If you are anywhere near the West End or the JFK sites, you'll notice the old Dallas Courthouse sitting proudly on 100 S. Houston Street.
The former courthouse, affectionately called OLD RED is a Romanesque Revival style building, which was erected in 1892 and is comprised of old granite and sandstone. Architects Orlopp & Kusener designed this multi-turetted building, which replaced four prior courthouses. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After reading through OLD RED's history, I learned several reasons why courthouses and their clocks were important to the community:
"A county courthouse was looked to for standards, not only in law and civil dispute, but also in such commonplace needs as the correct time.
Farmers visiting the courthouse square to complete business would set their pocket watches to the clock and convey that accurate time back to their homestead.
Also, national time standards were't established by law until 1918."
A 3.5 million dollar + restoration of the clock tower will return the courthouse to its original look, adding 90 feet to this imposing structure. A newer, contemporary styled courthouse has been erected across the street from the Old Dallas courthouse.
Old Red's visiting hours are Mon.-Fri. 8am-4:30 pm; Sat.-Sun. appt. only. (214-745-1100)A visitor's center is located on the ground floor of the building and the savvy Internet Cafe is situated in one of its turrets.
One of the important aspects of Dallas is it's architecture. There are several websites which tell about the date built, architects and details of the buildings in downtown Dallas
Fondest memory: Eating lunch in Reunion Tower and watching the cityscape passing below.
I think the building in the center with the triangular top is one of I.M. Pei's Dallas buildings Fountain Place. I can't be absolutely sure of the identification of the other buildings, but in the general area with Fountain Place one might be able to see the Fairmont Hotel, the Dallas Museum of Art, Lincoln Plaza, and/or the Trammel Crow Center.
I do not even remember seeing Reunion Tower on my first visit to Dallas. This is especially astonishing because it is considered a signature building for Dallas and is 560 feet tall observation tower which is the 15th tallest building in Dallas.
I also think it is amazing that it was constructed as a part of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. I've never heard of a tower associated with a hotel before.
The tower is constructed of poured in place concrete. Surrounding this top is a geodesic dome formed with aluminum struts. At the intersection of the aluminum members are 260 lights that are kept turned on most of the evening hours. However, at certain times during the evening, the lights flash to different patterns for a special light show.
The three levels at the top of the tower house different functions. The lowest level is the observation deck, known as The Lookout. Visitors can see the territory surrounding Dallas from indoor and outdoor areas. The outdoor area offers a 360 degree walk that is covered by the upper levels. Great views of the Dallas Skyline can be seen, as well as the skyline of Fort Worth, Las Colinas, and other groupings of buildings throughout the city. A nominal fee is charged to visitors. The fee is quite a bit less than other towers I've visited.
On the second level is Antares, which is a full service restaurant operated by the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Antares offers lunch, dinner, and a Sunday brunch in an elegant and contemporary atmosphere. The Dome, a cocktail lounge, is located on Reunion's highest level.
Fondest memory: Another fact that was a bit surprising to me is that the Reunion tower is named for its location in the Reunion area, which was a settlement of French immigrants in the 19th Century.
Trivia from the Reunion Tower web site:
* The elevator trip to the top takes 68 seconds.
* The structure weighs 23,600 tons.
* It takes 55 minutes for the restaurants to revolve once.
* Each strut is 15-feet long.
* The dome is made of more than 100,000 parts.
Another bit of trivia from the Dallas Observer website originally published: August 19, 1999:
"On his first visit atop Reunion Tower, futurist Buckminster Fuller, who invented the geodesic dome, sat down for dinner and instead of marveling at the view, calculated the speed at which the revolving restaurant would have to spin to centrifugally splatter the food against its floor-to-ceiling windows..."
Dallas is a very modern city with unique buildings that capture you eyes as you drive by the city.
I was surprised how modern it was and not a single cowboy on the streets......
Fondest memory: I think it was when I first arrived in Dallas, I expected cowboys and horses and there are outside of the city, the ranches and all.
But, downtown is modern and a beautiful city. It is fantastic city to see and there is just everything to do here. I could not ask for more in one city. I LOVE IT! ;o)
Fondest memory: The views of different sky-scrapers were especially impressioning for me, as a man who did not see a REAL sky-scraper in a real life. I never thought before the architecture of high buildings can be so many-sided... Those times when I was in Dallas, there were two buildings in my hometown Tallinn that were higher than 20 floors. Nowadays, we have two 'sky-scrapers' more, and one of them is looks like a small coopy of this one I have been photographed (If I do not mistake, this is a building of Wells-Fargo Bank) - you can prove that if you visit my Tallinn page, where I put the photo of our version of this building.
Favorite thing: The filigree metal and silver glass building was patterned after London's 19th century Crystal Palace. The seven-story building contains one of the most sophisticated telecommunications and power systems in the country. This picture was taken from I-35N (actually I-35 heads west on this portion of highway)
Reunion Tower is located on Union station near Hyatt Hotel. Actually you don't need much of directions, just look up.
Some information about Tower:
- It was built in 1978
- it takes 68 seconds to get to the upper level
- 14.5 acres in the hotel and Tower
- In 1854 the area of hotel and Tower was found by French colony La Reunion
- 118 feet in diameter is the geodesic dome over Reunion Tower
Fondest memory: First of all, after hearing a lot of nice things about Tower (from brochure of course) don't have a lot of expectations about it. Yes, it is tall and you can see the city, and I think this is the only positive thing, at least on the observation level. First of all you have to pay $2 for adults and $1 for children. After the elevator brings you on the top, you get into different banquet rooms that smell just awfully. After long wandering in searching for the door, you find it and it occurs that you cannot see a lot because the view is obscured by metal net that demands you to stick both eyes between cells and only then you can observe wonderful view of the downtown. Also you have to suffer dirty glass that is between you and metal net. I took a couple of pictures but it took me a lot of effort. I think the owner of this Tower could do more, at least clean the glass.
I didn't try two restaurants on the top of the Tower, maybe the view from there is better, especially if you have a couple of drinks, however, after the drink even the worse view can look as Heaven.
The famous flying red horse above the old Magnolia Petroleum Co. building marks the historic Marcantile Bank clock tower, which for many years was the tallest building in town and now includes residential condominiums.
The building is located on Pegasus Plaza, Main St and Akard St
It is very small area and very beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't see it on summer. I believe it is very amazing when it is warm and nice. Plaza has fountain and some interesting fun sculptures. It is the place where you want to sit and dream about something mysterious and unbelievable. You should see this small corner in the large city.
Main and Akard St.
Favorite thing: I saw this place on the map, but I had hard time to find it. Then I asked one of pedestrians and the man was kind to show me a small passage between buildings. It had poles with hanging flower baskets, small metal coffee tables and some restaurant on the corner. it was Garden I was looking for. Because I didn't find it on my own, just let you know that it is not so far from Pegasus Plaza, you should go East on Main St and look for the passage (it doesn't look as garden) on your left
Favorite thing: Old building around mordern ones. The cathedral has 101 stained glass windows, Texas oak and walnut floors and hand-cast marble columns. The bells on the cathedral were made by Royal Eijsbouts in the Netherlands, the largest bellfoundry in the world.
Favorite thing: An easily recognized landmark in the Dallas skyline, the Reunion Tower is the tallest building in the city. The tower is located at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas and is 55 stories above the ground. An elevator takes you to the top where there's a rotating cocktail lounge and restaurant which provides the best view in Dallas.
Favorite thing: I really like this downtown Dallas building. It has a unique shape and is completely covered with reflective glass. You can't tell which of them are windows.
Favorite thing: Downtown Dallas is quite impressive at night. A number of the buildings light up. I really like the green one. It's nice to see from a distance away, like 15 miles or so.
Favorite thing: I guess it is on St. Paul St. Sorry I am not sure. I saw those pictures on my way to tram station.