public park that spans over Woodall Rogers Freeway will allow high foot traffic to explore these wonderful works of art in the manner that will allow them to be most celebrated.
The money of Dallas has done its part to give us Dallasites some of the latest and greatest buildings known around the world. With the addition of this public park as the corridor, our arts district and the international public space it will soon become should only be more thrilling.